Sunday, May 5, 2013

Review: Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and Curi Cancha Wildlife Reserve

We had two full days in the Monteverde region and I had prearranged guided nature tours of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and the Curi Cancha Wildlife Reserve through G Adventures. As is typical of the quality of the guides used by G Adventures, our guide was wonderful. Marcela Morales (506 8391-3806, was friendly, knowledgeable and accommodating.

Although we were supposed to have group tours, our tour of Monteverde ended up private and our Curi Cancha tour had only one other gentleman ... so almost private. The tours were wonderful. Marcela gave us a 90 percent certainty that she would be able to find a Resplendent Quetzal for us and she followed through on her promise. Many people travel to Monteverde to see this bird and not all are successful in finding it. Not only did we see several pairs, we also were able to watch a pair work on a nest.

Monteverde and Curi Cancha are very different in spite of their close proximity. Monteverde is a true cloud forest with densely packed trees and foliage, lots of moss and bromeliads, and very dark and damp, with very little sunlight filtering down to the ground.

Curi Cancha is a few hundred feet lower and is more open. Brilliant sunny spaces and trees spaced far apart ... which made it a lot easier for Jerry to get that Quetzel shot (above).

I highly recommend both preserves because of their contrasts. And definitely go with a guide. The guides all carry large scopes and know how and where to look for the wildlife. For instance, the Quetzel pair making a nest will probably remain in that same spot for quite a while. Now knowing where it is, Marcela will be able to take her next tour directly to the location, providing them a great experience. If you go on your own, unless you are lucky and trip over a guide pointing something out, you probably won't spot it.

More than once Marcela showed she was there for us. We used her scope, she answered all of our questions and she waited patiently until Jerry finally decided he had enough pictures ... even to the extent of pointing out other vantage points for what might be a better shot. Quite interesting was the moment when a hiker on his own asked Marcela a question. Jerry and I both noticed that Marcela totally ignored him.

She was ours!

No comments: