This photo of epiphytes growing on a tree branch is typical of the cloud forest. Many trees serve as a host to other plants that grow on their trunks and branches. In some cases, the epiphytes completely cover the host tree.
Epiphytes grow in the cloud forest because there is enough moisture for the epiphytes to live off the rain and humidity, without requiring a root structure below ground. Monteverde is in the central part of the country. It receives enough rain to support the cloud forest vegetation because it receives trade wins from the Caribbean side of the country. The moist air from the Caribbean travels up to the higher elevations, and the air is cooled, releasing moisture in the form of rain. Monteverde is at 5,900 feet (1,800 m.).
In Tamarindo, we are not influenced by the weather patterns from the Caribbean side of the country. The spine of tall mountains in the center of the country provides a barrier, and even hurricanes from the Caribbean side do not cross over to affect us here on the Pacific Coast.