by Courtney Elko
Howler monkeys and toucans can be found at this rainforest lodge in Costa Rica, located about two hours from San Jose. Families will love to go on rafting tours, a chocolate tour, horseback riding or relax in a hammock. Selva Verde Lodge features an outdoor pool and a kiddie pool where the kids can have a blast. Families will find plenty of comforts in the air conditioned guestrooms, bungalows or suites. The two-bedroom suites are ideal for families as they feature a large kitchen, living room, two bathrooms and of course hammocks on the balcony. Families will love the onsite dining hall and restaurant that serve breakfast, lunch and dinner too.
Our Editor Loves
- Monkeys and wildlife
- Rafting and horseback riding
- Horse Back Riding
- Water Sports
- Family Room 5+
- Kids' Pool
- Onsite Dining
I’ve been to Selva Verde Lodge twice and it does not disappoint for amazing birding. The accommodations are a bit on the rustic side with no AC, and open style rooms, but that contributes to the atmosphere for me. After all, you are on a rainforest adventure, correct? The food is buffet style and pretty good. Nothing amazing, but I never had a bad meal there. All the staff are friendly and helpful...none laughed at me when I tried out my poor Spanish either :)
On site bird guides are talented and personable, and they will help you to find many of the resident species. If Ronald or Ivan are still there, you cannot go wrong with either as a guide.
The location is also conveniently located near La Selva Biological station and they can arrange a morning tour for you. They also coordinate a boat trip on the Sarapiquí River, which is relaxing and fun...and birdy too (we saw Sunbittern).
Overall a recommended experience.
Me, my girlfriend and our 3 year old daughter stayed at Selva Verde Lodge from 24th - 28th April 2019. The main reason for picking this lodge, as I’m into bird photography, was the bird feeding station. But more about that later.
The rooms were big, clean and insect free. The hammock and rocking chairs on the balcony outside where perfect and all three of us loved relaxing and watching the wildlife. From outside the room you will see loads of hummingbirds, green iguanas, various tanagers, toucans and aracaris, honeycreepers and loads more classic lowland birds! The howler monkeys are really close and wake you up at around 5:30am, which is a good tithing as that’s when you’ll see the most bird species too!
The food was good! Not stellar, but I looked forward to it everyday and was satisfied. The restaurant overlooks the feeding station where fruit is put out to attract birds and other wildlife. The perches are natural vines and sticks so looks good in photos. We didn’t spend anywhere near enough time at the feeder as I would have liked but we did manage to see a mixed flock visit of honeycreepers, blue dacnis and gold hooded tanagers! Very nice. Apparently the toucans and aracaris frequent the feeder but we didn’t get a chance to see them there. But don’t worry, you’ll see plenty of them in the trees around the property, and there’s also nests on site.
The restaurant, pool and reception was a short walk away from our room, along wooden, covered walkways. Every walk yields new sightings and of an evening it’s pretty easy to spot various frog species. One evening we even saw an armadillo! The pool was lovely too! Clean, a good size and plenty of seating.
Staff were friendly and payed our 3 year old lots of attention! We had two guides during our stay, one for an early morning birding tour and one for a night walk in the primary forest. The early morning tour was great and we saw a lot of wildlife! Dart frogs are easy to spot and the Sarapiqui river is full of kingfishers. The night walk was a little bit too much for our daughter so only I went out of the three of us. The hanging bridge you have to cross to get to the primary forest was a little terrifying but all good fun! The jungle on the other side is a perfect example of primary forest where there are plenty of vipers and bullet ants, so watch your step!
The only negative I can think about our stay, which other reviewers have mentioned, is the traffic noise. It’s not loud and you can only hear the loudest trucks but you can hear them. Not really an issue though!
I really enjoyed our stay here and if we’re ever in the area again we will definitely be looking at Selva Verde Lodge as our first choice!