The Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve is a Costa Rican reserve located along the Cordillera de Tilarán mountain range within the Puntarenas and Alajuela provinces. Named after the nearby town of Monteverde and founded in 1972, the Preserve consists of over 10,500 hectares of tropical rainforest, the reserve is visited by roughly 70,000 visitors a year. The Preserve consists of 6 ecological zones, 90% of which are virgin forest. An extremely high biodiversity, consisting of over 2,500 plant species (including the most orchid species in a single place), 100 species of mammals, 400 bird species, 120 reptilian and amphibian species, and thousands of insects, has drawn scientists and tourists since.
In 1951, several dozen Quakers (from 11 families) from Alabama seeking to live as farmers moved to and purchased land in Costa Rica. This was primarily to avoid the Korean War draft, an obligation which contradicted Quaker pacifist ideology. They chose Costa Rica because it had just abolished its armies just three years ago. It was the Quakers who named the place Monteverde (“Green Mountain”), for the year-round green plants.