Active + Adventure

Travel's Most Endangered Places

by Peter J. Frank

CENTRAL AMERICA'S CLOUD FORESTS

Where: Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve, Costa Rica

What's at stake: Those impressed by natural beauty will be awed by the sheer scale and lushness of this Central American landscape, which is deteriorating due to climate change and deforestation. Located in the northern part of the country, it's a high jungle straddling the Continental Divide and home to an astonishing number of species, including 30 kinds of hummingbirds and 420 types of orchids. Several species of frogs have already disappeared from the ecologically rich nature preserve in recent years, including the beloved Monteverde harlequin frog. (He's a cute little bugger.) Even the clouds themselves, which provide the forest with life-sustaining moisture, are reportedly dissipating due to deforestation.

Get thee to: The hotel El Establo, tucked away in the misty cloud forest; it provides the best view of the scenery in addition to creature comforts like a heated pool, Internet access, and tennis courts. This may be the only time on vacation that you'll be relieved to experience yet another cloudy day.

For more information:
Friends of the Monteverde Cloud Forest

Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve
Tel: 506 2645 5122

El Establo Hotel
Tel: 877 623 3198 (toll-free)
Tel: 506 2645 5110
Doubles from $187

NEXT: Hanging out with the swingers >

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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