Los Pinos is a “Tico” (Costa Rican) family company that has been here in Monteverde since its origins. We are dedicated to the sustainable lodging of couples or families, in fully equipped cabins; we also protect our private reserve and the forest by calculating and reducing our ecological footprint. We participate on and support local development initiatives for the Monteverde community, as this is the environment that we live on.
Over the past 26 years, we have learned from our guests, that a high quality and an authentic service, is the best form of recommendation, for which we thrive to fully accomplish these aspects.
We, the Los Pinos Family, believe in the healthy interaction between the visitor and the environment, so that they can both coexist, without damaging the natural equilibrium that allows Monteverde, to be the most visited Cloud Forest in the World.
The region is found right on the Continental Divide at around 1500 meters (4920 ft) above sea level, where the Santa Elena and Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserves are found, being this one of the most interesting places to visit in Costa Rica.
The area is acclaimed for being one of the most outstanding wildlife refuges in the New World Tropics. Monteverde is known as an international ecotourism destination and one of the top places to visit in Costa Rica.
Within the Monteverde Cloud Forest, more than 100 species of mammals, including 5 species of cats, are found. In addition the following flora and fauna can be found:
- 400 species of birds, including 30 kinds of hummingbirds
- 500 species of butterflies
- 120 reptile and amphibian species,
2,500 plant species (among them 420 different types of orchids and 200 fern species)
- 500 species of trees
- Thousands of insect species.
Among the 400 species of birds, some of the best known species are: The Quetzal, the Bell Bird, the Black Guan, the Mot-Mot, the Orange-bellied Trogon, and the Bare-neck Umbrella Bird.
Some of the mammals found are the Collared Wild Pig, the Small Deer, the Margay, the Spider and Howler Monkey, the Coatimundi, the Kinkajou, the Olingo, the Agouti and the Paca, the Two-toed Sloth, the Armadillo and the Weasel.
- Average temperature: 16-22 C (61-72 F)
- Annual rainfall : 3,000 mm (118 inches)
- Dry Season: December to March.
- Located 225 km northwest. of San Jose, 3h00 by 4x4, 4h00 in a sedan, 5h by bus.
- Population of Monteverde: 250
- Population of Santa Elena: 6,500.
- Altitude, Santa Elena village: 1,250 meters or 4,100 feet,
- Highest trails: 1,800 meters or 5,900 feet.
Monteverde´s Brief History
Monteverde…… home to amazing natural wonders, was colonized in the early 40`s, by a couple of “tico” [costa Rican] families; we, the Arguedas Méndez Family, were one of them. The quakers arrived in the late 40`s and in the 50`s the Monteverde Cheese Factory is founded, famous for its varieties of cheese, that are consumed nationally and internationally.
Monteverde is located along the continental divide in north central Costa Rica. Famous for its rich biodiversity and cloud forest, Monteverde is a popular location for both biologists and tourists. You may have heard of the disappearance of the golden toad that was once found in the forests, or the Resplendent Quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno), which still nests here.
At approximately 1500 meters above sea level, the climate is cooler compared to the lowlands of Costa Rica. There are two seasons in this part of the world; the rainy season and the dry season. There names say it all. The rainy season is from May to the end of October. The climate, like the flora and fauna, is very diverse in Costa Rica and depends on many factors such as solar radiation and the complex topographical relief of the land. Then there exists the phenomenon known as El Niño to further complicate things. With such a complicated climate, meteorology is not a fine art in Costa Rica. Suffice to say that in the rainy season it rains about 100 inches and in the dry season (particularly Jan – Apr) there is practically no rain at all. In Monteverde there is very often a light mist blowing in with the trade winds from the west. This is one of the ingredients in a cloud forest where many plants are arboreal not terrestrial. Such plants depend on a high humidity or mist of precipitation for the nutrients and moisture they carry.
Hydroponic Vegetable Garden
This is an agro-ecotouristic project that started in the year 2000, thanks to the initiave that Orlando Trejos and his family had, with the idea of starting their own business using their agriculture knowledge.
The Arguedas Morales family, owner of this 18 acre (7.2 ha) property, gave him their trust and that has allowed him to be able to develop his creativity and his knowledge in this area, that today uses up close to 2.500 m2 of greenhouses and that together with the areas used for the cabins, gardens and trails in our reserve and reforestation areas, today benefits more than 8 local families.
Today, our Hydroponic Vegetable Garden has over 22 different crops; these are produced to distribute to small farmers, hotels, restaurants and local families. These products have medicinal uses, gastronomical and are even used in cocktails. The most purchased are: Lettuce, arugula, parsley, basil, cilantro, chives, tomatoe, peppermint, thyme and chard. Also, just for you to know, in hydroponic systems like ours you can also grow: leaf gardens, fruit gardens, or root gardens; crops that produce tubers, bulbs, stems; aromatic, medicinal and ornamental plants, and even flowers.
Our grounds and private reserve
To attract more wildlife to our property, in the last couple years we have been replacing exotic plants and ornamental plants grown in greenhouses, for native plants that also require less care and less irrigation during the summer. We can now observe more wildlife than we used to, and can regularly spot birds and mammals throughout the whole year, all you need is some binoculars and you’re ready for a short hike around our trails.
40% of our 7.2 hectare (18 acre) property is dedicated to the commercial renting of the cabanas and vegetable production and the other 60% is dedicated to conservation and reforestation. We are part of the Bellbird Corridor that connects the cloud forest with the mangroves in the pacific coast.
If you are taking any medication, ensure that you have sufficient supplies with you for your trip to Costa Rica. You should also consider bringing the following in your first-aid kit:
También debería considerar tener lo siguiente en su botiquín de primeros auxilios:
- Antihistamine or another anti-itch cream for insect bites
- Painkillers – aspirin
- Lomotil / Imodium (or equivalent) for diarrhea
- Eye drops (Monteverde can be very dusty)
- Bandages/band aids
- Antiseptic cream
- Insect repellent
- Sun block
- Tampons (especially if you have a preferred brand - they can be expensive in Costa Rica)
- A torch/flashlight is always useful
- Camera and film (camera film can be expensive)
- Plastic bags to protect clothing and items such as cameras and film
- Binoculars (even a small pair)
- Photocopies of all important travel documents
In Costa Rica the most commonly accepted credit cards are VISA and Mastercard. US dollars are easily exchanged in any tourist area such as Monteverde.
There are three banks in Monteverde, the Banco Nacional de Costa Rica, The Banco Popular and the Banco de Costa Rica. They can make cash advances. Take your passport and be prepared to wait in line or there are several ATM's in Monteverde as well. The bank is open weekdays from 8:30 am to 3:45 pm. Closed on weekends.
Monteverde can get quite chilly at night (and wet!). Bring a waterproof jacket and a warm layer to wear underneath. Long pants and hiking boots are a good idea. Clothes that wash and dry easily are the best option as items such as jeans take a long time to dry. A combination of t-shirts and long sleeved tops which can be layered is ideal, as the weather can change quickly from hot and sunny to cold and wet. You may find hats and a small folding umbrella very useful.