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Selva Verde (tel. 506/2766-6800, www.selvaverde.com, 7 a.m.–3 p.m. daily, $5, free to hotel guests), on the banks of the Río Sarapiquí, about one kilometer east of Chilamate and eight kilometers west of Puerto Viejo, is a private reserve protecting some 192 hectares of primary rainforest adjacent to Braulio Carrillo National Park.
At its heart is an internationally acclaimed nature lodge and the Sarapiquí Conservation Learning Center (Centro de Enseñanza), with a lecture room and library. The reserve is renowned for its birdlife, and it has a small butterfly garden. Poison-dart frogs are also easily spotted.
Trails lead through the forests, and the lodge has naturalist guides. Guided hiking is available ($15 two hours, $35 four hours), plus the reserve offers a wildlife boat ride ($15), white-water rafting ($53), and horseback trips ($25).
© Christopher P. Baker from Moon Costa Rica, 8th Edition