Cloudbridge Nature Reserve is located in the beautiful cloud forest next to Chirripo National Park. The reserve features enchanting waterfalls, towering old growth forest, and areas returning to their original healthy, rich condition thanks to Cloudbridge’s staff and dedicated volunteers.
There are a variety of recreational and educational options for guests, with many kilometers of well-marked and maintained hiking trails throughout 700 acres of cloud forest. Visit our Species List page for downloadable lists of the plants and animals found in the reserve.
Stop at the Welcome Center for current wildlife sightings, trail updates, information on the reserve, and assistance in planning your visit. The reserve is open from sunrise to sunset and there is parking available on site. Smoking is not permitted on the nature reserve.
Self-guided hikes along our well-marked trails are a wonderful way to enjoy the peace and splendor of our montane cloud forest. Or, if you prefer, you can take an interpretive tour with one of our naturalists. See our Hiking Trails and Tours pages for more information. If hiking isn’t your thing, you can visit our Memorial Garden and enjoy the many flowers, hummingbirds, and butterflies while listening to the roar of the Rio Chirripó below.
While there is no set entrance fee for the reserve, we encourage visitors to give a donation, payable at the Welcome Centre or online. By our estimation, if all visitors made a donation of 3000 colones (~$6 USD), this would allow us to continue with our reforestation work, run educational programs, and helps provide employment for local workers. However, in order to keep the reserve accessible to people from all walks of life, the amount of the donation is up to you. Click here to donate.
Just a 5 minute walk from the entrance is the art studio and gallery of our resident artist, Linda Moskalyk. Linda, a former arborist, is a mixed media artist who’s work features environmental and conservation subjects. Stop in to see her current exhibit, discuss conservation and climate change issues, or pick up a card or some original art to take home. See Linda’s website for more information.
Cloudbridge offers several options for visiting groups including: interpretive tours, volunteer service projects, and study abroad programs. Group interpretive tours can be based on one of our standard tours (see the Tours page for details) or can be tailored to your interests.
Group volunteer service projects take place over single or multiple days and the type of projects vary depending on time of year and group interest. See the Group Volunteering page for more details.
Cloudbridge provides educational experiences to a variety of high schools, universities, and educational organizations through study abroad programs tailored to the needs of the individual student group. See the Study Abroad page for more details.
There are several cabins for rent within the reserve. Overnight guests have full access to all public and research-only trails. There is easy access to several waterfalls, the Rio Chirripó, and good swimming locations. You may even be fortunate enough to shadow a researcher as they go about their studies. Wake in the morning to mountain vistas, amazing wildlife and a magical sense of peace and tranquility. See the Accommodations page for more information.
Day and overnight visitors are encouraged to sign up for an interpretive tour with one of our naturalists, who will teach you about local flora and fauna, the history of the reserve, and our conservation efforts while pointing out the unique sights of the cloud forest. Several daytime tours as well as night tour are available. Larger groups are welcome to sign up for one of our standard tours or we can tailor the tour to your group’s interests. Possible group tour options include cloud forest flora and fauna, the local history of reforestation, global climate change, and other related topics. See the Tours page for more information.
Cloudbridge has a number of well-maintained hiking trails ranging in difficulty from moderate to strenuous, with hiking times ranging from 10 minutes to all day. One of our most spectacular waterfalls is only a 10 minute walk from the Welcome Centre.
See the Hiking Trails page for information on our public trails, including:
- Approximate hiking times,
- Trail descriptions, and;
- Take a short walk to San Gerardo, a small Tico community (population 300) with restaurants, a general store, and bus service to San Isidro 6 times a day.
- Catch your dinner at a locally owned trout farm (Cocolisos Truchero).
- Swim in local warm springs (Aguas Termales San Gerardo de Rivas).
- Trek to the peak of famous Mt. Chirripó (3,820 m or 12,228 ft), a moderately challenging two to three day hike through pristine cloud forest and, ultimately, páramo (tundra-like environment). On a clear day you can see both oceans from the summit. Trekkers must reserve in advance, which you can do here.
- Tour a sustainable organic cheese farm (Quesos Canaán).
- Visit an organic artisan chocolate maker where you can shop or participate in a workshop, learning how to make chocolate (Samaritan Xocolata).
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