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Located in the Sarapiquí rainforest, Selva Verde is a perfect location to immerse yourself totally in tropical nature, surrounded by mantled howler monkeys and keel-billed toucans. 

The combination of comfortable accommodation and rich biodiversity makes this an ideal spot for families, as well as bird and wildlife enthusiasts. The riverside lodge is built on a series of elevated wooden platforms, which are connected by covered wooden walkways that blend in with the rainforest surroundings. This ensures you can move around and stay dry even while it is raining – which happens frequently. Of the two restaurants, one serves predominantly Italian food, the other Costa Rican.

Forty well-appointed rooms are grouped in various blocks spread out over the rainforest site. Each room has a private bathroom with solar-heated water and double sink, desk, clothing rack, ceiling fan and insect-screened windows. Each block of rooms is surrounded by a wide verandah where you can relax in a chair or hammock while watching birdlife in the surrounding forest. Seven superior air-conditioned bungalows are discreetly tucked away in the forest above the botanical garden on the other side of the road from the main part of the lodge and the public areas, but only a short walk away. Back on the main site, a two-roomed house is available for families or small groups. Although the main entrance to the lodge is on a busy highway, the rooms are far enough away to be quiet.

Various guided excursions are offered in the lodge’s own private reserve which lies on the other side of the river and is accessed by a gated suspension bridge; these include a dawn birding walk, a rainforest hike, a night hike – all led by the lodge’s wildlife guides and done in a small group of up to 12 people, although private options are available. You can also arrange trips to other places such as nearby La Selva Research Station, Tirimbina Reserve and Frog Heaven or even further afield as you can hire a lodge vehicle and driver. 

View suggested itineraries

Key info

Wildlife trips

This accommodation is featured in the following itineraries:

Cloud Forests & Mountains

Enjoy the beauty and spectacle of Costa Rica's flora and fauna on this fantastic trip encompassing the best of the country. Exploring rainforests and coastlines, the itinerary is designed to introduce you to the incredible variety of birds, wildlife and plant species to be found in Costa Rica.

  • When to go: Jan-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 14 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £3,445 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Coast to Coast

Travel from coast to coast to understand Costa Rica’s complex mosaic of ecosystems, with the Caribbean and Pacific coastlines offering a great contrast to the interior’s steamy rainforests. This suggested itinerary visits some of the lesser-known parks and includes some relaxation time on the Pacific coast.

  • When to go: Jan-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 15 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £3,395 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Costa Rica Family Adventure

This family trip has plenty of interesting activities to introduce you to tropical wildlife, yet there is also ample time to relax (all hotels have a pool) if you wish. The distances are not great, so you won’t waste time travelling, but have maximum opportunity to enjoy Costa Rica to the full.

  • When to go: Jan-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 16 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £3,395 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
This accommodation is located in:

Sarapiqui

This fascinating lowland area is a good base for exploring Poas Volcano. However the main highlight is La Selva Biological Station, a major research centre for tropical ecosystems. The species diversity here is astounding, with more than 1,850 plants, 448 birds, 70 species of bat and five of Costa Rica’s six felines.

  • Where: Heredia Province
  • Ideal for viewing: ocelated antbird, short-tailed nighthawk, sungrebe, great potoo, great green macaw
  • Excellent for: Birdwatching