La Selva Biological Station

The rain forest is a precious thing. Research facilities and nature preserves such as La Selva Biological Stationnot only help protect these valuable resources, they offer people the chance to see the world in its natural state. The nearly six square mile rainforest that surrounds the center is home to more than 500 species of butterflies, 420 types of birds and 460 different types of trees and plants. Spider monkeys, the collared peccary and poison dart frogs are just some of the rare creatures that call La Selva home.

Half and full day walks through the forest are offered, lead by bilingual naturalists. The group is limited to 12 people, giving you a more intimate experience. Walks are roughly 3 ½ hours long, mostly on wood or cement trails and suitable for most fitness levels. Some of the trails are easily accessed by the physically challenged.La Selva Biological StationPrivate tours include the Early Birding Tours that leave at 5:45 am. These are by reservation only and about two hours long. For a totally different experience try one of the Night Tours, also by reservation. These walks leave between 6:00pm and 7:00pm, the best time to listen for the croaking of the forest frogs and the evening songs of tropical birds.

Workshops include the day long Bird Watching 101, teaching about the types of birds in the forest and how to find them and identify them. This workshop gives you a more in-depth education about nesting, reproduction and habitat. Day long classes/seminars are available for scientists as well, offering the chance to do first-hand research in a tropical rainforest.

Cabins, two room family houses and dormitory-style accommodations are offered at La Selva. Meals are served in a family style dining room and box lunches are available. A gift shop, academic center, library and laundry are also onsite.

The research/ecology study center is located in the north-eastern lowlands of Costa Rica about a five minute drive south of Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui. The larger city of San Jose is roughly a two hour drive south. Braulio Carrillo National Park is on La Selva’s southern edge. The most convenient way to get to La Selva is by private car, but there is public bus service between San Jose and Puerto Viego de Sarapiqui. It runs about every two hours between 6:30am and 6:00pm but it’s best to check the schedule. Puerto Viego de Sarapiqui is two miles from the main entrance to La Selva.

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