Monterverde, better known as the Reserva Biologica Bosque Nuboso Monteverde, is a very small town in the province of Puntarenas, in the Mountain Range of Tilaran. It is not because of the sleepy little village however that it is know, but for its fabulous rainforest. A stay in Monteverde will provide you with the true experience of a rainforest, for its extraordinary wildlife and flora are a precious treasure. Today, a quarter of a million tourist visit this area. It seems like quite a lot, fortunately those in quest of natural beauty are usually aware that such beauty and treasure must be protected and most who visit this Eden are respectful. But is this enough?
Over half a century ago, in 1951, a group of Quaker arrived in the area and its magical peace and beauty compelled them to stay and settle there. They called it Monteverde, meaning Green Mountain. They produced cheese and lived quietly in harmony, leaving little trace of their life within the jungle. Today many species are in retreat, scared of the mass of people wandering in the forest, however careful they may be! What can be done?
Next Tueday April 19th, on the 60th anniversary of the foundation of Monteverde, the Monteverde Institute and the United Nations Mandated University for Peace will launch their new web site: MonteverdeNow.org. The site includes 11 courts metrage on the area and the people who live and work there. The site is an attempt to a new dialogue on the ecological transformation that has been monitored within this fragile ecosystem that is considered by many to be unequaled in the world for its diversity of flora and fauna.
It is a bit of a dilemma; Costa Rica needs tourism, tourists come here for the outstanding ecological beauty but kill it in the process. Then you have those who live there; farmers, guides, eco-tourism operators, researches and scientists, educators, etc.
The website is a project that presents a series of short films in the aim to educate people on the current situation. Students have conducted interviews with local residents, discussing the present situation and how they see the future of Monteverde. It aims at the foreigners too so that they realize the gravity of problem, which really a worldwide problem is relating to the rain forests of the whole world.
Monteverde is a true natural jewel; it boasts two worldwide known cloud forest reserves: the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve and the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, both with over 10 kms of trails. One can observe an incredible variety of birds and small mammals together with an awesome flora. This is nature as it should be! Visit also the Children’s Eternal Cloud Forest, which is drier and offers a totally different type of flora and fauna and a different experience.
Apart from the natural attractions, there is a serpentarium with many frogs that are now in grave danger of extinction plus an interesting collection of snakes. There is a coffee plantation, a butterfly garden, the Monteverde cheese factory, a bat cave, an insect exhibit, and more! No wonder that tourists are pouring. Add some beautifully located hotels, what more does a tourist in search of true biological and ecological wonders may wish for?
There is a famous canopy tour and extraordinary hanging bridges that give you a walking tour high in the canopy of the forest, the best place to observe most wildlife in a rain or a cloud forest.
Whether one is interested in mountain and tropical biodiversity as a scientist or just a tourist, visiting a rainforest is an experience that one never forgets. Monteverde was classed 14th as a place to visit before it disappeared. It has been name of the Seven Wonders of the World and a jewel of the crown of the cloud forest reserves by National Geographic.
|Written by Mireille|
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Filed under: Travel on April 17th, 2011