Costa Rica is known for its biodiversity, and Monteverde is a destination to birdwatch, to see other wildlife, to have adventurous tours, or to search for plants and flowers travelers don’t get to see at home. Whatever your expectations are, or if you have none, admiring and taking in these beautiful living organisms will add another level of appreciation to your Costa Rican journey.
The constant live giving moisture of the cloud forests produce tremendous biodiversity, including epiphytes, which grow on other plants without harming them and take their nutrients from the air, rain and natural material around them.
Experience a whole new level of forest bathing and bring a guide with you if you don’t want to miss the best sights, especially the first species on our list of top exotic plants:
- Miniature orchids. See them in the wild with the help of a magnifying glass to admire their delicate and intricate beauty. Visit the Monteverde Orchid Garden which boasts over 460 species and tour their collection with the assistance of a guide to explain growth process and even provide tips on how to grow them at home.
- Bromeliads. The bromeliads that grow in Monteverde take all forms, and some are especially colorful. They are part of the epiphyte family and they love to adhere to tree branches, helping to the create that lifeform over lifeform lushness in the forest. The shape of their leaves also hold water where frogs like to lay their eggs.
- Lichens. You might think, moss, what´s so special about moss? Well it adds another layer of green to the forest, not only making it visually richer, but the freshness, the dew, the life it sustains…. look a little closer.
- Ferns. In the Monteverde area you can see huge ferns that can shelter you from a storm, tiny ones with translucent leaves and wound up spirals that unravel into leaves and remind us of how perfect nature’s geometry is.
- Passiflora. There are many species of this flowering vine, some producing delicious fruit. Their flowers are especially exotic, with wide open petals and filaments resembling a crown. If you have tasted the sweet and tart delicious passion fruit variety, you know the process of conversion from fruit to flower is worth it.
Nature takes care of the landscaping in this rich and lush cloud forest paradise.
Article by Katie Widdowson