April 2019

The Heleconias are once again in full bloom.

Recent Reviews

We do like to hear from our visitors. Thank you for sending in reviews on Trip Advisor and Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/cloudbridge.nature.reserve/


Photos of some of our reviewers enjoying their experiences at Cloudbridge.

Trip Advisor Review:

Forget Monteverde, Go Here instead: «I spent two months in Costa Rica and my one day spent at Cloudbridge was hands down one of the absolute highlights. Not only is it not plagued by hordes of tourists like you’ll find at Monteverde/Santa Elena and elsewhere along the tourist path, the scenery is stunning with wild rivers rushing over big boulders, beautiful waterfalls,mountain breezes carrying strange and wonderful spicy smells, an abundance of wildlife (if you’re lucky you might see Quetzals–we did), a network of pretty great trails and barely any other visitors (at least at the time we were there!). Couldn’t recommend it any higher– also the fact that entry is by donation is very attractive: you pay what you felt your visit was worth.»

On that rare occasion that we get a less positive review it is often due to miscommunications or bad timing. An example of this was when some young men drove up to Cloudbridge and didn’t actually find their way to the reserve. They ended up stopping at a reserve down the road where the owners were going to charge $25 to hike. They were upset because they knew that the Cloudbridge entrance is by donation during the week days. They wrote a bad review saying that Cloudbridge should let people know of such a drastic price change. As it turns out they were just at the wrong place. We try hard to explain some of the circumstances or miscommunications that result in those reviews. Please read our responses. We want every visitor to come away with a feeling of total nature enjoyment and nothing less.

Research and Volunteers:

Dara Dunlop from the UK (University of Birmingham) finished her research on Fresh Water Ecology. She studied the benthic macro-invertebrates in 3 streams at Cloudbridge. These are small animals that live on, under, and around rocks and sediment in the streams. Their numbers are dropping rapidly world wide. Even with that dire news she found that the species richness at Cloudbridge was high, and the water quality was good. This could be attributed to the reforestation of the area and few disturbances of human activity.

The three orders that indicate good water quality are; -Ephemeroptera (mayflies), Plecoptera (stoneflies), Tricoptera (caddisflies)
The Sentinal creek was one of the water bodies that she researched.

Our names are Harry Elliott and Charlotte Smith and we both come from the UK. Harry studied Environmental Conservation at Bangor University while Charlotte studied Zoology at Reading University. Since graduating in 2017, Harry has been working as a teacher at a special educational school where he used circus skills and outdoor learning as a form of therapy. Meanwhile, Charlotte interned as a reserve warden with the RSPB, followed by working as an Ecological consultant. We have just finished 3 months working on a project on the small island of Bonaire in the Caribbean, where we coordinated the countries annual roost count for the Yellow-shouldered Amazon parrot. After arriving in Costa Rica we wanted to expand our experience and increase our bird ID skills, and so we decided to come to Cloudbridge. We are conducting a study on Hummingbirds to see how they utilize the habitat within Cloudbridge. We are interested in finding out what plants they feed from, and if this changes between species.


Charlotte Smith

Ellenor Townsend – England

Hi I’m Ellie and I’m from England. I came to Cloudbridge because I wanted an adventure and to do something worthwhile (that was preferably wildlife related). Cloudbridge has more than met those expectations. I’m currently working on the long term butterfly project here and have discovered that butterflies are cunningly deceptive escape artists but well worth the time to study.

Ellie excited in the jungle

My name is Callum McGregor Winter. I am from the UK. The reason I am at Cloudbridge is because this is part of my 6-month internship, that I’m doing with GVI. (Global Vision International) I have already done 3 months prior to coming to Cloudbridge and now I will be studying the abundance of ants at for the next 3 months.

Michal Pawlik – Poland

Hi everybody! My name is Michał but for English speakers just call me Mike! I came a long way from Wrocław, Poland.

I’m one of the new interns, currently working on bird biodiversity in Cloudbridge. I opted for the internship to get more in field experience before I go back to uni and start my Masters degree. In future I would like to work with wildlife as a field biologist so Cloudbridge is a great opportunity for me to test my knowledge, skills and stamina!


Kiana Safford – USA

Hello, my name is Kiana, I’m from Washington State, and I recently graduated with a Bachelors in Biology and a minor in Environmental studies. Before coming to Cloudebridge, I was an intern at Tortuguero National Park for 3 months helping out with forest biodiversity projects within the park. I came to Cloudebridge as an intern to get more field experience in research and to learn more about the Costa Rican wildlife. I love the outdoors, animals, and exploring new environments, so I thought this would be a great opportunity for me to both do what I love and get a feel for what I’d possibly want to do in the future. During my time here I will be recording the bird species diversity in different forest types and hopefully come up with an independent research question to further look into.

Jonathan Slifkin – USA

My name is Jonathan Slifkin and I’m from New York City. I am a bird research intern at Cloudbridge where I will be taking over a long-term survey of mixed species feeding flocks in the reserve. I am a lifelong bird enthusiast, and since graduating from college in 2017 I have spent most of my time traveling the world to see and photograph birds. Working at Cloudbridge is a great opportunity for me to gain experience in research and fieldwork, as well as a great introduction to Neotropical birding.

Jonathan confirmed another bird species! So far he’s found two new species for Cloudbridge in just over a week at the reserve. The Ovenbird was new to the list, and the Canada Warbler had been reported once before, but never confirmed, and now it has been.

Canada Warbler (Cardellina canadensis) Photo by Jonathon Slifkin
Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapilla) Photo by Jonathan Slifkin


Website Update

The moth species list is up on our website. You can find it here: http://www.cloudbridge.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Moth-Species-List-Cloudbridge-14Mar19.pdf

Watch the blog next month for a full report by Exeter University – Moth Diversity at Cloudbridge.

Visits and entrance information:

Cloudbridge has become quite popular and while we appreciate the opportunity to share the wonders of the cloud forest with the public it is reaching the point of being unsustainable on Sundays and holiday weeks.  So effective 15 April 2019 Cloudbridge  has initiated an entrance fee for Sundays and holiday weeks.  In an effort to continue to be accessible to everyone Cloudbridge will continue to be open by donation all days except for Sundays and holiday weeks. Cloudbridge is open every day from sunrise to sunset.

Cloudbridge Fees for Sundays and Holiday weeks:

  • Tourists $7.00 USD or 4,000 colones
  • Children under 16 accompanied by parents Free
  • Costa Rican National Adults 2,000 colones

All other days during the week are still by donation.

Training Annoucement:

3 of our staff from Cloudbridge have previously taken the climate change training through the Climate Reality Project. One of the upcoming sessions is in Minneapolis Minnesota this year. The training will be hosted by chairman and founder, former US Vice President Al Gore. Ken Berlin, the president and CEO of the Climate Reality Project will also be speaking.

We highly recommend this training program if you are at all interested in making positive change happen. The training program is free of charge. You just have to get yourself there. For anyone living in Canada or the northern US this is a great opportunity close by to learn more about climate change and join the project. Applications have to be in by June 19th.



More beautiful photos by Jonathan Slifkin

Bay-headed Tanager
Black-cheeked Warbler
Costa Rican Warbler
Grey-tailed (White-throated) Mountain Gem
Red-headed Barbet

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