Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
Monteverde, Costa Rica
“The jewel in the crown of cloud forest reserves.” – National Geographic
The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is a private, non-profit reserve administered by the Tropical Science Center and created in 1972 by scientist George Powell and Quaker Wilford Guindon. The reserve protects 26,000 acres (10,500 hectares) spanning six distinct ecological zones, 90% of which is virgin forest. It is extremely high in biodiversity, consisting of over 2,500 plant species (including the most orchid species in a single place), 100 species of mammals, 400 bird species, 120 reptilian and amphibian species, and thousands of insects. The variable climate and large latitudinal gradient have helped to produce an amazingly heterogeneous set of creatures that live here including the jaguar, ocelot, Baird’s tapir, three-wattled bell bird, bare-necked umbrella bird, and the famously elusive resplendent Quetzal.
We had spent the morning ziplining with Selvatura Park and after grabbing some quick food and drinks in town, wandered over to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Despite the 70,000 tourists a year who come to experience dense and diverse forest, the park was eerily-quiet and still when we got there. Maybe it was because it was a bit later in the day, but we were one of five cars in the parking lot and we didn’t see another soul during our three hour stroll.
Despite the gusting wind, it was extremely peaceful…