+800-451-7111 For USA and Canadian Guests

   506-2761-1800 For Costa Rican Guests

   +352-377-7111 Outside Costa Rica, USA / Canada


flogo ylogo

+800-451-7111 For USA and Canadian Guests
+506-2761-1800 For Costa Rican Guests
+352-377-7111 Outside Costa Rica, USA and Canada


youtube logo


Welcome to Selva Verde





Let Selva Verde be your gateway to discovery, exploration, adventure and excitement! We offer a wide variety of experiences - from quiet nature hikes to exhilarating white water rafting - designed to engage visitors of all ages and interest levels. We invite you to discover our 500 acre reserve and the creatures which call it home. Push the boundaries and explore the surrounding area on foot, by water, or on horseback. Get to know the local community with a visit to the Sarapiquí Conservation Learning Center. Come and experience the out-of-the-ordinary. Experience Selva Verde!


To reserve activities, please read below.



Our lodge is a wonderful place for discovering and learning about the abundant wildlife and biodiversity of the lush tropical rainforest. Choose from a variety of activities on our premises.





Explore the natural splendors of the Sarapiquí Region, both on the grounds of Selva Verde and in the surrounding area. Join our resident naturalists on guided hikes and discover the flora and fauna of the old growth and secondary forest in our 500 acre reserve, take a boat ride on the Sarapiquí River, and visit the nearby parks, reserves and gardens. Our lodge is a wonderful place for discovering and learning about the abundant wildlife and biodiversity of the lush tropical rainforest.




Selva Verde offers exciting adventure activities for the most energetic eco traveler! Experience the wild side of Costa Rica as you raft the Sarapiquí River, ride through the countryside on horseback, and zip line through the rainforest canopy.



family Fun

Having an adventure is thrilling, but it's even more fun to share your adventure with those you love. Share the awe of exploration and discovery with your family, and cherish the memories you will make forever. Selva Verde offers a range of activities suited for every age and that your whole family will enjoy!



culture & Community

Selva Verde is located in the heart of Costa Rica's Sarapiquí region, within the small village of Chilamate and close to the town of Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí. This area of Costa Rica is known for its amazing biodiversity, but it is also home to vibrant communities, banana and pineapple plantations, and the Sarapiquí Conservation Learning Center. We invite you to explore the communities surrounding Selva Verde through our cultural and agro tourism activities.



Selva Verde at night

After darkness falls in the Sarapiquí, a whole new world awakens. If you've still got an itch for adventure after dinner, we've got some options for you. Take a flashlight and explore the nocturnal rainforest, study bats at a science station, or learn some Latin dance steps with local community members!



Birding at Selva Verde

Keel-billed Toucans, Great Green Macaws, Wood Thrushes, Grey-necked Wood Rails, Sun bitterns and Violet Crowned Woodnymphs are just a few of the birds that inhabit the Selva Verde Rainforest Reserve. For decades, Selva Verde has been a birding hotspot - captivating beginner and expert alike.





It is always best to make advance reservations for all of our activities! Most activities may be booked at Selva Verde reception with 24 hours notice. Please make advanced reservations during the high season by CONTACTING US before your visit.

Green Season (May 1 - 31st, Aug 1 - Dec 14th)
High Season (Dec 15 - Apr 30, Jun 1 - Jul 31)

Groups: Traveling with 5 or more people? Please make advance reservations by CONTACTING US.

Special Note: Tips & discretionary gratuities for guides are not included in activity costs.

For Boxed Lunches: Please make arrangements with reception at least 24 hours in advance.


About Selva Verde Lodge & Rainforest Reserve



The Selva Verde Story:
grounds tnSelva Verde's story begins with Giovanna Holbrook and her mission to preserve a patch of Costa Rican rainforest. At one time, Selva Verde’s future was uncertain. Thanks to Giovanna’s efforts, Selva Verde protects nearly 500 acres of tropical forest and is home to one of Costa Rica's premier eco-lodges. Read more...



Selva Verde's Nature is Legendary:
Howler monkeys, red-eyed tree frogs, mot-mots, and kinkajous are just a few of the creatures that call Selva Verde home! The Selva Verde Nature Reserve is refuge to 300+ species of birds, 120 species of mammals, numerous amphibians and reptiles, and countless invertebrates. Selva Verde has earned its reputation as the most accessible rainforest in Costa Rica. Come and experience our abundant biodiversity! Learn more...




Experience Selva Verde:
Do more! Learn more! Be our guest in this magical world. Explore our rainforest, discover our wildlife, raft on our river, and relax in our hammocks. Selva Verde offers visitors unparalleled opportunities for close encounters with nature, exciting adventure activities, and comfortable rainforest accommodations.
Find out more about Selva Verde's ...
Activities: Explore Selva Verde's wild side
Facilities: Discover our Lodge and Grounds



A Sustainable Future for Selva Verde:
What started out as an effort to protect a patch of rainforest has evolved into a vision for a sustainable future – not only for Selva Verde, but also for the people and wildlife that call it home. As a pioneer in the field of ecotourism, Selva Verde continues that tradition through our sustainability initiatives and partnerships. Find out more...

What Do Others Say About Selva Verde? View our Guest Book



Costa Rica Adventure Vacation


Thank-you to our guests for sharing your memories with us! For those of you new to Selva Verde Lodge & Rainforest Reserve, read below to see what past guests and publications have had to say about us. Also, check out our Guestbook and on Trip Advisor entries for more great info on Selva Verde.

We love hearing from you, and invite you to tell us about your visit, either through e-mail (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or on our Guestbook.


Feedback From Past Guests

a"Selva Verde is a wonderful place - beautiful, nice people, good food, and great birding!"
April 2004, Phil & Anne Lewie





"Selva Verde was the best place we visited… We saw a lot of birds, including a hummingbird with two babies sitting on a nest right next to the stairs leading to the dining room. We also saw iguanas, lizards, howler monkeys, and my favorite - a sloth. We enjoyed walking around the adjacent area and on the trails surrounded by beautiful tropical flowers."
May 2004, John & Betty Anderson


a"We enjoyed Selva Verde immensely. Graciano was a superb host to us - thank you!"
May 2003, Eva Niedzielski





"After 4 days here, we now consider Selva Verde our second home! Gilbert, Sadi, Alex, Graciano…all are the most excellent staff imaginable. We look forward to our return next year; maybe we can sign on to teach at the learning center (Sarapiquí Conservation Learning Center)!"
May 2003 Brian & Bernadette Gamboa


a"What a wonderful place to celebrate nature in all its glory!"
April 2004, Yoam Lindgram





"The rooms were well prepared and modest for the rainforest setting. Staff and guides were very attentive and friendly. The guides were very knowledgeable and eager to teach us about the rainforest and birds."
January 2004, The Gopal Family


a"We very much enjoyed our stay at Selva Verde. The facility is beautifully laid out and the staff was courteous and helpful."
April 2003, The Ingram Family





"Thanks for your efforts in creating the Sarapiquí Conservation Learning Center and forest reserve. Costa Rica is no ordinary country and Holbrook is no ordinary company! We didn't want to leave…"

January 2004, Catron Family


"The guide, Giovanni, who led the morning bird walk was excellent!"
December 2003, Tracy Nagakura & Randy Hassom


a"The river rafting level was suitable for our grandchildren ages 6, 7, and 9. We saw the best wildlife on the river!"
August 2003, Robert & Barbara Hauptfuhrer





"Our guide, Alexander was wonderful and really knows his birds, amphibians, and reptiles! We had a great time during our hikes with him."
March 2004, McLuckie Family


"We would go back to Selva Verde in a heartbeat! Beautiful grounds, helpful front desk staff, awesome food!"
January 2004, The Williams Family



Excerpts From Travel Guides

"This private reserve protects 475 acres of lowland rainforest…Miles of trails and boardwalks penetrate the dark forests, where snakes and poison-arrow frogs abound. Bird cries explode like gunshots in the murkey stillness. Blue-and-gold Tanagers, jacamars, motmots, parrots, and toucans are numerous. Selva Verde also offers canoe and horseback trips, plus elegantly simple accommodations."
National Geographic Traveler Costa Rica, 2003


"Selva Verde Lodge is a complex of covered walkways leading to a riverside dining room, and open, airy lounging area with hammocks and a conference room. Its comfortable cabins are raised on pillars to jungle (and bird's nest) level. Selva Verde's owners, long concerned with the well-being of the local community, have established the Sarapiquí Conservation Learning Center, with the only library in the area, a day-care center, and English and environmental education classes."
The New Key to Costa Rica, 2002


"Well over half of Selva Verde's approximately 200 hectares are forested; the rest contain the lodge buildings on attractively landscaped grounds. The main lodge (the River Lodge) has 40 rustic but comfortable double rooms with private hot showers. Large communal verandahs have hammocks and forest views."
Lonely Planet, Costa Rica, 2002


"These are without a doubt, the nicest rooms in the area. They are connected by covered walkways that keep you dry even though this area receives more than 150 inches of rain each year. Meals are served buffet-style in a lovely large, dining room that overlooks the river; they are well prepared and filling."
Frommer's Costa Rica 2002


"Selva Verde ... the Botanical and Butterfly Garden is a delightful resting spot after a long hike."
Traveler's Costa Rica Companion, 2001


"One of the premier rainforest lodges in Costa Rica, if not the Americas ..."
The Rough Guide, 1999


Selva Verde has received a Green Rating from the New Key to Costa Rica for its commitment to environmental education and community support.



Visitor Information Selva Verde

Costa Rica Travel


Here you can find answers to frequently asked questions about Selva Verde. Naturally, feel free to contact us if you have any other questions!

How do I get to Selva Verde?

Please find maps and directions here.


What is there to do in the area?

Selva Verde Lodge and Rainforest Reserve offers you a wide range of activities . Our location also gives you easy access to several national parks, research stations, privately operated reserves, and a variety of fun day trips.



Do the rooms have hot water?

logo sus smallRain or shine our solar panels provide hot water.


Do the rooms have air conditioning?

Our newly renovated Bungalow rooms are now equipped with A/C and are the only rooms with this amenity. All of our other River Lodge rooms offer ceiling fans and wrap around screens in each room providing ample ventilation and a comfortable rainforest experience.


Do you offer laundry service?

Yes, we are pleased to offer laundry services to our guests. The cost, with a 24 hour notice, is $1 per pound of laundry. Laundry bags are provided in each room for your convenience.


Does the lodge offer Internet access to guests?

Yes, on a limited basis. The speed is adequate but there can be times when it is not reliable. Currently there is one computer available for guest use in the TV/Computer room near the front desk and reservations office. Please ask the front desk for assistance.


Is bottled water available for purchase?

Yes, bottled water may be purchased at the Selvita Bar or personal water bottles may be filled at designated refill stations on lodge grounds.


Is drinking water provided?

Yes, purified water dispensers with hot and cold water are available in various locations around the lodge.


What is the weather like in Costa Rica?

All year! Expect more rainfall during afternoon showers from mid-March to early-November and drier conditions from mid-November to late-February. Temperatures remain in the mid-80s to 90s during most of the year.


When is the best time to visit?

Read about Costa Rican weather and other country information here.


Can you help me make other travel arrangements?

Absolutely! Our reservations agents are skilled at customizing your travel adventure throughout COSTA RICA and many OTHER LATIN AMERICAN DESTINATIONS.


Do you offer non-smoking rooms?

All rooms at Selva Verde Lodge are non-smoking.


Is there a conference room available for groups?

Yes, we have a conference room that accommodates 45 people comfortably. Please ask your reservations specialist to reserve a room for your group.


Can I book my room without meals?

Yes, when making reservations, specify your meal request.


Do you offer vegetarian meals?

Yes. Please mention your meal requests when making lodge reservations.


Are there discounted rates for children?

Yes, we are family friendly! Please visit this page for details.


What form of payment do you accept?

When making reservations for lodging, we accept MasterCard, VISA, American Express, Discover Card, and Diners Club in addition to personal or business checks. During your stay, VISA and MasterCard are accepted at the lodge.


How do I make an international phone call?

We have telephones in each room and a phone system which allows for credit card or calling card calls at specified rates. Additionally, pre-paid international calling cards, which may be purchased at established businesses throughout Costa Rica can be used at reception.


Do you offer group discounts?

Yes, we are happy to offer discounts to groups based on size and travel dates. Please speak with our reservation agents for more details.


Do you offer commission to travel agents?

Yes, please speak with our reservation agents about qualifying for agency commission.


What time is check in / check out?

Check in: 2:00 PM
Check out: 12:00 PM - noon


Naturalist Guides

our Resident Experts at selva verde


We are very fortunate at Selva Verde to have two excellent naturalist guides, who share their knowledge and appreciation of the flora and fauna of the rainforest with our guests to provide a true connection with Costa Rican nature and culture. We would like to present our local resident naturalists, Ronald and Iván.



ronald tour guia 300x200Ronald G. JimenezRonald G. Jimenez

My name is  Ronald G. Jimenez Saborio, I am 27 years old, I love nature to work as a naturalist tour guide is thrilling, I like to teach and show to the visitors our beautiful flora and fauna that Selva Verde has to enjoy and watch. I speak Spanish and English. I have just one year being a guide. My father was a hunter and now he is not; so, my mission is to educate the tourists about nature and how we can protect it. I started working at La Fortuna (Volcan Arenal) as a Canopy tour guide then doing different activities such as hikes, ATV tours, ect. Actually I work at Selva Verde and It is a really good place to do it. In my free time I like to take pictures, play footboll, run, read books and walk.



Ivan 300x200José Ivan Castillo GomezJose Ivan Castillo Gomez

José Iván Castillo Gomez grew up in Río Frío de Sarapiquí in Costa Rica's Heredia province, where he attended school surrounded by a banana plantation. After completing high school, in 2003 he trained as a bartender and waiter while also learning English. This course was key for Iván in starting his career in ecotourism; that same year, he began working in Selva Verde's Selvita bar. Five years later, he started working toward his degree in Sustainable Tourism Management. At that time birding was already his favorite hobby, so much so that he was chosen for the naturalist guide training program offered by the Organization for Tropical Studies La Selva Biological Station, where he learned a great deal about the rainforest's natural history. Thanks to this course and his love for nature, he became a member of the freelance guide staffs at La Selva, Tirimbina Biological Station, and Selva Verde.

While working in the Selvita bar, Iván had the opportunity to further his knowledge by engaging with professional naturalists and taking additional natural history courses. In January 2013, he was appointed the head of Selva Verde's naturalist guides. Now he enjoys what he does even more, and learns something new in the forest every day. His pastimes include birding with his wife and friends, nature photography, reading natural history and mountain biking.


Featured Story view all

Nigel MarvenNigel MarvenRegister for Costa Rica’s International Herpetological Symposium, Sept 6-9, 2018

SARAPIQUÍ, COSTA RICA - Costa Rica’s IV International Herpetological Symposium will be held in the lowland tropical rainforests of Sarapiquí, at Selva Verde Lodge and Private Reserve and environs. The Symposium will feature presentations and lectures about herpetology in broad sense by organizations and individuals. Come and learn about new findings and research from all over the Americas and beyond! 

Participantes de habla hispana: Vea el programa completo aquí

Read more ...


Birding at La Selva by Christa Markley

Trip Report: Understanding Costa Rica’s Conservation Success Story

Participants at CRIBC in November learned more about Costa Rica's pioneering ecotourism.


NEWS ( View All )

Bats SVL

The Rediscovery of a Species at Selva Verde Lodge & Reserve

It has been 44 years since Furipterus horrens, aka the Thumbless Bat, has been documented in Costa Rica—and today we are sharing the groundbreaking news of its reemergence at Selva Verde Lodge.

Read more ...


holbrooks 1982 ourstory idx

The Selva Verde Story

Selva Verde began with one woman's dream of preserving nearly 500 acres of endangered tropical forest and the multitude of species that call it home.