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Location : Office at La Tigra, 31 miles (50 km) N of San Ramón, Poco Sol Field Station is at 7,4 miles (12 km) by unpaved road into the mountains to the west. Information / Reservations : (506) 645-5003, (506) 645-5200, fax (506) 645-5104; e-mail; Web site

Bosque Eterno de los Niños, the Children’s Eternal Rain Forest, is a 46,100-acre (16,652 ha) reserve created by and protected with gifts from children and adults around the world. The Monteverde Conservation Leage, a private nonprofit organization, owns and manages this valuable resource, which reaches over the Tilarán Mountains to Monteverde on the Pacific slope. Here on the Atlantic slope is Poco Sol Field Station, where natural history visitors can be a part of the special magic spun by nature, children’s love, and the dedication of countless individuals. The rustic, two-level main building has a kitchen and dining area (buffet-style meals) and two dormitory-style bedrooms, each with eight beds (bunks) and shared bathrooms; no hot water. The upper level has another room and bath.

Vistas lift the soul : forest across undulating hills; Poco Sol Lagoon, mysterious in the mists, shimmering in the sun; the San Carlos Valley below in the distance. From the covered porch off the dining room, watch toucans, hummingbirds, oropendolas, and other of the 330-plus species of birds that have been identified around the station. More than 6 miles (10 km) of well-maintained trails lead through a variety of habitats (regenerating pasture and primary and secondary forest) to the lake, small hot springs, and a waterfall that speaks of eternity. Vegetation is incredible : epiphytes, lianas, philodendrons; on the way to the waterfall, your first glimpse of a giant fig will stop you in your tracks.

You may see a white-fronted nunbird, white hawk, bare-necked umbrella-bird, scarlet-rumped cacique, red-legged honeycreeper, rufous-tiled jacamar, ornate hawk-eagle, collated antbird, or some of the more than 20 species of tanagers here. Butterflies, including the morpho, waft by. More than one visitor has mistaken the large hawkmoth for a hummingbird.

Hear and see howler monkeys, along with white-faced monkeys, coatis, kinkajous, sloths and agoutis. Altitude ranges from 1,640 to 3,280 feet (500 to 1,000 m). Bring rain gear. Have your camera ready for the one-lane suspension bridge over the Peñas Blancas River on the way to Poco Sol.

An educational center for children and visitors, 2 miles (3 km) from La Tigra, should be finished by the time you arrive. Because of the shelter’s small size and isolation, prior reservations are necessary for visits to Poco Sol.

Getting there By bus : bus from San Ramón to La Fortuna goes by the office, leaving an uphill trek. By car : from San Ramón or La Fortuna, head to La Tigra. Turnoff to Poco Sol is 1,640 feet (500 m) north of the La Tigra office.

Source: Costa Rica Adventures in Nature by Ree Strange Sheck, John Muir Publications, Santa Fee, New Mexico. 

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