The Cloud Forest in Monteverde completely exceeded my expectations of its magic and beauty. Being in deep in the forest, surrounded by some of the greatest biodiversity on the planet is pure bliss. My favorite part was definitely the bird watching, especially the beautiful quetzal, as well as the hanging bridge; despite my extreme fear of heights.
One of the super interesting parts of the tour was having a local Costa Rican as a tour guide and hearing his point of view on the Quaker settlement. It was so cool to see the two’s different perspectives. The Quaker people did do a lot to protect the conservation of the beautiful area, as we learned from Don Ricardo, such as building the lovely hanging bridge. However, they also did some damage. For example, they brought different invasive plants and diseases into the forest that was not previously there. The Quaker settlement in Monteverde was definitely known and made obvious, in both good and bad ways.
While I am sure the Costa Rican people are thankful for the abundance of visitors to their natural beauties, such as the Cloud Forest, due to economic purposes; I know the amount of tours taken and people in the forest has caused some harm. I am sure there is trash left behind or biodiversity stepped on and killed due to the large amount of people piling through the forest every single day. I think the local Costa Ricans, especially Monteverde, are extremely generous with sharing the wonders and beauties of their area. So, as tourists, we need to respect the people and the land and not take their generosity for granted. I am so excited to have visited such an incredible place, I will definitely be back again.