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Villa Blanca

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Visiting the Villa Blanca Cloud Forest takes visitors deep into one of Costa Rica’s most beautiful natural gems. The abundant high-altitude forest here seems to grow amongst the clouds, providing homes to a wide variety of plants, insects, birds and mammals, which thrive thanks to the minimal human impact on the area. Despite its proximity to San Jose, the cloud forest here maintains an isolated feel, and a visit here has people feeling serene and in touch with nature in no time.

Within the privately-owned Los Angeles Cloud Forest Reserve, Villa Blanca Cloud Forest is located near the town of San Ramon, and can be reached from San Jose in under two hours. It is easily accessible from the city and yet offers an escape in its purest form.

The landscape within the reserve is covered in lush green vegetation, with mossy undergrowth, tropical flowers, hanging roots and tall tree canopies. Amongst all this growth visitors will certainly be treated to wonderful bird-sightings – there are over 258 species found in the reserve, ranging from brightly-coloured trogons and hummingbirds, to toucans and bellbirds. There are also stable populations of howler monkeys, white-faced monkeys, sloths and coatimundis. Together, these birds, insects and mammals create a forest soundtrack which you are unlikely to experience in any urban environment.

To enjoy the reserve, a number of walking trails have been established on the property ranging from 1.25 miles to 2.5 miles. These can be enjoyed during the day, or at night, when some of the shyer species emerge. There is also a canopy system in place and horse-riding can also be arranged.

Mari spent two days in the Villa Blanca Cloud Forest. Click here to read her blog post.