The tropical forests of Costa Rica are densely packed not only with diverse fauna but also an astonishing variety of plant species, far more than can be found in North America or Europe.
This is due to a combination of warm, wet weather conditions, little interference from humans and a huge diversity of habitats stretching from coastal mangrove swamps up to cloud forests in the mountains.
The most famous cloud forest is the damp and misty Monteverde reserve, jammed with mossy trees, ferns, bromeliads, orchids and all manner of flowering plants.
If you prefer a drier forest tour then try hiking the relatively dry forests on Costa Rica’s northwest coast where the dry season creates a light and airy forest as some trees shed their leaves and other erupt in spectacular flowers.
Costa Rica’s national tree is the Guanacaste, which has a broad shady canopy.
A striking but unknown plant in the Arenal region. Photo by Gabriele Kothe Heinrich.
Calceolaria Tripartita photo by Gabriele Kothe Heinrich. I’m glad Gabriele identified this plant – and not on April 1st – because I still can’t believe those are not plastic lemon squeezers. They were found on the Cordillera de Talamanca, Savegre valley at about 2300 m.