Natural History Visitors – La Selva

General Information

La Selva has been a pioneer site in Education, Research, Conservation and Eco-tourism in Costa Rica since 1953 and one of the first private protected areas in the country; is located in the Caribbean foothills of Costa Rica and comprises 1,614 hectares (3,988 acres) of old growth and disturbed tropical wet forest. Species diversity is spectacular, including more than 2,080 varieties of plants, 420 species of trees, 467 species of birds (representing more than 50% of the species in the country), and approximated 700 species of ants.

La Selva is one of the world’s most important sites for tropical ecosystem research. The Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) aims to ensure that natural history visitors have a high-quality experience and learn about La Selva and OTS’ mission. OTS also works to guarantee that local people benefit from the ecotourism in Costa Rica.

Knowledgeable bilingual naturalists’ lead daily nature walks to explore life in the tropical rain forest on 16 km (26 miles) of paved well-maintained trails, some of which are accessible to the physically challenged. Overnight visitors can walk by themselves anytime, as a day visitor is mandatory to go with a guide in one of our daily tours.

Climate

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.

Species list

If you want to know more about the species list of our Research Stations please click here.

Location

Zone: Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí, Heredia, Costa Rica.
Distance from San José: 80km. Only 1.5 hours driving.
Getting there: 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. For public buses, call Transportes Caribeños (Gran Terminal del Caribe) Ph: (506) 222-0610 Central Street, between 13th & 15Th ave. Buses leave San José to Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí approximately every two hours between 6:30 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Phones: San José Tel. + (506) 2524-0607 (ext. 1340), Fax. + (506) 2524-0608. La Selva Tel. + (506) 2766-6565, Fax. + (506) 2766-6535
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Image gallery

Lodging

We offer cabins equipped with one single bunk bed and one single bed, private bath, fan, and balcony. We also have family houses totally equipped with kitchen, two rooms, private bath, and terrace; and dormitory-style rooms with bunk beds, and shared baths.

Meals

The food is served in our family-style dining room with capacity for up to 130 people. Vegetarian food is a daily option and we are prepared for food restrictions and also handle the take-away mode.

Regular Tours

Day visits

Half day and full day guided walks schedule daily at 8:00am and 1:30pm. Excellent bilingual naturalists lead the walks that give a glimpse of the leading-edge research conducted at La Selva as well as the Natural History of the Tropical Rain Forest. A maximum group size is 12 people per guide. Each walk is approximately 3 hours, principally on cement or wood trails suitable for people of all ages. Some trails are accessible for the physically challenged.

Private Tours

Early Birding Tours

La Selva Biological Station is one of the fineness places for bird watching in Costa Rica. Our excellent trail system and our knowledgeable naturalist guides would lead birdwatchers through a variety of habitats, from dense primary rain forest to open pasturelands. Walks are offered at 5:45am previous reservation for 2 hours.

Night Tours

Lead by our excellent naturalist guides, visitors would search for bright shinny eyes, listen to the calls of frogs, and the singing of birds. Discover the variety of the night wildlife –birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles which are also seen at late afternoon. Walks are offered at 7:00pm previous reservation for 2 hours.

Workshops

Do not forget to consult for our workshops on different topics, created especially for groups and with the quality that characterizes us.

Boat Tours

Explore the wildlife in a boat tour on the Sarapiquí River, duration 2 hrs.

Custom-Design Itineraries

A new and exciting way of adventure… seek the thrill of exploring Costa Rica’s tropical rainforest with one of the world’s leading institutions in education and research of tropical science, the Organization for Tropical Studies.

Others

Gift Shop, laundry service and an academic center.

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. Most of these items are also found on our gift shop.

Recommendations

  • Our dinning facilities serve meals according to a schedule and to the number of people expected to attend to each service. Please provide us with your arrival time so that we can serve you better.

  • The use of sandals or walking barefooted is not permitted on the trails for safety reasons. Entrance might be prohibited by the administration of the station if this rule is not follow.

  • Manipulating species (flora and fauna) is not allowed in our biological stations for both conservation and safety reasons.

  • Children must come accompanied by a responsible adult that must supervise them at all times.

  • Overnight visitors can walk by themselves anytime our paved trails, as a day visitor is mandatory to go with a guide in one of our daily tours.

Special Warnings

If you are hypersensitive to insects, bees or wasps, always carry a sting kit with you.

Nearby Attractions

  • White water rafting Sarapiquí or Pacuare River
  • Chocolate Tour
  • Pinneaple Tour
  • Canoe Rides
  • Butterfly Garden
  • Frog and Snake Gardens
  • Horse back riding
  • Canopy and rapel

Read our Reservations
and Cancellation Policies

Our rooms:

Standard:

 

Family House:

Regular Season
(from December 15, 2018 to April 30, 2019 and June 1 to August 31, 2019)

Standard Room – Full Board

Single occupancy $105
Double occupancy $180
Additional person $67
5-12 years old children $38
Family House – Full Board

Four people $280
Notes: Rates per night in US Dollars, taxes included. Includes: Lodging, full board and one regular guided walk per stay for three hours at 8:00 am or 1:30 pm. The guided walk must be coordinated with reservations or front desk at check in time. Meals schedule: Breakfast from 6:00 am to 7:30 am, Lunch from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm, Dinner from 6:00 to 7:00 pm. CHECK IN: 3:00 pm, CHECK OUT: 12:30 pm

 

Standard Room – Breakfast only

Single occupancy $72
Double occupancy $124
Additional person $46
5-12 years old children $26
Family House – Breakfast only

Four people $185

 

Notes: Rates per night in US Dollars, taxes included. Includes: Lodging, breakfast and one regular guided walk per stay for three hours at 8:00 am or 1:30 pm. The guided walk must be coordinated with reservations or front desk at check in time. Breakfast from 6:00 am to 7:30 am. CHECK IN: 3:00 pm, CHECK OUT: 12:30 pm

 


Green Season
(valid for May, September, October, November, Dec 1 to 14, 2019)

Standard Room – Full Board

Single occupancy $90
Double occupancy $152
Additional person $56
5-12 years old children $32
Family House – Full Board

Four people $227

 

Notes: Rates per night in US Dollars, taxes included. Includes: Lodging, full board and one regular guided walk per stay for three hours at 8:00 am or 1:30 pm. The guided walk must be coordinated with reservations or front desk at check in time. Meals schedule: Breakfast from 6:00 am to 7:30 am, Lunch from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm, Dinner from 6:00 to 7:00 pm. CHECK IN: 3:00 pm, CHECK OUT: 12:30 pm

 

Standard Room – Breakfast only

Single occupancy $60
Double occupancy $104
Additional person $39
5-12 years old children $22
Family House – Breakfast only

Four people $156

 

Notes: Rates per night in US Dollars, taxes included. Includes: Lodging, breakfast and one regular guided walk per stay for three hours at 8:00 am or 1:30 pm. The guided walk must be coordinated with reservations or front desk at check in time. Breakfast from 6:00 am to 7:30 am. CHECK IN: 3:00 pm, CHECK OUT: 12:30 pm

 


Guided walks
(from December 15, 2018 to December 14, 2019)

Regular Short Walk (3 hrs) $35
Regular Short Walk Children $28
Regular Long Walk (6 hrs) $45
Regular Long Walk Children $33
Notes: Rates per person in US Dollars from 1 to 10 pax. Please take into consideration that the time of the walk might change according to weather. Available hours at 8:00 am and 1:30 pm (you must be there 15 minutes before to check in). Regular Long walk divided in three hours AM and three hours PM.

 

Private Short Walk 1 pax $80
Private Short Walk 2-10 pax $28
Private Long Walk 1 pax $90
Private Long Walk 2-10 pax $60
Notes: Rates per person in US Dollars. Please take into consideration that the time of the walk might change according to weather. Always according with availability. The regular tours rate Children apply also for Private Tours.

 

Regular Early Birding 2-10 pax $50
Regular Early Birding Children 5-12 years old $33
Private Early Birding 1 pax $90
Private Early Birding 2-10 pax $58
Notes: Avifauna of La Selva at 5:45 am for two hours. Rates per person in US Dollars. Always according with availability must be coordinated with reservations or front desk (before 5:00 pm). The regular early birding tour rate for Children apply also the Private Tour.

 

Regular Nocturnal Wildlife Walk 2-10 pax $50
Regular Nocturnal Wildlife Walk Children 5-12 years old $33
Private Nocturnal Wildlife Walk 1 pax $90
Private Nocturnal Wildlife Walk 2-10 pax $58
Notes: A night tour to watch the Research Station wildlife at 7:00 pm for two hours. Rates per person in US Dollars. Always according with availability must be coordinated with reservations or front desk (before 5:00 pm). The regular night walk rate for Children apply also the Private Tour. Remember to bring flashlights; you will meet the guide at the dining hall.

***Rates are subject to change***

Request Reservation

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OTS´s commercial activities are handled by ESINTRO, S.A.
For information and reservations: visit.ots@tropicalstudies.org
Costa Rica (506) 2524-0607 (ext. 1340) | Fax (506) 2524-0608
United States (919) 684 5774 | Fax (919) 684 5661

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