By: Aaron Henderson, PhD

Posted: March 2, 2015
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Faculty Post

Head in the Cloud Forest

Costa Rica

Greetings From the Field, and bienvenidos from sunny Atenas, Costa Rica! All is well here at the Center. As we edge further into our study abroad all we can hope is that time is not passing too fast. In the approximate month that we have all been here there is certainly one thing I can say: the adventure has never stopped.

From Braulio Carrillo National Park to Poas Volcano, the experiences and sights have been one amazing trip after the next. But certainly none can top our last trip to the Monteverde Cloud Forest biological reserve. For those of you who don’t know, Monteverde is a tropical cloud forest located northwest of Atenas. Personally, coming from relatively flat Maryland, I was certainly not expecting the steep climb up the mountains to the reserve.

The cloud forest reserve itself is fairly limited to the public; only about 3% is open to tourists. We actually spent our first day there exploring Bajo del Tigre, a premontane forest slightly further down the mountain that is part of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest biological reserve, but the rest of the weekend was all Monteverde.

Bajo del Tigre

The cloud forest sits around 1500 meters above sea level and it is constantly precipitating, be it mist or actual downpour. But that didn’t deter us from exploring every part of the park. Completing our first Field Exercise (or FEX), we studied the unique biodiversity of the forest with partners. The forest is truly an enchanting place, with canopy walks, hanging bridges, rare Quetzals, and continental divides – one of six in Costa Rica.

With Monteverde behind us, all I can hope is for our next adventure here in Costa Rica to be just as enchanting.

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