Walking through a cloud forest can make you feel like you're in a fairy tale. Trees covered in moss and vines seem to almost glow in the white mist. Everywhere you look, from the forest floor up to the canopy, is bursting with green vegetation in a vast array of textures. You might see a sloth hanging peacefully from a gnarled tree branch, or a brightly colored butterfly flitting by. If you're really lucky (or have a skilful local guide) you might catch a glimpse of a jaguar or ocelot loping silently through the foliage. Cloud forests also provide ideal habitat for many spectacular species of birds, including the elusive resplendent quetzal, making them a top destination for bird watching.
Though cloud forests occur in tropical or subtropical zones, the temperature is relatively cool, usually not exceeding 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius). The pervasive mist and dense canopy softens the sunlight, giving this type of forest a mysterious, enchanting quality – in fact, in some places they are called "elfin forests." Scroll through the photos below and you'll understand why!
Check out these sustainable hotels located in cloud forests: