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MONTAÑA SAGRADA NATURAL RESERVE

The Montaña Sagrada Nature Reserve has an area of 1,136 hectares, most of which are located within the limits of the Juan Castro Blanco National Water Park (PNAJCB). These lands were acquired by Coopelesca RL through the solidarity contribution of its associates. The income collected by the entrance fees to the reserve, DOES NOT HAVE FOR PROFIT PURPOSES all monies are used for reinvestment in conservation.

The Montaña Sagrada Nature Reserve protects the cloud forest and promotes the natural regeneration of pasture areas for the preservation of species of flora and fauna that are difficult to find, such as the red-bellied toad (Craugastor scotch) and the Vibicaria frog (Lithobathes vibicarius ). In addition, there are 44 species of amphibians, 32 species of reptiles, 30 species of mammals, and 144 species of birds, highlighting the Quetzal, Goldfinch and the high-altitude Pava.

From the Juan Castro Blanco National Water Park more than 200 rural aqueducts are supplied and 5 hydrographic basins of great importance for the area begin, for the country’s hydroelectric generation.

This highlights the extraordinary contribution that the Sacred Mountain represents by the water resource that flourishes from its lands.

Do you want to go to Montaña Sagrada?

Learn more about tours in the Sacred Mountain

The Reserve has approximately 10km of trails with different levels of difficulty. Where you can admire the scenic beauty of this magical place, highlighting the “Pozo Verde” lagoon of volcanic origin.

In the Reserve you can also enjoy our warm facilities; ample parking, toilets, showers and, of course, a delicious cup of coffee by the fireplace in our restaurant.

Do you want to know more?

Learn about the history of La Reserva

From mining to environmental conservation

Mining exploitation

In the 1970s, mining exploration began in the formerly known Juan Castro Blanco Protective Zone.

In 1989, the Costa Rican State granted a concession of up to 1600 hectares to exploit sulfur in the open pit. This would lead to the total clearing of forests, the removal of soil and subsoil.

Environmental dilemma

The impact of open-air exploitation would imply a loss of biodiversity, natural beauty, the aquifer recharge capacity due to the impact of springs and alteration of all bodies of water that originate in the area and that provide drinking water supply to more of 200 communities and different socioeconomic activities in the Northern Zone of Costa Rica

Social opposition

Consistent with the Costa Rican environmental vocation and in order to avoid an environmental catastrophe, a group of young people initiates a dissemination effort before the press and local authorities regarding the consequences of this mining project. In their effort, they managed to raise awareness among legislators in the region and students.

A victory of the people

These actions provoked a generalized protest in the area and a news coverage throughout the country, resulting in the cancellation of the mining concession.

A sacred christening

During the process of citizen struggle, a visionary priest of the town said:

“This Mountain is Sacred, we must defend it”
-Priest Eladio Sancho

The impact of this phrase brought us the name with which the community baptized these vigorous mountains.

A new National Park, new challenges

In 1992, the Costa Rican State declared the Juan Castro Blanco Protective Zone a National Park, however, a large part of the territory was owned by people or companies that carry out productive activities such as cattle ranching and agriculture, which prevented the effective conservation of its natural resources.

Cooperative commitment

To guarantee the real protection of biodiversity, the landscape, the aquifer recharge and other contributions of “ La Montaña Sagrada “, the 110,000 associates of the Cooperativa de Electrificación Rural de San Carlos (Coopelesca RL) agreed to make a solidarity contribution of 200 colones ($0.30 aprox) to its Social Capital in the monthly payment of the electricity bill, a contribution that has been made since 2012.

An investment for the planet

With the contribution of Coopelesca associates, more than 1,100 hectares have been purchased in the Juan Castro Blanco National Water Park. Protecting natural resources thanks to the creation of The Sacred Mountain Natural Reserve , where visitors from all over the world enjoy the beauty of the landscape and walk through the forest on trails that were built on the old roads created by the mining company.

A memory of the past to think about the future

The name Sacred Mountain is given to this tourist project in recognition of the social struggle for the defense of the forests that men and women have maintained since the eighties.

The resources obtained through this activity are not for profit, on the contrary, they represent capital to reinvest in conservation and give continuity to the purchase of more land to guarantee the sustainability of our environmental diversity.