Miraflor is a unique natural reserve located about 30 kilometers away from the city of Estelí. The park measures 254 km² and there are three different climates on the zone: dry at the lower area, intermediate and humid, as well as a predominant cold forest. Miraflor is not a common natural reserve. In addition to the areas of untouched nature, Miraflor is also inhabited by farmers who grow crops and raise cattle.
One of the main attraction of this reserve is its biodiversity. The zone is one of the richest in orchids; there are more than 200 species of them and the most common is the national flower of Costa Rica, which is the Catteleya Skinniri. The orchids of Miraflor grow in different spots, such as threes (the most known) and the ones that grow on rocks and on the ground, which are the most colorful and rare.
The park houses nine communities, all making a living from agriculture. The UCA foundation (unrelated to Universidad Centro Americana, also known as UCA) works on improving ecological farming in the area and has several programs to help the communities produce ecological products, coffee being the most important one.
They also have set up accommodation at the farms. The housing offered is very simple and basic services but provides a great way to see how the farmers in Miraflor live. In addition, they have trained local tourist guides that will teach visitors about the flora and fauna of the region. All the farms are located inside the park, so it also means you will be in touch with nature. When visitors slowly wake up as the sun rises and the birds start to sing, they will experience the difference between urban areas and the rustic countryside of Miraflor. The climate is also a bit different in Miraflor. Because of the altitude, it can get kind of chilly at night. but the temperature quickly rises during daytime. Miraflor also has private lodging options located at the cold forest.
When visiting Miraflor be sure to make a reservation through the lodgings and hotels of the area. There you can arrange guides and horses as well. The gravel road to Miraflor is bumpy and gets dusty during the dry season. A high clearance car is recommended. The park is located 32 kilometers from Estelí, and it will take around 45 minutes in your own car.
Another option is taking one of the buses that go there. The bus schedule is 6:00 AM, 12:00 PM and 3:45 Pm from Cotran Norte to Yalí, Miraflor. This will take an hour and a half.