There are very few places left on earth where you can closely connect with nature.  The Mashpi Rainforest Biodiversity Reserve is one of those places. Set over 3000 feet above sea level, the Mashpi Reserve is home to a plethora of plant species, including hundreds of orchid species. Many of these are actually newly discovered. There are also approximately 500 species of birds, including about 36 endemic species. Other wildlife that inhabits the Mashpi is puma, peccaries and monkeys. This rainforest is full of life and is truly a treat to explore.

The Mashpi Rainforest Biodiversity Reserve hosts a number of different ways to explore the rainforest. You might want to consider going on a canopy gondola adventure. This is a remarkable experience as it provides the opportunity to explore different areas of the reserve at a slower pace. The gondola cable system extends about 1¼ miles between two boarding stations. This is a very relaxing way to take in the beauty of the reserve.

If you want a more “down and dirty” rainforest adventure, you might want to take a nature trail tour. The two main trails at the reserve are the Howler Monkey and Cucharillo. Both of these trails link of to the canopy gondola system. Nature guides will lead the way, pointing out all of the flora and fauna around you. You will want to prepare yourself for one of these trails, as due to the landscape of the Mashpi they are very rarely flat. The nature trails are a great way to get an up close and personal experience with the rainforest.

While there is a ton to see during the day, the Mashpi transforms at night. Compared to the daytime, there is much more activity at night. There are night walks available for those who wish to explore the Mashpi at night and discover the nocturnal inhabitants of the forest.  Be ready to encounter owls, tree frogs, rodents, mammals and even a fungus that glows in the dark.

For a taste of what the Mashpi is really like, check out this video. It will have you wanting to plan a trip as soon as possible!

Costa Rica means “rich coast” and the country truly lives up to its name. It has a wonderful climate, an advantageous geographic position, and its rich natural resources. If you are a nature lover, you will definitely want to pay this country a visit. The local wildlife is often the main reason why people from all over the world travel to this tropical paradise.

Costa Rica holds two very important titles: first in the Happy Planet Index and most “green” country. The country plans to be carbon neutral by 2021. The people of Costa Rica call themselves “Ticas” are very proud of their country and are very committed to keeping it healthy. They fiercely protect their land and wildlife. As one of the most bio diverse countries in the world, Costa Rica is home to approximately 500,000 species. Many of these can be seen in person at Manuel Antonio National Park, Santa Rosa National Park, or one of the other beautiful parks in the country.

Some of the species that can be found here are scarlet macaws, quetzals, marine turtles, toucans, monkeys, crocodiles, iguanas, snakes and many more.  In terms of sea life, you can usually see dolphins, whales, sharks, jellyfish, manatees and starfish. Some animal species, like the jaguar and tapir, are very elusive and rarely seen by visitors. To maximize the amount of wildlife you will see, it is ideal to have a naturalist guide as they are trained how to find the-hard-to-spot animals like sloths.

Butterfly lovers will be delighted by the amount of butterflies in Costa Rica. There are over 1,250 species of butterfly and 8,000 species of moths in this country and they play an important role in its biodiversity. They also give an interesting look into how the animals and insects of Costa Rica can adapt to their surroundings to survive. For instance, swallowtail caterpillars disguise themselves as bird droppings to hide from predators.

Traveling to Costa Rica will give you an experience like no other, especially if you are a nature lover! Take advantage of the opportunity to see some of the most wonderful native wildlife in the world.

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