Selva Verde Lodge
Just off the main road at Chilamate, the long established and well-run lodge is quite large and attracts birdwatching groups and individuals to its splendid riverside location by the impressive Sarapiqui River. The simple yet comfortable rooms are of wood construction and set in small blocks reached by covered walkways lined with tropical garden plants such as heliconia and wild ginger. Each room has comfortable double or twin beds, ceiling fan, safety deposit box, hair dryer, desk and private bathroom with solar powered hot water. There are also five seclude bungalows and a special suite suitable for large families.
There are trails near the lodge for independent walking, private primary and secondary forest reserves, a swimming pool, a conference room, a butterfly garden and a library of natural history books. Rafting trips on the Sarapiqui, both white-water and gentle, are available and can reveal much of the wildlife interest.
Otters have been seen hunting from the upstairs dining room, where typical Costa Rican meals are served buffet-style: there is also an a la carte restaurant on the ground floor serving pizza and other dishes. Many birds (400 species), mammals, butterflies (700 species) and poison-dart (dendrobates) frogs are found around the lodge and in the 530 acres primary rainforest reserve, reached by a bridge across the river.
The separate La Selva rainforest reserve and research station can be explored on booked visits. This reserve encompasses more than 1500 hectares including a variety of ecosystems characteristic of the wet lowland tropical zone. It forms part of a much larger protected area that includes the Braulio Carrillo National Park and is particularly good for sightings of three- and two-toed sloths, spider monkeys, peccaries, toucans and macaws.
Private bathrooms, solar powered hot water, ceiling fan, writing desk, safety deposit box, hair dryer, restaurant, bar, lounge, gift shop, conference room, swimming pool and laundry service.
Both three-toed and two-toed sloths are particularly abundant in the forest and all four primates (squirrel, howler, spider and capuchin monkeys), peccaries, iguanas, turtles, macaws, toucans and 400 bird species are also present. Night walks regularly reveal kinkajous, woolly opossums, poison dart frogs (also seen by day), snakes and owls.
Guided nature and bird walks are the main activities. There are more adventurous ones such as white water rafting, canoeing, gentle river rafting, horse riding and zip lining, and cultural activities such as visits to local communities and a chocolate making factory.
The self-guided trails here are excellent: take it slowly and look for the smaller things. You’ll discover a wonderful miniature world of poison dart frogs, leaf-cutter ants, stick-insects etc. You can independently explore the secondary forest on the lodge’s side of the river, but you can’t cross the bridge to the primary rainforest reserve without a guide, so book at the reception.
If you have any questions regarding our Costa Rica tours, please feel free to contact me on +44 (0)1803 866965
You will be pleased to hear that [our] party returned safely from Costa Rica… We had a most wonderful holiday. All the arrangements made for us came up trumps. The drivers always arrived early [and] were keen to stop and show us any wild life they spotted as we travelled, also were able to identify any bird we had pointed out. All guides were excellent and eager to share their knowledge. As for rain we did not see a drop and had two days of being able to see the top of Arenal…We were impressed by [your representatives], and I found [them] to be most helpful.