Adventures, Arenal, and Alberto!

They’re a lot of similarities between the cloud forest in MonteVerde and the hanging bridges of Arenal. To start, they are both huge tourist attractions for each respective area. They also act as tools for conservation for local ecosystems. Speaking of, these areas both are home to tons of wildlife and are extremely biodiverse. This includes vegetation, as well. The amount of different plants in both areas is dumb founding. Next, they are both highly elevated. Both are thousands of feet in altitude, and are very high above sea level. Finally, both face climate change and all of its repercussions. Both will lose a lot of animals and trees if something isn’t done. On the other hand, they’re some notable differences between the two. One of the most clear is their location. One is located at the foot of a volcano, and one is located in the misty clouds of a mountain. Another difference is the weather of these areas. The cloud forest deals with constant mist, wind and rain. And the hanging bridges deal with the normal everyday weather of the area. Lastly, the final notable difference between the two is how rare cloud forests are versus hanging bridges. To clarify, you can find a hanging bridge in almost every country, but you can’t find a cloud forest as often. Cloud forests are extremely rare and this is often forgotten. Cloud forests cannot be replaced and a bridge can.

Moving forward, for our lecture today we learned about some of the key facts to understanding ecotourism. For that I’d like to thank Alberto Rico Urones who taught us everything we needed to know. Some of the things he taught us really made me understand why tourists are so drawn to Arenal. For one, it’s credible. Arenal is a popular volcano site and because of this its name holds weight. Another reason has to deal with the excitement of the location. Who wouldn’t want to visit hanging bridges at the base of a volcano? This “danger” makes the activity stand out to tourists passing through the area. The final reason has to do with its beauty. The placement of the bridges provides people with scenic views, awesome plants, and a bunch of wild animals roaming all around. Arenal really is perfect when it comes to ecotourism! Next, we learned how tourism companies have responded to the pandemic, and the answer is that they struggled. A lot of these companies really had no one coming to visit, so they had to come up with new ways to attract visitors. This is why there has been a huge surge in adventure activities like zip lining,white water rafting, etc. By doing this companies could get locals to visit the new sites, and when travel picked up a whole new rebranding towards the market. Finally, we learned how these adventure tours dealt with supply challenges. The biggest challenge in specific is the demand for workers. In most cases workers have to deal with a language barrier between English speaking tourists and their native Spanish. Obviously, this makes the hiring process a little more difficult than just looking for someone who knows the area. Overall, today was a really fun and adventurous day action packed with new places and new people.

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