This amazing old growth cloud forest, rescued from the threat of mining during the 1970s by a visiting scientist and resident Quakers, retains a unique ecosystem found nowhere else in the world. This region, believed to have the highest density of orchids on earth, with over 500 species of exotic birdlife, over 100 species of reptiles, and hosting animal life from both North and South America, is the crown jewel of Nature reserves in Costa Rica. Your naturalist guide, with years of experience and daily observations, will introduce you to a realm reminiscent of prehistoric times.
You’ll begin setting out on trails carefully inlaid with latticed bricks due to the ground moisture from the heavy mist coming in from the Caribbean. You’ll be surrounded by over 755 species of trees covered with bromeliads, orchids and other flowering epiphytes. These tall giants and their elaborate root systems are home to all the flora and fauna in the forest. Under this canopy, you’ll be in an enchanted woodland where temperatures range between 60 and 65 degrees throughout the year.
The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is not only a corridor for combining wild life from both North and South America; it also sits high up on the continental divide. This unusual climate zone joins the weather systems of the Caribbean, bringing the dense moisture creating the clouds, with the dryer Pacific air currents. These contrasting climate and geographical features bring an abundance of diverse plant and animal life living together in an extraordinary forest environment.
Thanks to your guide, you will likely see a myriad of camouflaged insects that chances are you would not have seen on your own. With clever disguises they attach themselves to leaves and bark in incredible patterns blending in to avoid being discovered by their predators. You may come across a snake or a tarantula as well.
Way up in the branches you’ll hear a variety of bird calls. Your experienced guide will identify which bird you are hearing and together you’ll follow the sound with hopes of seeing the bird through your guide’s powerful spotting scope. Be sure to bring along binoculars! If you would like, your guide can set up your camera to take a photo through the magnified lens of the scope.
Every day is different so there is no way to tell what you may or may not see on any given day, but you will be seeing and learning about a variety of forest life. With luck, you may encounter one of the mammal species such as a coatimundi, anteater, or maybe a group of monkeys. You will also visit a beautiful waterfall.
Hiking back out of the woods you can stop to visit the hummingbird garden where you’ll be surrounded by the antics of these aerial acrobats as they drink nectar from flowers and feeders. This half day tour into the unique habitat of Monteverde’s cloud forest will hopefully leave you inspired by the scope of nature’s diversity and the need to protect this rare endangered environment.
This tour includes round trip transportation from your lodging in Monteverde, park admission and naturalist guide.