We studied the interaction between the bromeliad Werauhia gladioliflora and its flower visitors in the Caribbean lowland forest of Costa Rica, in order to quantify the mutual benefits to both partners. Over 6 y, the bromeliads flowered mainly between October and December; with an individual inflorescence flowering for an average of 34 d (n = 233 inflorescences). The bromeliad showed a flexible breeding system with autogamy occurring in addition to cross-pollination. Exclusive pollinators were small nectar-feeding bats (Phyllostomidae: Glossophaginae). The average volume of nectar produced per flower was 1.1 ml (n = 25 flowers). The main visitor was the bat Glossophaga commissarisi, which approached the flowers exclusively using hovering flight. Visitation by bats, measured by infrared light sensors, occurred throughout the night with an activity peak after midnight. Median hovering duration of the bats at the flowers was 320 ms (n = 1246 visits). Hourly mean of hovering duration was negatively correlated with hourly nectar secretion rate. The flower visitation behaviour of a bat over the night seems to be shaped by a combination of intrinsic physiological factors and by nectar availability. Size of both flowers and visitors make Werauhia gladioliflora a very accessible system for quantification of factors affecting evolution of bat–plant interactions.