The Visit of a Lifetime — Monteverde

The year was 1998. There was a very small flow of visitors coming to Costa Rica, about 100,000 according to the official numbers. A decade later, that number has increased up to 2 million tourists per year. This $1.9 billion industry is mainly based on Eco-tourism and has been driven by the green buzzword.

As congested beaches and theme parks continue to lose their novelty and decline into the inevitable “fad” categorization, the world’s natural attractions are thrust into the spotlight, front and center. They offer a genuine “colorful” holiday that doesn’t force you into long lines or to buy ten-dollar meals. No wonder one of the most visited towns in the Costa Rica is Monteverde, or the “Green Mountain” in Spanish.

Coming to Costa Rica for vacation to Monteverde is like deciding how you want a dozen-box of doughnuts. You can do your own selection and mix it to make a unique combination or you can just be more conservative and visit a lodge. There is no right or wrong way to do it; there are plenty of options and you can choose whichever you like. Take it as an adventure that will change your perception of life.
Just think about it: the area includes 26,000 acres of protected tropical forest and six essential ecological zones. There is also a private park with one of the largest concentrations of species per acre in the continent. That’s the reason why this little marvel will impress you even if you stay only for a brief period of time.

There is a fashionable history related to the area. It is captivating and exceptional as well. Due to the United States’ involvement in the Korean War, the non-violent Quakers were looking for peace and a place to establish their farms and dairy production. In their ideology, enlisting in the military is incongruous to their pacific core-belief. That is why they found army-free Costa Rica to be the perfect spot to relocate.
Time passed and Costa Rica vacationers went crazy about the splendor of the region. The rich biological diversity of the cloud forest has more than 878 species of Epiphytes, and over 500 kinds of orchids, which makes it the world’s largest site for this sort of plant. Here you will find 150 species of amphibians and reptiles. It is a main migratory location for North and South American birds and home to the dazzling Quetzal. Costa Rica additionally has more than 100 bat species; Monteverde Cloud Forest is home to no less than 50.

If you don’t fancy reptiles and flowers, you can have the chance to see three varieties of monkeys as well as deer, wild pigs, muskrats, porcupines, rabbits, squirrels, tapirs, wild pigs and 6 species of felines.

An excellent and easy way to take advantage of all of these hidden treasures is on the Monteverde Cloud Forest Train. You can even do it in a “Hollywood” sort-of way. The red and black steam engine replica will transport you to the past and make you feel like a movie star. On your captivating ride into the forest, you’ll be able see the wonderful scenery. It is the perfect one-day trip for a perfect natural destination.

By: Andrés Figueroa Vásquez.

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