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La Selva Biological Station
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Reviews (127)
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87 - 92 of 127 reviews
Reviewed April 12, 2013

Don't expect luxury, but be prepared for a wonderful experience in the lowland forest, with birds and other creatures everywhere. The chalets are basic but clean; the food is good canteen (self service), and you eat with 'proper' research staff.
We read some previous reviews about thefts, and concerns about security. None of our small group experienced any problems, and it didn't feel dodgy (but of course, it often doesn't).
Be prepared for heat, some bugs, and rain, but enjoy the great experience.
La Selva is 'dry', not even selling beer, but there's no restriction on bringing stuff in. There are some beer shops on the road near the park entrance.

Room Tip: we stayed in 'superior' rooms, but a bus ride away from the centre. For birding and general good experience, I'd urge you to stay near the park centre area - much more goes on
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank andymendus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 4, 2013

The birding is amazing, every time we went out we found new species, it was fantastic. The guides are knowledgeable and there's a lot to explore.

The food is ok and reliably vegetarian, which was unusual in Costa Rica as it happens.

The rooms are small, boxy, with no A/C and single uncomfortable beds, which given the context and a relatively short stay is understandable. Then you find out, but only when you press, that the 3 hour bird walk is in fact a 3 hour general walk and that a 2 hour bird walk costs extra. We got the impression basically the paying guests are (a) a burden the centre staff would rather not have to deal with and (b) that being as they are there, grab them for whatever you can.

We would book to stay again to get the access all areas arm band, but then actually stay off-site, grabbing meals at the centre as needed.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank MichaelACox
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 12, 2013

To be fair this property is not classed as a hotel. However, it is an internationally recognised Biological Station for research, surrounded by trails which are home to myriad birds, trees and plant life. Given the popularity of the station with international birdwatchers and researchers, and the income which they must be making from their guests it is a great pity that the accommodation is so basic and uncomfortable, the food is very basic and the distance from some of the cabins to the dining room is almost a mile. I spent 10 years in the Army back in the 1960`s and 70`s, and had better accommodation and food than this. If you fancy a beer or glass of wine in the evening, make sure you buy some before you arrive, because you WILL NOT be able to purchase any here. On a positive note, the birdwatching is excellent and the staff are pleasant and helpful. But this is the 21st century, and paying guests could reasonably expect a little more for their money.

Room Tip: Ask for a room in the immediate vicinity of the dining area, or bring a very good torch to find your way from the cabins which are a mile away down the unlit track to the dining area.
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Sixties-Icon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 11, 2013

There are no particular surprises here, in that the emphasis is on research and there are few frills! But if what you want is expert guiding, never ending trails and a fascinating insight into the flora and fauna of the rainforest, then this is perfect. Our Dormitory cabin with 3x Bunk beds was spartan, but was clean. The meals are all refectory style, but tasty and wholesome with a variety of interesting juices served at each meal. In summary, a place of serious interest.

Room Tip: The newer rooms are 1km away from the centre - but nicer...
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Groomc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 3, 2013

La Selva deserves its accolades as a birder's paradise. We had great morning walks with experienced guides that knew the locations of many of the rare and interesting animals. The walk across the bridge was always an adventure and in the morning it was bird after bird!

The service was great (we arrived late and they had our keys waiting for us) and the staff were attentive. All this while running a biological research station.

Two small words of caution - do not expect great food and if you are in the individual cabins, be prepared for a long walk to get to the comedor (dining room). But the good news is, we saw many great birds on the way.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Chris L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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