1'825 hectares of land, including around 1'365 hectares of tropical rainforest

    The property has a great variety of habitats.

    6'000 native young trees were afforested on former cattle grounds

    The private, two-part nature reserve "Refugio Lapa Verde" is located in Chilamate and Pueblo Nuevo / Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí, in the province of Heredia. From the capital San José it can be reached on an 87km long asphalt road.

    At Refugio Lapa Verde 1'825 hectares of land are under protection, of which about 1'365 hectares are covered by tropical rainforest. About 300 hectares are young forest in regeneration, 30 hectares are reforestation and 130 hectares are swamps and lagoons. The area is part of the biological corridor San Juan - La Selva and is located at its narrowest point.

    The state recognition as a private nature reserve was granted by the government of Costa Rica in July 2013 and personally signed by the president Laura Chinchilla.

    The property has a great variety of habitats such as lagoons, streams, swamps, pastures, scrubland, secondary and primary forest, which allows a very high biodiversity.

    On former farmland, 6'000 native young trees were afforested, which were previously grown from seeds in the company's own tree nursery. These provide food for various indigenous animals, in particular the endangered green macaw (Lapa Verde), which also gives the nature reserve its name.

    Biological corridor

    San Juan – La Selva

    The biological corridor - in the north of Costa Rica, along the border with Nicaragua - is one of the last continuous natural habitats for plants and animals in Central America. The zone connects the Rio San Juan and areas in Nicaragua with the San Juan - La Selva protected area in the north of Costa Rica.



    Officially recognised

    Private nature reserve

    At the end of 2012, the "Consejo Nacional de Áreas de Conservación (CONAC)" unanimously accepted our application and granted the "Refugio Privado de Vida Silvestre Lapa Verde - Chilamate" protected area state recognition as a private reserve.

    In July 2013 the recognition was signed by the president of Costa Rica Laura Chinchilla.




    Plants from Central and South America

    Targeted interventions in the nature reserve increase the diversity of plants and animals. Our main focus is on the reforestation of food plants for native animals, whereby the "Almendro" is particularly worth mentioning: on the one hand it serves the green macaws for nest-building and on the other hand its nuts are the main food for these impressive birds.



    Biodiversity Wildlife

    The fauna in the nature reserve

    Habitats for various native animal species are to be preserved or recreated and their protection guaranteed. Special attention is paid to rare and endangered animal species such as the green macaw.




    Organisations, villagers and their children

    Refugio Lapa Verde is a partner of various organizations and member of the association of private nature reserves.

    We sensitize the local population to the need to treat nature with care and to prevent poaching.




    An effective way to raise awareness of biodiversity

    Following the guidelines of ecotourism, we have developed specific projects: the creation of a special amphibian reptile path, the creation of an arboretum (natural tree garden) with native species and the creation of an ecological classroom. We have also improved an existing path in the forest to make it easier for visitors to access some of the area's natural attractions.




    Observation and research

    Our nature reserve is often requested by various organizations for nature projects and observations. For example, five Swiss entomologists conducted insect research in the Refugio Lapa Verde for 10 days.



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