The fully equipped research station of ESTACIÓN BIOLÓGICA LA SELVA, 4km southwest of Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí, is one of the best birdwatching destinations in the Sarapiquí, if not the country. You can spot over half of Costa Rica’s bird species here (489 in total), including the red-capped manakin – La Selva is a regular port of call for documentary makers looking to capture their energetic mating displays. An equally staggering number of tree species (some 350) have been identified, as well as 113 species of mammals, including anteaters, sloths (both two- and three-toed) and monkeys. Leading biologists from around the world have studied here, and its facilities are extensive: a large swath of premontane rainforest shouldering the northern part of Parque Nacional Braulio Carrillo forms the natural laboratory, while the research facilities include lecture halls and accommodation for scientists and students.
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