Monteverde Cloud Forest

A 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 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.

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