An early morning nature walk in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve.
This is the most famous natural reserve, dense, green, with massive roots and vines hanging, looks like as if it is in the Tarzan movie.
Our guide today was Oscar Castillo, an environmental educator who works for the Tropical Science Center in the Reserve.
We are lucky to have a sunny day, as this reserve is known for being wet and muddy. The walk made an exciting start: barely leaving the park entrance we spotted the world-famous colorful Quetzal! It stayed on the tree for a loooong time for us to have a real good look at his punkish green head and puffy red chest with a very long tail. Oscar also spotted a white front parrot, another colorful bird for us.
Oscar is also a proud owner of a top notch Swarovski spotting scope and happily discussed technical details with Philippe. He expertly set up his beloved scope and let us see through to amazing birds. He also showed us how to take a smartphone photo through the telescope – with surprising results (see all bird close-ups).
Oscar loves the nature and his job of explaining it to us. He explained with pride that Costa Rica, a small country similar to Switzerland in size is committed to nature preservation and currently increasing its forest surface against the world trend. He also gave us surprising facts that hummingbirds need to visit 5000 flowers every day to cover their nectar craving. This busy bird’s activity contributes significantly to pollination in the forest. Also, orchid diversity in this reserve is amazing. They simply grow on trees. He also showed us a tiny orchid, barely visible to the untrained eye.
After a guided walk of three hours, we did our own walk to a mirador where we could see the Golf de Nicoya and the continental divide. In the end we stayed from 7am to 3 pm to make the most out of one of those rare sunny days.
We walked back to town on foot, with a nice stop at a bakery and an Italian restaurant for early dinner with salad and pizza.
With another full, satisfying day in Monteverde, our understanding for the cloud forest and its ecosystem deepened. We are again amazed and awed by mysterious and intricate nature.