Several pre-Columbian artifacts attest to the long-term occupation of the Monteverde region by a small population of Clovis Native Americans who once cultivated in villages around 3000 BC. From about 3300 BC to 2000 BC, the neighboring tribe of the Arenal area experienced a population decline. This nearby tribe restored villages in the region between 2000 BC and 500 BC. Agriculture intensified in 500 BC to 300 AD period, with the chiefdom societies replacement of small tribal societies. Accompanied by intense deforestation horticulture, and stone foundations dating from this period can be found. Jade objects became prominent features of these peoples. From 300 to 800, complex chiefdoms impersonated simple chiefdoms and villages appear more intricate, with cemeteries, public squares, gold work and between tribes and also trade disputes. Around 1300, a general population decline occurred, possibly due to increased activity of the Arenal Volcano. When the Spaniards arrived in 1502, Costa Rica suffered two generations of war. The indigenous population in the country decreased from 400,000 to 80,000 in just over 50 years. However, unlike the residents of Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama, Costa Rica do not seem to hold too much gold for Spanish (although gold mining in Costa Rica is a full-time occupation in some cases), by what the country was less entranced by the colonization of other countries in Latin America.

What it is now considered Monteverde was founded in 1950, by Quakers of the United States, whose pacifist values led them to challenge the American project during the Korean War. Most of the group was a native of Mobile, Alabama, which later included also people who were not Quakers, but pacifists and conscientious objectors. The group’s spokesman Hubert Mendenhall was a milkman who had visited Costa Rica in 1949. These Quakers and pacifists chose Monteverde for its cool climate (which facilitates milk production), because Costa Rica was considered a peaceful country, without military forces and also because of the altitude there where less plagues than in the lowlands. Mendenhall said the soil was fertile and the people were friendly, too. Quakers also guarded a large tract of land for conservation. This reserve, which was named the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve (Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve), became a major tourist attraction.