Among Central American tourist destinations, Costa Rica enjoys a glowing reputation. Millions of visitors flock to the country yearly, putting it far ahead of nearby Panama and El Salvador.
It’s a favourite among travellers from the United States and elsewhere, thanks to a dazzling range of qualities – not least of which is the legendary Cloud Forest.
Why Costa Rica?
Costa Rica possesses natural treasure in abundance, with stunning volcanos, gorgeous tropical islands, and thriving biodiversity. In fact, it’s this last feature that’s arguably the chief asset of the Costa Rican tourist authorities. Ecotourism has been an area of focus for the country, and it’s now serving as a model for others to emulate.
If you want to see some of the world’s most amazing animals in their natural habitats, in other words, this is a great place to do it. Of course, any good Costa Rica tour should include a visit to the Monteverde Cloud Forest.
Discovering The Monteverde Cloud Forest
One corner of Costa Rica that’s of particular interest is the legendary Monteverde Cloud Forest. This sprawling reserve covers around ten thousand hectares and provides a home to more than two-and-a-half-thousand plant species, as well as hundreds of species of bird, reptile and mammal.
The reserve once put a cap on the number of daily visitors – and, despite the fact that this has been dispensed with, there’s still a limit to the number of human visitors the reserve will accommodate. You can now book tickets online, however, and that’s the easiest way to avoid disappointment.
If you want to see the actual clouds from which the forest takes its name, it’s better to visit in the afternoons. This confers an additional benefit: you’ll encounter fewer other people!
Adventures And Wildlife
Planning a visit to Monteverde? Then there are a few activities that might catch your interest.
Arguably the best way to see the countryside is on foot. You’ll get the most from this kind of hike if you have experience in hiking – especially given the climate you’ll be dealing with.
Hundreds of bird species are waiting to be uncovered and spotted – but it’s worth tempering your expectations slightly. After all, you’re not visiting a zoo. Most species in the region are nocturnal, and you’ll stand a good chance of spotting the others only if there’s a guide to direct your attention toward them.
If you’re looking for something a little more high-octane, then going on a zip line through the trees is essential. It’s the closest that you’ll get to actually flying like a bird through the Cloud Forest.
As we’ve mentioned, many of the animals that live in this region are nocturnal – and so you’ll stand the best chance of seeing them if you go on a nighttime tour.