If you love nature, hiking and visiting lesser known destinations, hiking Children’s Eternal Rain Forest in Monteverde has to be on your list. Out of the 3 protected reserves in Monteverde, the Children’s Eternal Rain forest or Bosque Eternos de los Niños, is considered the least visited. A bit surprising, considering that it is the largest private reserve in all of Costa Rica with 23,000 hectares (56,834 acres)!
The reserve’s name comes from the founders, a group of Swedish children who campaigned to gather support from countries around the world to protect this unique piece of land in Costa Rica. Thanks to them, the Children’s Eternal Rain forest is now an important watershed and houses an enormous variety of flora and fauna.
Since we only had half a day, we visited the Bajos del Tigre station very close to Cerro Plano. There are 4 different stations in the Children’s Eternal Rain Forest with various hiking trails, levels and scenery and hopefully one day we will go back and hike them all. But if you’re short on time, have kids or don’t want to walk a lot, Bajos del Tigre station is excellent.
Read on to find out what the Bajos del Tigre station at Children’s Eternal Rain Forest is like!
Hiking Children’s Eternal Rain Forest: Bajos del Tigre
Even though it’s the cloud forest, the climate at Bajos del Tigre is considerably drier than the other stations and reserves.
Location and Getting There
From Santa Elena town, drive on the road that takes you to Curi-Cancha and Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. You will pass the El Establo Hotel on your left and the road will turn into a gravel road. Continue for about 5 minutes and you will see a large sign for Bajos del Tigre, Children’s Eternal Rainforest. Turn right and continue a couple more minutes to reach the parking lot.
Signage is every good so it’s hard to get lost and the station is on Waze.
For a self guided hike, the entrance fee is $12 for foreign adults, $10 for foreign students, $8 for children 6-12 and children 0-5 are free. You can also go on a guided hike during the day or night. It’s $22 for a guided night walk for adults and $30 for a guided nature day walk.
Here is the map of Bajos del Tigre station. They also have them in the office, just make sure to return them.
As you can see, the trails aren’t super long or difficult. Since we were short on time, we walked Sendero de los Ninos, Sendero del Mono, Sendero Mirador, Sendero Calandria and Sendero Murciealgo.
Sendero de los Ninos and del Mono
The trail is very well maintained and this section had no elevation climb, just a very straight forward path.
We could hear so many birds around us and saw a couple of hummingbirds. It’s quite dense so it was hard to see them but we could hear toucans and hummingbirds everywhere!
In certain areas, there was a hand rail and every few hundred feet or so was a bench which I thought was extremely nice, especially if there are older folks on the trail. We could tell this trail was designed for kids and we passed by a large school group studying the vegetation.
Sendero Mirador (and a little bit of Jaguar)
Since we wanted to go to the mirador, we continued onto Sendero Jaguar and then to Mirador. Here is where it gets a bit steep so it’s not recommended for those who have issues walking. They do have a nice guard rail to hold on to but it is steep with some loose rocks.
Once you get down to the bottom, there is a bench and a look out spot with a beautiful view of the forest.
We stayed at the viewpoint for a bit, hoping the many toucans we heard would fly closer to us but no luck. We continued up the trail where we came from to get back to the intersection.
As we walked up the trail, we could hear an Emerald Toucanet calling so we peered around and saw him just a few feet away from us, hiding behind some branches.
We made it back to the top and continued onto Sendero Calandria.
Sendero Calandria and Murciealgo
The last kilometer back to the entrance was fairly easy. It was just a little bit steep in one part which is why I assume they labeled it “moderate.”
It took us about 1 hour total to walk these trails and that included stopping at the view point and looking at the toucan. Because it’s a easy and quick trail, it’s great if you’re short on time like us.
We did this hike on the morning we left Monteverde and it was the perfect last stroll through the cloud forest before heading back to the beach.
Tips for Hiking Children’s Eternal Rain Forest: Bajos del Tigre Station
- There are bathrooms at the entrance office.
- Wear closed toed hiking shoes or closed toed hiking sandals. Yeison wore his KEEN hiking shoes and I wore my KEEN hiking sandals. Both were great. We both wore long fast drying hiking pants which were perfect.
- We went in March, one of the hottest months so we didn’t have to worry about rain. If you’re visiting in rainy season, bring rain jacket and rain gear. Read our rainy season packing list here.
- A guide will be really helpful if you want to learn more about the flora and fauna (previous reservations required). It is hard to see any birds without binoculars or telescope as the forest is dense. If you really want to see birds, visit Curi-Cancha Reserve.
- A 4×4 is recommended to get there (like everywhere in Monteverde). Read our car rental tips here.
- Bring water, they sell water at the office in case you don’t have any.
- Wear sunscreen, mosquito repellent is not necessary though.
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