This place caters primarily to students and researchers but also accepts visitors seeking a rustic rainforest adventure. The atmosphere is definitely that of a scientific research center. La Selva, which is operated by the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS), covers 1,480 hectares (3,656 acres) and is contiguous with Braulio Carrillo National Park. There are miles of well-maintained hiking trails to explore. Researchers estimate that more than 2,000 species of flora exist in this private reserve, and 400-plus species of birds have been identified here. Rooms are basic but large, and the high ceilings help keep them cool. Most have bunk beds and shared bathrooms, although eight have private bathrooms and twin beds, and the two-room family units have a mix of twin and queen-size beds. There's no price difference, so be specific when reserving a room. The dining hall is a big, bright place where students and scientists swap data over fried chicken or fish with rice and beans. Rates are pretty high for what you get, but you can take some solace in the fact that you're helping to support valuable and valiant research and conservation efforts.
- © Frommer's 2013
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