Monteverde, Costa Rica
(506) 2645 5454 - 8380 4437
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About Us

TERRA VIVA is a 300 acre property privately owned by a Costa Rican family.

With this wonderful piece of land we want to combine protection of the Cloud Forest (with over 150 acres of Private Reserve), education by hosting students and general public to join us from few hours to many days in our different activities, recreation (with so much space for outdoors enjoyment) and promote change among our neighbors by being a cutting-edge dairy operation with innovative, healthy and environmentally friendly practices.

We are on the quiet side of Monteverde, neighbors to the Santa Elena Reserve, just 3Km from town. 60% is primary forest, 30% is pastures for the dairy farm and horses, and the remainder has been recently devoted to forest regeneration. Besides comfortably accommodating 30 people, TERRA VIVA offers to its visitors:

  • Private Wildlife Reserve
  • Paths and trails for observing wildlife cutting through cloud forest, streams, with ocean views and beautiful scenery
  • Mountain water springs
  • Opportunity to participate in some dairy-related activities.

Founder Federico Muñoz, is a renowned Costa Rican Biologist and Ecotourism Pioneer, whose knowledge on Costa Rican Reptiles and Amphibians has made possible to publish the most complete units of information in the web about Costa Rican reptiles, co-author of the Field Guide of Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica.

His more than 24 years of experience as an Expedition Leader to different locations throughout Latin America and Africa account for his understanding and view of the  Conservation Status of the natural heritage in our hemisphere and beyond, keeping him actively involved in the socio political arena regarding the fate of the rain forest.

Federico Muñoz

Co-founder Gaudy Picado, is one of the few true Monteverdean, she was born and lived all her life in Monteverde, educated under the Quaker lifestyle.  Since she was a child she learned from her father Nacho the love and care for the domestic animals, particularly for the cows, for which today she is the “doctor” of the cows of Finca Terra Viva. 

Gaudy is a World Traveler,  she is an enthusiastic hiker and outdoor activities person. Her travels have allowed her to know and appreciate the customs of many Latin American, North American,European, African, Asian peoples, both urban and indigenous worlds.  Her environmentalist passion has been the fundamental force to transform Finca Terra Viva into a Carbon Neutral operation.  Gaudy always finds time to meet, chat and pass tips to see Monteverde from her unique perspective to our visitors.  

Gaudy Picado


Monteverde was first inhabited in the 1930s by Costa Rican families who dedicated themselves to open spaces and subsistence farming. In 1950, 4 pacifist Quakers from Alabama were jailed for not participating in the war against Korea. As soon as they were released they looked for where to live in peace outside the United States along with other families in their community.

Costa Rica being of interest because at that time this country had already abolished the army, besides being very green and potentially very productive. In 1951, 44 Quakers from 11 families arrived in this particular area and coined the name Monteverde. They brought their sense of friendship and cooperation. The Cheese Factory was founded in 1953. Today it produces 2 tons of cheese a day. There are 180 producers, mostly Costa Ricans.

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1. Private Reserve with 4 miles of trails for walking / hiking. You may want to avoid walking through a more touristy reserve.
2. The famous Resplendent Quetzal breeds here abundantly.
3. Free self guided maps for our guests.
4. See, touch, taste, smell, learn and have fun with our animal companions. Your children will be in heaven.
5. Costa Rican life: "Terra Viva is located in a little valley, from there, one doesn´t see other houses or buildings. A beautiful and really unspoiled natural setting; the chance for city folks to go around and see farm work and animals; and maybe most importantly, the opportunity to experience a little slice of Costa Rican daily life".
6. Location. Terra Viva is about 5 minute drive from Santa Elena, and is completely away from the hustle and bustle of Monteverde.
7.Wireless Internet available 24/7.
8. Our water is spring fed, it is rich in minerals and good for ingestion and for the skin.
9. Hot showers at Finca Terra Viva are heated by very modern and efficient solar heaters.