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Costa Rica Attractions / Northern Region / La Selva Research Station


La Selva Biological Research Station

La Selva Biological StationAt the confluence of two major rivers in the Caribbean lowlands of northern Costa Rica, La Selva comprises 1,600 hectares (3,900 acres) of tropical wet forests and disturbed lands. La Selva was originally established in 1954 by Dr. Leslie Holdridge, as a farm dedicated to experimentation on mixed plantations for the improvement of natural resources management. It was purchased in 1968 by the Organization for Tropical Studies and declared a private biological reserve and station. Since then, it has become one of the most important sites in the world for research on tropical rain forest.
La Selva repesents one of the most important science institutions for investigation of tropical ecosystems in the world thanks to its laboratorys, Geographic Information System (GIS), meterological dates, herbarium, the digital database Flora, extends trails and the enormous forest reserve which borders on the National Park Braulio Carrillo.

  • Different habitats: primary tropical forest with easy access, agricultural land of regeneration and an arboretum.
  • Hosts more than the half of the 886 of the bird species in Costa Rica.
  • Hosts more than five of six cat species in the country.
  • Hosts more than 70 types of bats.
  • Hosts more than 1,850 types of root plants.
  • Every year more than 350 researchers from 25 countries are visiting La Selva to study the rainforest.
  • The accomplished studies have resulted in the publication of more than 2,655 scientific articles.
  • Billingual biological naturalist guides are guidingĀ  walks on a daily basis in order to explore the tropical wet forest. The 61km (37,28 miles) of trails are well maintained, some of them are even accesible for disabled.


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