La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica
La Selva Biological Station (Estacion Biologica La Selva) was originally founded in 1954 for purely scientific purposes. Since then, it has become a leading research center for Costa Rican ecology and has been opened to the public. Providing some of the most immaculate primary tropical rainforest available, the well-kept trail system extends over 31 miles (50 km) and allows visitors the opportunity for exploring La Selva with a knowledgeable guide.
Visit the station, which is now managed by the Organization for Tropical Studies, to experience the vast contributions the park has made to the scientific and biological community.
There are around 1,000 tree species found throughout the 3,700 acre (1,500 ha) park as well as 420 bird species that reside within the station borders. The reserve is also home to about half of the mammal species found in Costa Rica and the majority of the butterfly varieties. Also, watch out for the 55 species of snakes that slither through the premontane rain forest. Together with Braulio Carrillo National Park, this joint effort in conservation provides an educational opportunity to witness Costa Rica’s ecology up close and personal.
La Selva is located just 2 miles (3 km) south of Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí. From San José, it can be accessed from the Guápiles Highway (Hwy 32). Head east from the capital, then take the Hwy 4 exit passing north through the town of Las Horquetas until you reach the park entrance on the left hand side. Accommodations are available for over-night lodging. Both early-morning and night walks are offered to witness La Selva's diversified nature and wildlife.