Are you wanting to channel Indiana Jones in your next adventure? Then get your bullwhip ready, because Costa Rica’s cloud forest phenomenon is the “jewel” you’re searching for! Also known as water forests or bosque nuboso in Spanish, cloud forests are forests literally blanketed in clouds. This occurs when cooling air is pushed up mountain slopes, consequently creating a cool, wet, misty environment.
The most popular Costa Rican cloud forest is the Monteverde Reserve; the “green mountain,” hailing more visitors than its counterpart, the Santa Elena Reserve. If you’re looking for a cooler tropical holiday, this off the beaten path gem is the one for you! Here are our top reasons to why you need to add Costa Rica’s cloud forests to your bucket list.
1. Tree climbing
You’ll find all kinds of unique flora in Costa Rica’s cloud forests (like over 500 different species of orchids!), but the jaw dropping Finca Valverde Ficus tree will take your breath away. But replace that open mouth with a smile and get climbing! The hollowness of the Ficus trunk and its intertwined roots invites you to easily climb it up to the tree canopy, from the inside, for an unprecedented viewpoint. The best part: it’s completely free!
2. Diverse wildlife
During this sensuous experience, you’ll be in tune with all sorts of hums, chirps, buzzing, and squeaks. Costa Rica’s cloud forests are hosts to numerous endemic wildlife including insects, butterflies, snakes, and especially, the elusive Quetzal bird. Once valorised by the Aztecs, be on high alert for this stunning creature with colourful feathers. And don’t be frightened if you stumble upon giant millipedes, they’re harmless!
3. Touch the sky
Float on clouds with the thrilling experience of walking on suspended bridges, 60 metres high through the cloud forest canopy.
4. Coffee, chocolate and cheese!
This one is for all the foodies! Ample tours are available to make your own chocolate and test different coffee roasts. The Don Juan coffee plantation is one to check out. While cheese fans can enjoy locally produced cheese from the La Lachera cheese factory located on the same road as the Monteverde Reserve.
5. Get there before climate change
- Get there before Climate Change
Climate change could severely affect Costa Rica’s cloud forests. As temperatures rise there is a concern that the low-level cloud coverage within the forests could shrink, which could directly endanger flora and fauna. So why not visit now, when the impact of climate change is not yet so severe.
If Costa Rica’s cloud forests sound like a bit of you, check out our Costa Rica tours which include a trip to the Monteverde Reserve!