Cloud Forest,in Costa Rica
Monteverde in Costa Rica is an amazing spot for nature, adventure, hiking, and birdwatching. It is a magical forest of thick lush, green vegetation hidden in the mist. The trees and plants hide an amazing diversity of wildlife. This is the best place to see some of Costa Rica’s rainforest animals, including toucans, sloths, porcupines, and vipers.
When to Go
The best time to go to Monteverde is in the dry season which starts mid-December and ends at the beginning of May. I do not recommend the rainy season, but if you do not mind the rain, it is all right to experience a moist environment in September and October.
One thing to remember is that Monteverde is located at the top of Costa Rica’s Continental Divide at 1,500 meters of elevation. That means it can get quite windy and cold, especially in the evenings. Make sure you take some warm clothes on your adventure.
Cloud Forests and Amazing Vegetation
There are three different cloud forest reserves to choose from: Santa Elena Cloud Forest, Monteverde Cloud Forest, and Children’s Eternal Cloud Forest. All are amazing! We went to hike in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. It is one of the most popular places and it is the most crowded one too!
The trails are amazing and there is lots of vegetation to see. We were lucky enough to meet a family of white-nosed coatis on our way. The view from the hanging bridge was the most amazing view over all the cloud forest! We could see lots of rare endemic plants, trees, and blooming trees. Some seem to be truly surreal. We saw some beautiful orchids, bromeliads, lichens, and Passiflora. The shapes and the colours of the plants were just amazing.
If you are an outdoor person and you love adventure, this activity is just for you! We did it with our seven-year-old daughter, and she loved it! We took the most extensive zipline tour ever! There were 13 ziplines on this tour with the company Selvatura, which we highly recommend! This canopy zipline tour has 15 platforms and is 1 km long (0.6 miles). It was built inside a virgin cloud forest. At the end of the tour, you can choose to go like a Batman lying flat on the zipline, being attached somewhere on your back and head down, which might be scary but well worth it! They also have a camera on top of the helmet for an extra price of $50 for two if you want to record all the views and the people ziplining with you. At the end of the last platform, they additionally have a Tarzan swing.
It is an intense way to see wildlife. In total Costa Rica has a total of 100 mammal species, 400 bird species, and 161 species of amphibians and reptiles. Most of the animals are nocturnal, and this is the time when all living creatures crawl out at night. The walk is for approximately 2 hours, and you walk in the deep darkness of the forest surrounded by the sounds of screeching monkeys and crickets. You can expect some snakes, red-eyed stream frogs, sleeping sloths, and tarantulas, to be active at night. You cannot miss this activity!
lush – growing luxuriantly (bujny)
mist– a cloud of tiny water droplets suspended in the atmosphere at or near the earth’s surface that limits visibility (mgła)
toucan – a tropical American fruit-eating bird with a massive bill and typically brightly colored plumage (tukan)
sloth – a slow-moving tropical American mammal that hangs upside down from the branches of trees using its long limbs and hooked claws (leniwiec)
porcupine – a large rodent with defensive spines or quills on the body and tail (jeżozwierz)
viper – a venomous snake with large, hinged fangs, typically having a broad head and stout body with dark patterns on a lighter background (żmija)
moist – slightly wet, damp, humid (wilgotny)
crowded – full of people, leaving little or no room for movement, packed (zatłoczony)
trail – unpaved path, like a narrow trail you follow through the woods on your hike (ścieżka)
white-nosed coati – small mammals native to North, Central, and South America; they have strong claws and long, highly mobile snouts well adapted for foraging in crevices and holes for food (ostronos białonosy)
endemic – belonging or native to a particular people or country (endemiczny)
bromeliads – any of numerous, usually epiphytic tropical American plants, having long, stiff leaves and showy flowers, and including the pineapple, Spanish moss, and many species grown as houseplants or ornamentals (bromelie)
lichens – a plantlike organism that typically forms a low crusty, leaflike, or branching growth on rocks, walls, and trees (porosty)
amphibians – a cold blooded vertebrate animal of a class that comprises the frogs, toads, newts and salamanders; they are distinguished by having an aquatic gill-breathing larval stage followed typically by a terrestrial lung-breathing adult stage (płazy)
reptiles – a vertebrae animal of a class that includes snakes, lizards, crocodiles, turtles, and tortoises; they are distinguished by having a dry scaly skin and typically laying soft-shelled eggs on land (gady)
screeching – give a loud, harsh, piercing cry (pisk, wrzask)
cricket – a chirping insect that resembles a grasshopper with small wings and antennae and while they do not fly, they can hop far (świerszcz)