The resident naturalists at UGA Costa Rica are constantly learning about the Monteverde region in order to become more competent guides for those that pass through campus looking to learn a little about the area.
This week, I tagged along on a training hike through the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve with the head resident naturalist, Arturo Cruz, and two new naturalists, Katie Lutz and Alex Wright. As we hiked, Arturo pointed out plants of interest, discussing the differences between the cloud forest and the forests in San Luis. He also threw out the occasional pop quiz question to Katie and Alex on plant families. I’d say they did a pretty good job.
The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is a protected area of approximately 12,000 acres at around 5,000 ft. elevation. According to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve website, it holds about 2.5% of the worldwide bio diversity, and 10% of its flora is endemic, or native to the particular geographic location.
The reserve is a 10-15 minute car ride from the UGA campus in San Luis and contains 13 kilometers of trails that can be walked independently or with a guide.
Article and photos: Kristy L. Densmore, photojournalism intern