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One endangered destination you should visit before it's gone

Nov 22, 2011, 8:33 a.m.

Nothing lasts forever. Global warming and urbanization are threatening some of the most beautiful and extraordinary destinations across the globe. Glaciers on the polar caps and in high mountain ranges are melting, forests are being chopped at an alarming rate, and erosion is changing landscapes dramatically. Wildlife is becoming extinct, culturally important structures and landmarks are being destroyed, and even Venice in Italy, famous for its canals, is slowly sinking.

So if you have the opportunity, here's one marvel you absolutely must see before climate change destroys it: The Montverde Cloud Forest Preserve in Costa Rica. This enormous jungle, located in the north of Costa Rica, actually straddles the continental divide at a height of 4,662 feet. The clouds that give the forest its name also provide the flora and fauna with all the water they need to thrive. And until now, a remarkable number of species have thrived there, including 30 different kinds of hummingbirds and an amazing 420 varieties of orchids.

There are a number of accommodations to choose from, including hotels, cabins and rental apartments. One of the most popular organized tours offers a canopy tour that allows you to go ziplining and hike along pathways and hanging bridges. There are also night tours so you can experience the rainforest after sunset, and horseback tours that cover a greater distance than those by foot. Learn more about the Montverde Cloud Forest Preserve and prepare for the trip of a lifetime!

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