After our Zip Line adventure we soaked in a natural hot springs pool. I’ve been to many of these in Montana but the thing distinctly unique about this one was its complete lack of any sulfur or other odor and its crystal clear water. Another 2 hours found us on our way to our next destination…….the “Cloud Forest”.
It is easy to understand why Americans fall in love with Costa Rica and chose to retire here. Its constant year round climate of 85 to 70 degrees makes the use of any air conditioning or heating unnecessary. Another notable point is the absolute lack of any hawkers anywhere we visited and the obvious eco minded government policies and people.
We arrived at our hotel, “Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel” shortly after dark. After checking into our rooms and unpacking we had an all natural organic dinner.
If Costa Rica is environmentally conscious this hotel is at the top of the pyramid. Everything served is raised organically on the hotels surrounding farm, meat, eggs, milk, vegetables etc. Composted waste, separation of gray and black water, green houses, maximum use of natural light, worm beds, are just a few of the eco friendly activities going on here. I would venture to say this complex is 90% self sufficient and depends on outside resources for fuel for its farm vehicles and limited electricity. The facility is completely up to date and immaculately maintained however and the menu is outstanding.
Never before heard of a “Cloud Forest”. There is a distinct difference between a cloud forest and a rain forest that is difficult to put to words. Literally the high elevation puts a cloud forest either in the clouds or just skirting the bottom of them. The temperatures are cooler and there is a frequent mist in the air. The forest itself has a much lower canopy and a very different type of fauna. In the rain forest we were told that any square yard of ground contains at least 10 different varieties of plant life, if this is so I would venture to say a square yard of a cloud forest contains at least twice that. Another noticeable difference is the abundance of floral and moss. Orchids are profuse and of several different varieties.
Generally a leisurely day. Breakfast anywhere between 7-10, a scheduled eco talk and tour at 10 and then just the rest of the day to explore any of the many self guided paths through the forest, the farm, get a massage, sauna or just relax. Felt great!