Make the best of your Monteverde Cloud Forest experience

Cloud Forest view, hanging bridge, photo credit elefanttravel

Cloud Forest view, hanging bridge, photo credit elefanttravel

How is a cloud forest different from a rain forest?  Don’t let lack of preparation cut your experience short. Most important of all, take time to sharpen your senses and take it all in during your stay at El Establo Mountain Resort. 

There are two cloud forest reserves in the Monteverde area. The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve has grown over the years to protect over 35,000 acres, and has over 8 miles of trails for visitors to explore.  There are over 100 types of mammals, 1,200 species of amphibians and reptiles and 400 species of birds.  The Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve is unique because it is managed by the local community, and has an impressive observation deck from which you can see the Arenal Volcano.

Epiphytes near Santa Elena, photo credit Wikipedia

Epiphytes near Santa Elena, photo credit Wikipedia

What differentiates a cloud forest from a rain forest? Cloud forests are cool and moist, with low clouds which slow down evaporation and creates an ideal atmosphere for epiphytes such as mosses, orquids and ferns which grow out of other trees, and feed off of nutrients from air and rain.  Apart from being cooler and more lush than rainforests, and usually have more mountainous terrains.

  • Bring a light waterproof jacket, and comfortable weather proof walking shoes. You don’t want a nagging blister stealing your focus.
  • Weather proof your camera, mobile phone and other electronics. Don’t let dropping your phone in a muddy puddle spoil your adventure.
  • Bring water and snacks. That granola bar will keep you going longer so you don’t stop your hike short because of low blood sugar.
  • Stop and take in all the sights, sounds, smells, fill your lungs with clean, cool crisp air. Quit the chatter, stop in your tracks and listen and breathe.  Sometimes we are so enthralled in conversation, or taking the perfect photograph, that we lose the moment we are in and don’t appreciate it to the fullest.
  • Bring a guide. Maximize your visit to this unique biodiverse environment by hiring a local guide. Their eyes are trained to see flora and fauna you might miss, and your walk on the trails will be safer and more informative.
Hanging bridge overlooking Cloud Forest, El Establo Mountain Resort

Hanging bridge overlooking Cloud Forest, El Establo Mountain Resort

An exciting, adrenaline filled way to explore the Monteverde Cloud Forests is zip lining through and above the lush terrains, and walking over suspension bridges. The experienced front desk and tour desk staff at El Establo Mountain Resort will be happy to assist in choosing which experience is optimal for you, but why choose, experience them all!

El Establo Canopy Tour

El Establo Canopy Tour

 

Article by Katie Widdowson

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