The Moneteverde Cloudforest is a magical place to explore. We were fortunate to arrive when there were very few people in the parks, so it felt as if we had the whole place to ourselves. Mist floats through the trees as birds flit around giving you only seconds to see their spectacular colors. Howler monkeys make a ruckus in the distance claiming their territories to all who can here, while near silent squirrel monkeys skip through the canopy above you.
The hike is a mix of well maintained trails and hanging bridges spanning over ravines, allowing you to view the canopy from below, within, and above. With no one around its lovely to just stop in the middle of the bridge and just soak in the immensity of the forest. Set on Costa Rica's continental divide and due to its high altitude (4,662 ft [1,440 m] above sea level) Monteverde receives a steady supply of clouds which release moisture vital to the ecosystem. The moisture in the clouds catch on the branches of the tallest trees in the canopy and drips down to the other organisms on the forest floor below. This constant moisture helps to support a complex and vast ecosystem, one that harbors over 100 species of mammals, 400 species of birds, tens of thousands of insect species, and over 2,500 varieties of plants, 420 of which are orchids alone.