Verified Review icon check navigate-up navigate-left navigate-right expand mail svg-lightning svg-24hr svg-house svg-sleeps svg-bedrooms svg-bathrooms svg-stay svg-toilet calendar svg-report-flag pet-dog svg-multiunit Default Owner Icon heart-filled Family icon
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927

Naturalist's Cloud Forest Haven

Bedrooms 2
Space 1,200 sq. ft.
Property type house
Minimum Stay 2 nights


About the property

2 Bedroom, 1 Bath Adjoining The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

Our house is located on 40 acres of private property that abuts the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and is one of the last private homes before the Reserve. More than half our land is in primary cloud forest, but there is a large clearing below the house that is perfect for viewing wildlife. In fact, because our place is contiguous to more than 110,000 acres of protected forest, you’re likely to see many more animals here than in most other places in the Monteverde zone. White-faced monkeys, howler monkeys, coatis, gray fox, armadillos, and agoutis are all commonly seen on our land, and several cloud forest specialists, including resplendent quetzals, black guans and brocket deer are also often seen near the house.

The house was built in the mid-1980s by the current owner. In 1981, he visited Monteverde for the first time and during his stay, he and two other biologists had a picnic on the property, taking in the spectacular view of the forest and the Gulf of Nicoya in the distance. A week later, his friends called to tell him that the parcel was for sale and asked if he would like to become a part owner. The three of them purchased the property later that year from one of the original Quaker farmers and since then, each owner has built a house or cabin on the land. None of the dwellings are in sight of the others, which gives you a very private experience.

The house itself is located on a hillside at the end of a 500-foot driveway. It was designed with lots of large, picture windows to bring in plenty of natural light and is oriented toward the southwest with dramatic views of the Gulf of Nicoya and the forest canopy below.

The downstairs includes a living room with a wood stove, a dining room, kitchen, two box seats, a large bathroom and a small utility room with a washer and dryer. There’s also a long front porch, where you can sit looking out at the Gulf of Nicoya and watch up to nine species of hummingbirds visit the feeders. The upstairs includes a roofed balcony and two good-sized bedrooms, one with a queen-sized bed and the other with two full beds. At our place, you will be well away from the bustle of Santa Elena and the main road. You will be able to go to sleep to the sounds of katydids, cicadas, frogs and wake up to chorusing black-bellied wood quail and dueting gray-breasted wood wrens.

Public buses pass by at the bottom of the driveway several times each day and taxis are available at any time. There are several good restaurants just a few miles away as well as a small grocery store and a few gift/coffee shops. The entrance to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is just a ten minute walk from our house. But, of course, that could be much longer if you're looking at wildlife or plants!

If you’d like, we can help you arrange to have a talented local cook or cleaning service visit during your stay.

Recommendations for local guides upon request.

More Details

Property Manager
Fred Morrison or Laurie Sanders
Member since: 2014
Speaks: english, spanish
Response time:
Within a day
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
March 19, 2018

About Fred Morrison or Laurie Sanders

We live in Massachusetts for most of the year, but we spend a portion of each year in Monteverde. Fred first visited Monteverde in 1981; Laurie came in 1986. Since then, we have both worked on different biology projects in the area (bellbirds, quetzals, dragonflies) and for a short stint, Laurie worked as a guide in the Reserve. We got married in 1994 and in 2000, our daughter was born. Since 2004, we have led more than three dozen natural history trips to Costa Rica.

Fred is now retired from a career as a science teacher, but is currently studying native bees in MA and working with others on electronic field guides to the dragonflies and damselflies of Costa Rica and Ecuador.

Laurie produces natural history features for public radio and for ten years, prepared a weekly natural history series called Field Notes which aired on WFCR 88.5 FM in Amherst, MA. Some of her previous stories can be heard on Living on Earth. She currently works as a private environmental consultant.

Fred Morrison or Laurie Sanders purchased this house in 1981

Why Fred Morrison or Laurie Sanders chose Monteverde

This is a very special piece of property because it borders the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and is one of the last houses before the Reserve entrance. At nearly 5,000 feet in elevation, at times the property is literally bathed in the clouds, with mists from the Caribbean blowing west toward the Pacific.

What makes this house unique

Quiet, private and extraordinary wildlife opportunities.

Guestbook comments from the manager

We absolutely loved the house and its location. Everything was just perfect. We really enjoyed the area.
Feb 2014
  • 1 of 3


Monteverde House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Catering available
  • Breakfast - Booking Possible
  • Lunch - Booking Possible
  • Dinner - Booking Possible
  • Housekeeper Optional
Floor Area:
  • 1200 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 4:00 PM / Check-out: 11:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 8
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters ...
  • children welcome
  • pets not allowed
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Mountain View ...
  • Rural ...
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Romantic
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Hair Dryer
  • Internet ...
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room
  • Parking
  • Telephone ...
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Wood Stove
  • Coffee Maker
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Kitchen
  • Microwave
  • Oven ...
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 8 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , combination tub/shower
  • The bathroom is on the first floor.
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 8
  • Bedroom 2 - 2 double
    Bedroom 1 - 1 queen
  • This house comfortably sleeps 4-6 people. There are 2 bedrooms upstairs. There are also two box seats downstairs that could be used for sleeping.
  • Books ...
  • Games ...
  • Balcony
  • Deck / Patio
  • Lawn / Garden
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • wheelchair inaccessible
  • churches
  • museums
  • restaurants
Leisure Activities:
  • bird watching
  • eco tourism
  • horseback riding
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • massage therapist
  • medical services


Wonderful! 4.8/5 -
(53 traveler reviews)

90% Complete
3% Complete
5% Complete
0% Complete
0% Complete
Naturalist's Cloud Forest Haven
average rating of 4.8490567 based on 56 reviews

Great location, Nice Views, but some problems

  • 3 of 5

This house is in a beautiful setting with amazing views. The house is easy to find with the directions that were sent. We were met by Raul, the property manager, who showed us around the house and property. The driveway to the house is steep and was a bit daunting the first time, but we soon became used to it. A high clearance, 4-wheel drive is a must for most driving in Costa Rica, including this driveway. The house was clean and fairly well stocked, but the kitchen cooking utensils could be augmented. It is cool in Monteverde and the only heat source in the house is a wood stove. The stove worked well, but the wood was carefully doled out by Raul. There were times when we had no wood, because Raul was not available for restocking. We did have a problem the first night with the kitchen stove lighting. It turned out that the propane was turned off at the tank. Through that experience we found that the propane tank was in the house in a closet and, if not careful, could leak. The thought of a potentially leaking propane tank in the house was not very comforting as it is a real safety hazard and a big no-no. That is the reason for the poor rating. As noted, the bathroom is downstairs and both bedrooms upstairs, not the best arrangement but we made it work. The land around the house is very nice with birds, monkey, agouti, and coatimundi in abundance. It was great being able to walk to the Cloud Forest Reserve, particularly since parking is very limited there. The house is about 20 minutes outside of town with major grocery stores and restaurants. Without the dangers of the propane tank, the rating would have been higher.

  • Submitted: Mar 17, 2018
  • Stayed: February 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0

Beautiful cloud forest experience!

  • 5 of 5

Wonderful experience, staying within the cloud forest! We loved the house and it's surroundings. Such a pleasure to watch the sun set with hummingbirds, caotis, and gorgeous scenery. Enjoy it!

  • Submitted: Feb 19, 2018
  • Stayed: February 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0
Minneapolis, MN

Beautiful, Natural Setting

  • 5 of 5

Our family of six loved staying in this home! We enjoyed being immersed in nature and being so close to the Monteverde Reserve. The grounds were fun to explore. Laurie was very welcoming and helpful from the beginning, giving us lots of suggestions. Raul helped us set up our morning guided hike in the reserve, a night hike and a zipline experience. Lillian prepared a wonderful meal, which provided leftovers for the next day--casado con pollo, with guacamole and salsa. The home was well-equipped with towels and kitchen supplies. We had a wonderful experience in Monteverde and would recommend this home to those who are looking for a quiet, private home surrounded by nature. Thank you!

  • Submitted: Feb 18, 2018
  • Stayed: February 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0
Santa Cruz, CA

Great Visit

  • 5 of 5

Fantastic location, great birding, and Raul was super friendly and helpful

  • Submitted: Feb 3, 2018
  • Stayed: January 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0

Needed more time!

  • 4 of 5

We only had two nights and one full day to enjoy the lovely setting and home. The house was comfortable, with almost everything we needed. It would have been nice to have another roll of paper towels and we really needed some plastic wrap or aluminum foil. The housekeeper/cook, Lillian, cooked two dinners for us. It was wonderful to have dinner ready to heat up when we arrived back after a long day.

The house needed more light. At night it was hard to read and the kitchen was too dark to see well.

We loved watching the hummingbirds from the balcony. We also walked about 20 minutes to the nature reserve to see the hummingbird gardens. Take your camera. The birds put on a colorful show! There's also a nice gift shop in the reserve.

The roads in Monteverde are gravel and full of potholes.We were glad that Marcos was our driver and guide. Much easier than renting a car, and we learned a lot from him. The owners will put you in touch with Marcos. He was a delightful person who has an incredible knowledge of the flora and fauna, along with interesting stories about the area. HIghly recommend!

  • Submitted: Oct 1, 2017
  • Stayed: September 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0

The short – Make a reservation…stop reading this!

  • 5 of 5

The medium – A fantastic view from THE highest home in Monteverde. The house is a very nice “cottage themed” property with excellent amenities in a great location and the meals prepared by Lilian are top-notch!

The long – No guarantees, your mileage may vary, this is my experience only - I have made the trip to Monteverde from both San Jose and Liberia. With the road improvements I recommend Liberia though San Jose is fine. There is a Wally-World (the box store, not the park with a moose) a few km from the airport so you can stock up and then make the trip. When you look at the map you may think ”not that far, I can make it in an hour” but it will take 3-4, which is also how long it takes from San Jose but the views are nicer. The driveway definitely requires some experience and a 4-wheel drive.

The house is very comfortable and in August there was no need for even a fan. The view from the deck is superb and on a clear day you can see all the way to the lake while watching hummingbirds swarm the feeders. If you travel during the rainy season it WILL rain. Generally it rains at night but it will likely storm late afternoons as well. To me this does not detract, it is simply another season but the view of the lake can be quickly obscured. But even when this happens it is still an incredible view from inside the clouds that move across the property.

Huge thanks to Fred and Laurie who provided quality information regarding the property, how things work, and how / where to get around. Also huge thanks to Raul who was very helpful and explained the way the house worked. The process was easy and when I come back to Costa Rica if I will be in Monteverde this is the place I will try to stay.

  • Submitted: Aug 30, 2017
  • Stayed: August 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0


One of the most popular destinations in Costa Rica, the Monteverde area now includes plenty of options to keep you occupied during your stay (guided nature walks, ziplining, night hikes, language schools, bat museums, orchid gardens, shopping, etc.) But alternatively, you may just want to relax on one of the porches and watch hummingbirds at the feeder, or go birding in the front pasture, or take a walk along the back trail.

There is a notebook in the house that lists our recommendations for the area.


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Refundable damage deposit $150

Manager's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund if canceled at least 7 days before arrival date.
  • 100% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.

You might like these similar properties