A Travellerspoint blog

The Twelve Eco-Zones of Costa Rica

Three visits - 1996, 2008 and 2015


View Five Visits to Barbados & Bermuda & 2015 Costa Rica (plus 1996 and 2008) on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

In 1995, when our daughter-in-law said we should drive from Baltimore to Pittsburgh for Thanksgiving, my husband announced that we would go to Bermuda for Thanksgiving and to the Virgin Islands for Christmas. After we got home, and I found that he was serious, I said that I really didn't want to travel at Christmas, but I'd like to go to Costa Rica to see the rainforests in February when it was cold up in the states.

Map of Costa Rica for tourists

Map of Costa Rica for tourists

I knew that in 1947, the biologist L.H. Holdridge introduced a system of classifying vegetation types or "zones" by analyzing combinations of temperature, rainfall, and seasonality. Each zone has a distinctive natural vegetation and ecosystem. Costa Rica has 12 such zones, ranging from tidal mangrove swamps to subalpine paramó, with its stunted dwarf plants above the timberline atop the high mountains. Within the rainforest area, botanists have made distinctions between 30 or so different types of rainforest. The species that live and grow in each type is determined by temperature and rainfall. Tropical evergreen rainforest exists in areas of high rainfall (at least 200 cm) and regular high temperatures averaging no less than 77 deg. F. In Costa Rica, the lush tropical evergreen rainforest of the Caribbean lowlands gives way on the Pacific side to a seasonally dry evergreen forest in the well-watered south, and tropical deciduous forest--dry forest--in the northwest. When I was teaching Science to sixth graders, I found out about the various climate zones and I was anxious to see a zone that does not exist in the U.S.

This trip was taken before I had a digital camera - all the photos were taken with film cameras. Some of these cameras could take a modified panoramic photo. The biggest problem was that in the rainforest it was dark and we needed high speed film, and when we were in boats when it was bright, the high speed film was too fast and photos would be over-exposed. Also all those photos had to be digitized from prints.

Panoramic photo 1996

Panoramic photo 1996

We visited the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica by cruise ship in 2008 in the dry season,

Howler monkey in 2008

Howler monkey in 2008

and our last trip was in 2015 in August (the green season). I had hoped to see turtle nesting in August, but it was not to be. We did have a nice visit

Sloth moving through the trees-2016

Sloth moving through the trees-2016

Posted by greatgrandmaR 17:32 Archived in Costa Rica

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

Comment with:

Comments left using a name and email address are moderated by the blog owner before showing.

Required
Not published. Required
Leave this field empty

Characters remaining: