Selva Verde Lodge

• Introduction:

Selva Verde Lodge is a  classic among the Costa Rica birding lodges. The lodge is truly immersed in the tropical rainforest, giving direct acces to great birding habitat the moment you step out of your room. Expect to be overwhelmed by up to 3 species of toucans and other colourfull birds of Costa Rica like Tanagers, Motmots and Trogons. Besides that Selva Verde Lodge is the ideal base for the exporation of the biodiverse Sarapiqui area and to observe the spectacular avifauna of the Caribean lowlands. This is a lodge that cannot be missed  on your Costa Rica birding trip.

• Location:

Selva Verde Lodge is located about 7 kms west of the town of Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui in the Caribean lowlands of Costa Rica. Selva Verde Lodge Lodge can be reached easily by car from San José through highway 32 passing by the vast wilderniss of the Parque Nacional Braulio Carillo untill reaching the turnoff to Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui. About 40 kms further, passing by agricultural crops like palmheart and pineaple  and cattle fields one will reach Selva Verde Lodge. Estimated driving time from San José: 2 hours. (Geographical coordinates: 10 ° 27´ 4.56´´N; 84° 4´ 14.63´´)

• Facilities:

About 40 spaceous rooms are nicely integrated into the tropical environment, interconnected by wooden walkways covered with a roof, quite practial in this humid environment. An extensive trail systems passes by primary and secundary rainforest and a botanical garden with collections of mostly heliconia’s and gingers attracting many hummingbirds. There are 2 restaurants: the buffet restaurant and an “a la carte” restaurant serving tasty Italian dishes using fresh and local ingredients. Besides that there is a bar from where one can enjoy the beautifull views of the Sarapiqui Rivier. From both the bar and restaurant people have a view on the fruit -feeders where Montezuma Oropendola’s, several toucan and tanager species come to feast on banana’s and papayas. This is the ideal spot to get close to some of the most beautiful birds of Costa Rica, and a favorite place for photographers. There is also a swimming pool and conference center.

• Birding and wildlife attractions:

Chestnut-mandibled Toucan
Chestnut-mandibled Toucan

The direct surroundings of Selva Verde Lodge give a good introduction to the diverse avifauna of the Caribean lowlands. Expect to get overwhelmed here, there are just so many birds…. This is probably one of the most productive areas for birdwatching in Costa Rica. The feeders offer easy birding; Chestnut-mandibled Toucans, Gray-headed Chachalaca’s, Passerini’s, Blue-gray and Palm Tanagers, Collared Aracari’s, Olive-backed Euphonia’s, Montezuma Oropendola’s and Black-cheeked Woodpeckers are the most common. Now and then Keel-billed Toucan and Red-throated Ant-tanager might show up, Orange-billed Sparrow often feeds on the ground to pick up rest-overs. Also easy is the birdinng around the Sarapiqui Rivier. Amazon, Ringed and Green Kingfisher should be around. Early morning and late afternoon are good times to see Cattle Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Little Blue Herons, Tricolored Herons and Neotropic Cormorants fly back and forth. But Selva Verde is most famous for being a quite reliable place for both Sunbittern and Fasciated Tiger-heron, often seen foraging around the rocks in the Sarapiqui river.
The trails give acces to some good rainforest habitat where some of the harder forest bird can be seen like Slaty-tailed Trogon, Broad-billed and Rufous Motmot, Pale-billed Woodpecker, and Semiplumbeous Hawk and where the smaller passerin-birds tend to hang out in mixed species flocks with Plain-brown Woodcreeper, Northern Barred Woodcreeper, Cocoa Woodcreeper, Wedge-billed Woodcreeper, Plain xenops, Chestnut-backed Antbird, White-breasted Wood-wren and Lesser Greenlet. Leks of White-collared Manakins should be around. Besides that the forest edge and garden area might produce White-crowned, Brown-hooded, Mealy and Red-lored Parrots, Crimson-fronted, Orange-chinned and Olive-throated Parakeets, Masked and Black-crowned Tityra’s, Yellow-crowned Euphonia’s, Golden-hooded Tanagers, Crested Guans, and many more…But Selva Verde Lodge is also one of the best places to spot Great Green Macaws, often seen flying over and Snowy Cotinga; an elusive bird that can show up anywhere anytime…Several species of hummingbirds hang out around the heliconia’s and gingers at the botanical garden including Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer, Scaly-breasted Hummingbird, White-necked Jacobin and sometimes even the spectacular Black-crested Coquette. At night Short-tailed Nighthawks can be sought around open areas; they are both reported in the botanical garden and around the Sarapiqui River. Crested Owls, Common and Great Potoo can be heard sometimes at the forest edge…seeing them is hard…
Besides birds in Selva Verde one can see both Mantled Howler Monkeys and White-faced Capuchin Monkeys. Both Black-and-green Poisson Dart Frog and Strawberry Poisson Dart Frogs are common on the grounds of the lodge; especially after a heavy rain these frogs become very active. Green Iguana’s and Emerald Basilisk live in the forests around the lodge and are quite easy to spot. At night a lot other species of frogs become active, the worldfamous Red-eyed leaf-frog is easy to spot in a pond near the restaurant…