La Selva, biological station

24-31 January 2019

This place, which is one of the four OTS research stations in Costa Rica (The Organization for Tropical Studies), is a true paradise !

This station borders the Braulio Carillo National Park and has miles of trails that you can hike as you want, day or night. Everything is in harmony, you can expect to see most of the species of birds and mammals visible in this country, at least at this latitude and altitude. Although the center is open to ordinary tourists and birdwatchers, these student-led groups stay towards the center. It is true that just around the reception you can already observe dozens of species of birds. Once in the heart of the forest, you will meet only passionate students, or no one. At the reception, you will be provided with a map of the forest trails, some advice and the opening hours of the canteen.

The small houses for tourists are a 15-minute walk away or a 5-minute drive via a track that bypasses the reserve. Beware, however, that the short walk usually turns into several hours of thrilling observations and you might miss your meal!

We observed, among others, our only anteater of the trip, the Tamandua of Mexico, as well as a Red brocket, a small forest ungulate.


Potentially, all the Cats in the country are also observable in La Selva and a large diversity of Reptiles and Amphibians. Unfortunately, despite the fact that we were in the rainy season, climate change was well underway and the drought did not bring out the Amphibians and Snakes; apart from the ubiquitous lancehead, they were relatively shy during our noctural wanderings…


At the edge of the river, on the path named STR, we observed a splendid display of Sunbittern, as well as Black Phoebe, Purple-throated Fruitcrow, White-fronted Nunbird, Tiny awk, etc…


In summary, this place is one of the most amazing sites we have had the chance to discover in Costa Rica and it is one of the places we would happily return to!


The other visited regions:


-Arenal Volcano and Heliconias Rainforest Lodge (Red-eyed treefrog and other tropical beauties)

- Palo Verde National Park and Rancho Humo (Pacific coast dry forests and swamp)

- Tarcoles river and Carara National Park (American crocodile)

- Osa peninsula, Punta Marenco (dream beaches)

- Osa peninsula, La Tarde (our favorite place! Sloth and snakes)

- San Gerardo de Dota (Quetzal and magic mountain forests)

- El Copal biological reserve (Lots of Tangaras and very big Terciopelo)

- Cahuita National Park (tropical beaches, racoons and poison frogs)

- Selva Bananito (snakes portraits and few nice birds)

- Tortuguero National Park (little Amazonia)