is the name of a spectacular area in Costa
Rica, that is northwest of the capitol and home to
the Monteverde Cloud Forest. A cloud forest is a specific
type of rainforest that is only found in the mountains.
The humidity is often 100%, so that clouds that cover
the trees deposit their moisture directly onto the vegetation.
Monteverde, which means green mountain in Spanish, is
so aptly named for the constant supply of light mist created
by the ever-present clouds causes the leaves to drip water.
This source of secondary precipitation is a source of
life for epiphytes, which are plants that grow on other
plants. Mosses, ferns, and 450 types orchids are some
of the over 800 species of epiphytes that live in the
Monteverde Cloud Forest.
Monteverde has only begun to gain interest in the past
20 years with scientists who study the forest and the
tourists who follow them, so this is an area that is still
relatively new to economic development. The Cloud forest
has become central to the economic well being of the area.
Since it is one of the many protected Costa Rica biological
reserves, the tour guides and other employees of Monteverde
Cloud Forest depend on it for their livelihood.
The Monteverde Skywalk is a series of bridges and platforms
that allow the visitor to explore the canopy in a way
that is safer and less nerve wracking than Costa
Rica canopy tours, which often involve flying through
the forest at high speeds hundreds of feet above the rainforest
floor on a zip line.
While there is no proper town in the cloud forest, over
60 gift ships, restaurants, and hotels can be found around
the Monteverde, Costa Rica area, which refers to the area
to the west and north of the Monteverde Cloud forest.
Many eco lodges and Monteverde
hotels can also be found along the road to Santa Elena
to the north.
Approximately 7 miles northeast of the Monteverde, Costa
Rica is the town of Santa Elena, which boasts its own
reserve. The Santa Elena reserve is only about 3 miles
north of the city, and has 7 miles of spectacular hiking
within its 900 acres. The walk to the reserve from Santa
Elena takes an hour when traveling at a brisk pace. Santa
Elena has a post office, bank, police station, and a supermarket.
Cerro Plano is a plateau that lies between Santa Elena
and Monteverde, and home to the Cheese factory. The area
around the Monteverde Cloud Forest was settled in 1951
when a group of Quakers who objected to the draft moved
Whether you"d like to experience the Monteverde Skywalk
or simply enjoy the beauty of the rainforest on a long
relaxed hike from your Eco-lodge, the Monteverde Cloud
forest is something every visitor to Costa Rica should