Sister Cities are established when an American community and a community in a foreign country enter into a formal agreement to maintain contact and cooperate on a long-term basis. Cooperation may range from educational and cultural to commercial ties. The exchange of ideas and technical assistance may be included. Many communities have more than one Sister City.
In 2004 Estes Park and Monteverde were established as Sister Cities. Located in northwestern Costa Rica, the Monteverde district consists of several small, adjacent communities, the largest of which is Santa Elena. They are collectively known as Monteverde. The population is about 5,000.
Monteverde is world-renowned for its cloud forests. These forests, perpetually in mist, harbor an abundance of plants, wildlife and other living things that are of significant scientific interest around the
There are strangler figs, wild orchids, mushrooms that grow in the dark, huge moths, blue butterflies, monkeys and sloths. Colorful birds like toucans,
Resplendent Quetzal, and Three Wattled Bellbird are seen and heard. Only a few yards away, one steps out of the cloud forest into the sunlight.
Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Preserve is perhaps the best known of three forest reserves in the Monteverde area. The Santa Elena Cloud Forest
Reserve and the Childrens' Eternal Rain Forest are adjacent reserves. The latter was acquired through donations from around the world. Unlike Rocky
Mountain National Park, these reserves are owned and operated by private non-profit organizations. Together, along with other adjacent reserves, such as Arenal Volcano National Park, they protect about 198,000 acres.