+800-451-7111 For USA and Canadian Guests

   506-2761-1800 For Costa Rican Guests


flogo ylogo

+800-451-7111 For USA and Canadian Guests
+506-2761-1800 For Costa Rican Guests


youtube logo


Welcome to Selva Verde



History of Costa Rica

Costa Rica Eco Travel


It is good to know a little bit about its history before your trip to Costa Rica, so here is a brief history of this peaceful country.

Christopher Columbus, on his fourth voyage to the New World, landed at Puerto Limon in 1502. But because the region lacked significant resources, it escaped the ravages of the Conquistadors.

Costa Rica also avoided the semi-feudal system that so many other Central American countries suffered. Few Indians survived and most of the European settlers worked their own land creating a middle class.

In 1821, Costa Rica declared independence from Spain. They joined the Mexican Empire then the Central American Federation before its dissolution in 1838.

The country experienced several periods of internal strife, most notably in 1919 and 1948. But Costa Rica’s history has mostly been peaceful and its politics democratic, unlike many of its neighbors.


Modern Political History of Costa Rica

The Republic of Costa Rica has had democratically elected presidents since 1949 and is one of the oldest democracies in Latin America. The Executive Power is exercised by the President. The constitution prohibits any army and to maintain peace and order the Civil Guard serves as a police force.

In 1983, Costa Rica proclaimed a formal state of neutrality in world affairs. Oscar Arias Sanchez, who was elected Costa Rica’s president in 1986, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987 for his efforts to bring peace to war torn Central America.


Historical Influences of Costa Rica

The population is largely of Spanish descent and there are fewer mestizos here than in other Central American countries. About 60% of the population lives in rural areas, mostly on small farms.

On your trip to Costa Rica, you will see that the predominant influence is European, reflected in everything from language, Spanish, to its churches and architecture. However, the indigenous influence can still be found in everything from the typical Costa Rican meals to its art and pottery.


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 ...


11 costaricafeb08 131 300x201

The blue-gray tanager

The blue-gray tanager (Thraupis episcopus) is one of about 230 species of tropical and subtropical tanagers, and one of the most common and unmistakable birds in Costa Rica. It is a generalist frugavore (fruit-eater), found in a great variety of different habitats, most often in pairs.

Read More ...

NEWS ( View All )

SVL from above by Philip Behrends

Seen From Above: Selva Verde Lodge & Reserve

Innovative aerial, drone footage of Selva Verde Lodge and Reserve

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.