As warm, moisture-laden air from the Carribean is pushed up the mountain ranges of the continental divide, the decrease in air pressure and temperature causes the water in the air to condense, soaking the high mountaintop forests with nearly constant mist and precipitation. Every available surface in these forests - tree trunks, limbs, logs, and even leaves - has been colonized by ferns, mosses, lichens, liverworts, orchids, and bromeliads, which collect water from the mist and shower the forest below. The most famous of the Central American cloud forests is Monteverde.
The forests surrounding Monteverde are a world-renowned birding hotspot; dozens of highland bird species, endemic to the cloud forest, can be found in the parks and preserves of Monteverde. On Saturday, the NPARS team left the Nicoya Peninsula for its annual side-trip to the birding mecca of Monteverde.