Why You Should Add a Cloud Forest to Your Travel Bucket List
Cloud forests. The name sounds like something you might find in the movie Avatar, and the photos look like they came from the pages of a fairytale storybook. But what are they really? Where can you find them? And why would you want to go and see one in person? Let me be the first to tell you.
Cloud forests, which are sometimes also called fog forests, are forests which consistently have a low level cloud cover around the canopy level, either year round or seasonally. The majority of the planet’s cloud forests are tropical, or sub tropical. However, they do exist around the world including in some of the countries you would probably least expect them too such as Canada, South Africa, and China.
While cloud forests can be found around the globe, they only make up for a tiny percentage of the world’s forests (about 1%) making them both rare and special. Of course, the concerns over global warning are threatening these unique forests which rely on cool, wet air to survive. And, like so many other forests, deforestation by humans also poses a significant problem. These risks make cloud forests even more valuable as their vulnerability increases.
The majority of the world’s cloud forests can be visited by tourists, but most popular cloud forest to explore is Monteverde Cloud Forest located in Costa Rica. The area is famous for it’s eco system, biodiversity, and scientific research. Part of what makes this particular forest so fascinating and important is that while Costa Rica only represents 0.03% of the world’s landmass, it contains 5% of the world’s biodiversity. Half of which can be found in the Monteverde Cloud Forest. This makes the area not only of immense ecological importance, but also makes the forest a renowned tourist attraction as well.
A visit to the Monteverde Cloud Forest is an incredible experience. The forest is covered with walkways and bridges allowing visitors to better explore the area, while literally walking through the clouds. There are more than 3000 known species living in the forest, including more than 700 trees. Some of the more famous wildlife that visitors may catch a glimpse of include ocelots, Bairds Tapirs, and the stunning quetzals. A visit to the Monteverde Cloud Forest also supports and promotes sustainable tourism. One hundred percent of the income collected for entrance fees and other charges go back to supporting and preserving the forest through education and research.
Without a doubt, cloud forests are an incredible and should you have the chance to explore one on your travels, you absolutely should take advantage of the opportunity.
Interested in visiting the Monteverde Cloud Forest in Costa Rica? Check out this incredible Eco Companion travel experience: Costa Rica Escape.