Walking the hanging bridges then visiting the Butterfly Garden and Hummingbird Gallery is an excellent way to absorb the richness of Nature while visiting the unique Monterverde eco-region. High up on the Continental Divide and sharing the same corridor as the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, this private protected park provides many opportunities to explore the amazing flora and fauna of this locale. Your bilingual naturalist guide, who roams these pathways daily keeping abreast of local wildlife activity, will be sure you don’t miss what is available at the time of your visit.
Heading out on the hanging bridges trail, you’ll be surrounded by the richest concentration of orchid species in the world. Epiphytes, or air plants, thrive in the rain forest environment often attached to the nutrient rich tropical tree bark. This leisurely hike consists of almost 2 miles of terrestrial trails with 8 well constructed stabilized hanging bridges. You will want to take your time and savor the experience as you begin listening to the bird calls and following their voices in hopes of an exotic sighting. Binoculars are highly recommended.
Because the bridges transport you to varying heights, you’ll be able to view the forest from all angles venturing into the tree tops and even from high above looking out and down at the spectacular mountain and valley vistas. Built to meet the highest standards, the five foot wide suspended bridges ensure your safety so you can focus your attention on the beauty around you. People who have had a fear of heights are often pleasantly surprised crossing these secure structures.
Back on terra firma, your mostly flat hiking trail is latticed with brick to give you a solid surface with safety traction even on a rainy day. Because you will be walking through a cloud forest there will likely be mist, if not rain, so be sure to bring rain protection. Your guide will point out interesting camouflaged insects doing their best to blend into the environment. With a wealth of information he or she will explain the importance of each creature or plant’s contribution to the survival of the eco forest. Looping back to the beginning on your unhurried hike, you’ll still have plenty of energy to check out the butterflies and hummingbirds.
The Butterfly garden, a 29,000 square foot expanse of tropical flowers with fruit stations, is the largest live exhibit in Costa Rica. Over 10 percent of the world’s species live in Costa Rica supported by the warm tropical rain forest environment. One of the most beautiful is the Blue Morpho butterfly with its brilliant blue iridescent coloring and an impressive 8 inch wingspan. In the butterfly house your guide will explain the magical transformations taking place starting with the egg hatching out a hungry caterpillar that dissolves into a liquid chrysalis before emerging as an insect with delicate wings and the gift of flight. Definitely a must see for children!
The Hummingbird Gallery, located next to a waterfall in an outdoor garden area with suspended feeders, is sure to catch your eye as over 100 aerial acrobats perform in the air around you. Your knowledgeable guide will help identify the various species including many of the 14 types that live here year around. With a comfortable sitting area you will want to capture the moment with your camera as well as just relax in the natural setting.
This relaxing half day tour includes round trip transportation, professional naturalist guides, and entrance fees.