The Children’s Eternal Rain Forest (Bosque Eterno de los Niños) is Costa Rica’s largest private reserve, purchased by children from 44-plus countries in a collaboration to preserve the rain forest. Visitors come to hike and see native wildlife in the park, which stretches across mountains and valleys between Arenal National Park and Monteverde.
Home to an array of wildlife including jaguars, white-faced monkeys, toucans, and more than 700 species of butterfly, the Children’s Eternal Rain Forest is best explored on foot. For the greatest chance of seeing wildlife, book a naturalist tour that might focus on bird watching, butterfly viewing, or other wildlife focused activities. Twilights tours are a fun way to encounter the nocturnal creatures the come to life at night in the rain forest.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Most visitors explore the park as a part of a guided wildlife tour.
- Family-friendly hiking trails are found near the Bajo del Tigre section of the reserve.
- When hiking in the rain forest, don’t forget mosquito repellent, hat, and a rain jacket.
- To stay overnight in the park, book accommodations at either of the two biological field stations well in advance.
How to Get There
Stretching across the mountains and valleys between Arenal National Park and Monteverde, the Children’s Eternal Rain Forest contains more than 55,000 acres (22,500 hectares), with various points of entry. The separate Bajo del Tigre entrance is about 2 miles (3 kilometers) from Santa Elena. San Gerardo Biological Station is on the west side of the park and Pocosol Biological Station on the east.
When to Get There
The Children’s Eternal Rain Forest can be visited year-round, but the most popular time to visit is in Costa Rica’s dry season from mid-November to April. Book the popular rain forest tours in advance, especially if you visit during the busy months of March and April.
Overnight Stays at San Gerardo Field Station
Consider staying a night or two in the heart of one of most biodiverse forests in the world. The San Gerardo Field Station within the Children’s Eternal Rain Forest is accessed via a 2-mile (3.5-kilometer) hike from the Santa Elena Reserve and provides rustic accommodations and home-cooked meals. The lodge offers guided day and night hikes and is a good basecamp for exploring the rain forest.