Type of Journey
Subscribe to newsletter and stay updated
Read about our travel expeditions, new destinations, new pictures, latest trip schedules
Cloud forests or bosque nuboso, as they say in Spanish, cover about 1% of the global woodlands. These rare cloud forests occur within the subtropical and tropical mountainous environments where the atmosphere allows the clouds to cover the mountains. Even though it seems like a fantasy film, you can find these cloud forests in the surreal region of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca en Costa Rica. Taking the name from their real nature, cloud forests take the form of fog and low hanging clouds that float around the uppermost canopy of the forest before condensing over the leaves of trees and dripping on the plants below them. The slower rate of evaporation due to this phenomenon gives a lot of life-giving moisture to the plants, and therefore, it helps protect a tremendous amount of biodiversity in the cloud forest Costa Rica region. Resplendent Quetzal Bird which is the world's most beautiful bird is a native of Talamanca's Cloud Forests. The forest gives you a feeling of the sky coming down for you so that you can feel and walk through the clouds, especially when you are walking on a suspension bridge on a canopy tour.
Location: Central Costa Rica
Nearest Airport: San Jose Airport
How to reach: 3 hour by road from San Jose airport
Famous for: Cloud forests and birding, especially resplendent Quetzal
Months Open: All year
Best time to visit: October to May
Birds: Volcano Hummingbird,
Buffy Tufted Cheek,
Talamanca Nature Reserve
Lying about 4,921 feet above sea level, The Talamanca Nature Reserve is a birdwatcher's paradise. The forest becomes denser because of the annual growth period of the flora. The rainy season brings a green charm to the forest and makes the forest cooler than the dry season. With exceptional beauty throughout the forests, there are a lot of trails that you can follow to discover the beauty of the Talamanca Nature Reserve.
Cordillera Cloud Forest
Having great climatic contrasts, exceptional wildlife, and breathtaking landscapes, The Cordillera Cloud Forest Costa Rica has fertile volcanic soils and a lot of biodiversity in flora and fauna. The biological richness of the forests is because of the topography of the Cordillera ranges. While walking inside the forests, you will find endangered birds like the scissor-tailed hummingbird, grey-headed warbler, Venezuelan flowerpiercer, black-and-chestnut eagle, and many more.
The beautiful Cerro Chirripo Grande
The Chirripo National Park houses several ecosystems that are unique to Costa Rica. Posing a lot of challenges for the hikers because of the varied terrain, climbing the highest peak in Costa Rica is worth all the pain. If you are willing to trek to Chirripo Grande, then the diverse mix of flora and fauna will make sure that trek was worth all the effort you put in!
San Gerardo de Rivas
San Gerardo de Rivas is a small town in the Talamanca Mountains. Mainly used as a jumping-off point before exploring the Chirripo National Park, it is located 20kms away from San Isidro de General. Having gorgeous views of the Talamanca mountains, the town is a must-visit place for outdoor enthusiasts.
Birding opportunities in the Cloud Forests Costa Rica
Almost all the species that you will see in the cloud forests of Talamanca are the natives of Costa Rica, and you will not be able to spot them anywhere else in the world. The names of the bird species that you will see include Least Grebe, Spotted Wood-Quail, Turkey Vulture, Black Guan, Short-tailed Hawk, Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Bare-shanked Screech-Owl, Fiery-throated Hummingbird, Green-fronted Lancebill, Volcano Hummingbird, Red-faced Spinetail, Buffy Tufted Cheek, Ruddy Treerunner, Resplendent Quetzal, and many more.
Resplendent Quetzal- the star bird of Talamanca's cloud forests
Once viewed as the holy symbol by the Maya and Aztecs, the Resplendent Quetzal bird is one of the major attractions in Talamanca's cloud forests. While walking around the cloud forests, you will find this shy bird quietly feeding at fruiting trees. The differentiating factor between the male and the female bird is that the male has long emerald plumes flowing out behind in-flight or the plumes blow in the wind when perched. The females have a large size, grey bill, grey head, and lessened jagged plumes on the side of the breast.