Cloud Forest is a specific type of rainforest in which
cloud covers the foliage and deposits moisture directly
onto the leaves. The Monteverde Cloud Forest is the place
in Costa Rica where visitors
come to experience the unique environment. Even though
the clouds don"t actually rain onto the canopy, the humidity
is so high that the moisture that does make it onto the
leaves often drips to the rainforest floor.
Monteverde Cloud Forest
Monteverde is a protected biological reserve that is
home to hundreds of species of plants and animals. Howler
monkeys, snakes, and colorful birds fill the rainforest
canopy with sound.
Skywalking and rappelling are two ways you can explore
the Costa Rica rain forest and the animals that live in
its upper reaches. The Skywalk is a series of bridges
and platforms that are perched high up in the trees. Cable
ranging in length from 195 to 650 feet let you fly at
high speeds through the rainforest canopy to get a birds"
eye view of this exotic environment.
There are a couple of different ways to get to the cloud
forest from the capitol of San Juan. You can take the
scenic northerly route, which is a full day"s drive but
it allows you to see the city of La
Fortuna, and you will get to drive around Arenal
Volcano and Lake Arenal. Or, you can opt for coming
from the Southwest, going through San Ramon and Sardinal
before turning at Lagarto for the last leg of the journey.
Either way, plan for at least a four-hour drive, although
the northern route is going to be a great deal longer,
so take a full day to make this drive. It is a great way
to get a feel for this part of the country before arriving
at the rainforest.
Eight different trails crisscross the reserve. This
protected part of the rainforest is open from 7am to 4pm,
to allow you to have the best light in which to see animals
in the dense canopy. Admission is $12 for adults, $6.50
for students that have ID, and it"s free to visit for
children 10 and under.
400 types of orchids live in this part of the rainforest
Costa Rica. 30 types of hummingbirds are part of the 400
species of birds that call the rainforest canopy home.
Over 5000 species of moths are included in the ten of
thousands of types of insects that make this their home.
You might be able to see the regal Quetzal, an animal
that lives here and that was considered sacred by the
Mayan throughout the life of their empire.
Rainforest Costa Rica is filled with life and natural
beauty. Even if you bring a poncho, a warm jacket, and
comfortable hiking shoes, nothing you can do will prepare
you for the experience of the Costa Rica rainforest.