Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Guided tours
Backcountry camping
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Karen Mogensen Nature Reserve is a 2,250-acre reserve of primary forests, along with newer growth, on Costa Rica's northern Nicoya Peninsula.

The reserve consists of privately-held land overseen by the non-profit Asociacion Ecologica Paquera, Lepanto, Cobano (ASEPALECO). Some of the initial purchases were paid for with the money made after some dedicated individuals started a local recycling program. ASEPALECO, and by extension, the land of the Karen Mogensen Reserve, have multiple goals that include preserving the forest land and protecting the numerous freshwater springs and creeks in addition to using the area as an educational destination and resource for school groups.

Located on the Nature Reserve are over 240 species of birds along with howler monkeys, white-faced monkeys, ocelots, otters, pumas, butterflies, bats, and owls. There is also a 65-foot waterfall, Cascada Velo de Novia (Bridal Veil Waterfall), which is accessible from a hiking trail that begins at the lodge parking area. Several small pools that are suitable for swimming lie below the falls.

ASEPALECO also operates the Cerro Escondido Lodge, a collection of rustic cabins accessible by a 2-mile hike into the reserve. Numerous trails spread out into the mountain vistas and springwater creeks of the reserve from here.

Set in the drier Nicoya Peninsula, the Karen Mogensen Reserve gets less rain than many of the mountain areas and jungles of Costa Rica, creating preferable conditions year-round for outdoor recreation.

Day hikers can choose to arrange for a guide or to have a fresh-cooked lunch waiting for them at the lodge area with advance notice.

ASEPALECO remains active with a dedicated core group of employees and the work of many volunteers, and they continue fundraising to purchase additional surounding land for protection.

Guides or food arrangements, as well as more general information, can be found at

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Abundance of diverse wildlife. Waterfalls. Hiking trails.


Relatively few public access points.


Guided tours
Big vistas
Bird watching


Nearby Lodging + Camping


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