La Selva Biological Station
At the confluence of two major rivers in the Caribbean lowlands of northern Costa Rica, La Selva comprises 1,600 hectares (3,900 acres) of tropical wet forests and disturbed lands. It averages 4 m (over 13 feet!) of rainfall that is spread rather evenly throughout the year.

Located within the tropical and premontane wet forest, the Station has about 73% of its area under primary tropical rain forest.

La Selva was originally established in 1954 by Dr. Leslie Holdridge, as a farm dedicated to experimentation on mixed plantations for the improvement of natural resources management. It was purchased in 1968 by the Organization for Tropical Studies and declared a private biological reserve and station. Since then, it has become one of the most important sites in the world for research on tropical rain forest. Over 240 scientific papers are published yearly from research conducted at the site.

Discover the biodiversity of lowland tropical rainforest at this internationally renowned research station. With its state-of-the-art laboratories, on-line geographic information system, extensive trails, and large forest reserve bordering Braulio Carrillo National Park, La Selva is one of the world's most important sites for tropical ecosystem research. Each year, more than 250 scientists from some 25 countries and thousands of international students come to La Selva to study tropical ecology. La Selva is located in the Caribbean lowlands of Costa Rica and comprises 1,513 hectares (3,739 acres) of old growth and disturbed tropical wet forests. Species´ diversity is spectacular, including more than 1,900 species of plants, 330 species of trees, 436 species of birds, and 450 species of ants. Showy birds, such as toucans, parrots, trogons, and hummingbirds, and mammals, including monkeys, peccaries, agoutis, and coatis, are seen frequently.

· Guided walks on well-maintained trails thru an amazing tropical wet forest, lead by excellent bilingual naturalists.
· Early Birding Tour (Ideal for birdwatchers)
· Night Tour
· Hiking
· Bicycling
· Workshops/Lectures on specific selected topics
· Boat Tours on the Sarapiquí or Puerto Viejo Rivers

Rates per person
Valid thru:
Dec /15/03 - Dec /14/04
Single US$78
Double US$67.50
Additional person US$56
Children 5 to 12 years old US$21
These rates include:
1 night of lodging, three meals, local taxes, and one guided walk per stay.
Rates per person
Valid thru:
Dec/15/03 - Dec/14/04
Full day adult US$40
Half day adult US$28
Full day children (5-12 years) US$25
Half day children (5-12 years) US$15
These rates include:
Regular guided walks are offered at 8:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Guided Walks for birding are scheduled at 6:00 p.m. and night walks at 7:00 p.m., for a minimun of 4 pax , upon request.
Reservation Request Form
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Half day walk
Full day walk
Birding Tour
Night Walk

Tel:(506)771-4582 Fax: (506)771-8841

Balcony Room
Swimming Pool Boat
Swimming Pool Boat
Swimming Pool Boat

Day Visits
Natural history visitors can visit for the day by participating in half-day walks available with or without transportation from San Jose. "Experience La Selva" departs at 6:30 a.m. and includes lunch and round-trip transport. Excellent bilingual naturalists lead the walks that give a glimpse of leading-edge research conducted at La Selva as well as education and conservation activities carried out by the Organization for Tropical Studies.
For visitors arriving on their own, reservations are not necessary but are advisable, as maximum group size is 12 people per guide. Half-day walks are scheduled for 8:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. daily. Furthermore, we offer walks at 6:00 am (Early Bird) and night walks at 7:00 pm.(you must make reservations for these walks). Visitors should arrive at least 15 minutes early. Each walk is approximately 3 1/2 hours, principally on cement or wood trails suitable for people of all ages. Some trails are accessible for the physically challenged. La Selva also offers Birdwatching 101, an introductory course to the diverse avifauna of Costa Rica, at 8 a.m. on Saturdays, to a minimum of 5 people.

Overnight Visits
For overnight visits, on a space available basis, lodging is in dormitory-style rooms that contain six beds, each two rooms sharing a hot-water bath. Rates include lodging, three meals per day, and a half-day guided walk. Meals are served in the cafeteria at set hours (6 a.m., 12 noon, 6 p.m.). Food is wholesome and traditional Costa Rican with vegetarian offerings available. Box lunches can also be arranged. There is a self-service laundromat.

While temperature variation is slight year round, daily temperatures can fluctuate from 19°C (66°F) to 31°C (88°F). The climate is tropical wet, with an average annual rainfall of 4 meters (13 feet). Although rain nourishes the forest throughout the year, the rainiest months are July, November, and December.

Location and Getting There
La Selva is at 1½-hour drive from San José. Take the Guápiles Highway through Braulio Carrillo National Park. After approximately 35-45 minutes of driving, you will pass over the Río Sucio. Continue for 7 km, turn left following the sign to Puerto Viejo, and continue for approximately 30 km more. The La Selva entrance is 3 km south of Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí. OTS operates a shuttle service from San José to La Selva each Monday at 7 am and from La Selva to San José each Monday at 3 pm. The shuttle is available on a space basis and costs $10. Call the OTS San José office for more information on this shuttle or to arrange a private taxi (cost is about $60 one way). Public buses (Calle 12, Av. 9 and 11, antigua parada de Puntarenas) leave San José to Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí approximately every two hours between 6:30 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Things to Take
Prescription medicines as needed, good walking shoes, hot weather clothes, insect repellent, umbrella or rain jacket, flashlight, binoculars, sun screen, film and camera extra batteries, plastic bags to keep film/paper dry.

Special Warnings
Visitors must be alert for venomous snakes, which are abundant and may appear anywhere. In addition, watch out for large stinging ants whose sting is very potent and lasting. If you are hypersensitive to insects, bees or wasps, always carry a sting kit with you.