Gently bathed in mist from low lying clouds, the Cocora Cloud Forest is a mountain rainforest whose trees are densely covered by small plants including mosses, lichens, ferns, bromeliads and orchids and are entire minature ecosytems in themselves. Cloud forests are rare types of rainforest found along mountain ridges that are frequently enveloped in clouds. The abundant mist not only imparts high humidity but actually fertilizes the foliage resulting in particularly lush growth. Tropical cloud forests host many bird and plant species that are only found in these unique habitats. Located in San Ramon just off the main route to Arenal Volcano and a little over an hour’s drive from the international airport outside the capital of San Jose, the Cocora Cloud Forest reserve offers visitors the opportunity to walk along trails in the forest to enjoy the wonders of this marvelous habitat. Owner and local resident Silvia Gonzales has also created a hummingbird garden where visitors can admire (and perhaps photograph) resident species up close such as the large Violet Saberwing, colorful White-Bellied Mountain Gem, and tiny Coppery-Headed Emerald among numerous others. The reserve also features a tropical butterfly garden where guests can see numerous native species that include giant Blue Morphos, Owls (Caligos) and Swallowtails as well as smaller species such as, Monarchs, Julias, wing snapping Crackers, Green Malachites and Glasswings. Silvia also has an orchid garden where visitors can admire these amazing and tenacious native plants that survive in the often harsh, sun-drenched and windswept environment of the forest canopy. Apart from welcoming guests into the reserve, Silvia and her father also produce trout for sale and operate a small pulperia, or general store which is a typical “supermarket” of small and rural communities. Silvia ventured into hosting visitors on her family’s farm with these projects two years ago, we are pleased to help support her as part of our “sustainable rural tourism” tour programs.
Cocora Cloud Forest & Gardens
Discover the authentic jewels of Costa Rica, the Arenal Volcano’s Thermal Springs and the incredible views from your own pool at Hotel Punta Islita. The majestic Arenal Volcano surrounded by a natural beauty, amazing wildlife and perfect for outdoor activities for visitors including: canopy/ zip line + air gondola, suspended hanging bridges and the unlimited access to relaxing in the most impressive Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort.
Rafting the wild Pacuare River. Snorkeling the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea. Look for toucans in Tortuguero National Park. Hike the foothills of Arenal steaming Volcano. Look for Quetzals in Monteverde Cloud Forest. Enjoy the beach in Tamarindo, Guanacaste.