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Rainforest in Costa Rica

By Elma B.

On our trip to Costa Rica, we decided to have a guided tour of the rainforest in Guanacaste. The guided tour consisted of a nearly two hour hike through the rainforest. We were very fortunate to see the enormous diversity with respect to animals, fungi and plants. On our tour, we heard monkeys howling, saw an array of birds, reptiles and plants. 

The variety of wildlife of Costa Rica is abundant because of its geographic location (between North and South American continents), its tropical climate, and a wide variety of habitats (e.g., tropical rainforest, volcanoes, mountains, beaches, etc.). Since Costa Rica (coupled with Panama) is like a bridge that connects North and South America, many species from the two continents have had a chance to mix. In fact, Costa Rica has more than 500,000 species, which makes Costa Rica one of the 20 countries with highest biodiversity in the world.  

Our hike through the rainforest was like a paradise for biologists and photographers. The rainforest was fairly dense so little sunlight actually penetrates to the trails. In fact, most of the wildlife, including snakes and monkeys, are tree top animals. The competition amongst the plants in the rainforest  centers on growing the highest to reach as much sunlight as possible. For details of my trip, please see the photos below. 

Bromeliad Plants 

Fern (Plants Sensitive to Touch)

Roots of the tree grow upwards to catch light

Tarzan-Like Branches 
Fungi in the rainforest 
Heliconia Flowers
 (found everywhere in Costa Rica and sold in countries like the U.S. for about $20)

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