The primary jungle protecting the Bananito River
Selva Bananito Reserve was initially established in 1985 as a conscious choice in order not to log anymore. This choice was a question the Stein siblings asked their father, which had initially acquired 1450 ha in 1974 for intensive forest use and deforestation, followed by farming. Thankfully it was then set aside for conservation as a family legacy in the South Caribbean Mountain range of Talamanca, Costa Rica.
Today Selva Bananito Reserve has an extension of 1050 ha primary old growth forest as part of an important buffer zone to the La Amistad Biosphere Reserve, which is the first bi-national conservation area of the planet.
In addition, there are well over 300 ha in a healthy, yet intervened forests, areas in natural regeneration as well as additional extensive areas of reforestation with native species, some of them endangered The preserve protects two life zones, the tropical humid and the tropical pre-mountainous humid forest and became the main direct watershed for over 90,000 inhabitants in the city of Limon in 1995.
Along the Bananito River you will find mostly primary conservation, natural regeneration and reforestation as well as gentle impact agriculture at the upper part of the river, followed by mostly reforestation practices with Melina and other exotic woods, as well as a rather intensive banana plantation practices downstream, after the Bananito river leaves Selva Bananito Reserve.
Selva Bananito boasts some of the biggest trees found in private reserves south of Limon, as for example majestic 600 years + Cedar and Mahogany trees, Monkeys Pot, Casha and Manu, which are endemic to the Talamanca mountain range, both in Costa Rica and in Panama, in addition to the better known Ceibas, of which some spectacular trees are to be found as well. Some of the trees even witnessed the arrival of the Spaniards and the beginning of western history of this country.
In addition to this enchanted forest, Selva Bananito offers numerous waterfalls and exhilarating tours which take place in an enchanting scenery which can be experienced in the intimacy of small groups. You are welcome to stay overnight at Selva Bananito Lodge and enjoy delicious home style food, memorable tours, including fantastic birdwatching, tree climbing, horseback tours, canopy observation platform tours as well whitewater hiking and waterfall rappel of well over 100 feet in a breathtakingly beautiful setting.
Since January 2015 we have positioned our most stunning activity for the true nature enthusiast. “Following the footprints of wildcats” is an authentic jungle immersion experience in which guests actively participate in the monitoring of wildcats by helping our forest rangers gather the information provided by our trail cameras: During the first 15 months of this program, the National Universityhas confirmed an average of 3 to 4 sightings per months as well as the existence of 11, possible 12 different jaguars on site. It is the presence of this top predator which confirm that human intervention at Selva Bananito is very limited.
Besides individual tourists and small groups we work together with universities and high schools to ensure that the message of conservation is passed on to future generations through our “Rainforest study programs” which also includes sea turtle conservation at a ´sibling sea turtle sanctuary´ on the Caribbean, about 25 km north of Limon.
You are welcome to make a difference for the environment, for the community and for the jaguars, and all other wildcats and mammals that exist peacefully in one of the last gardens of Eden in the South Caribbean Region of this privileged country. Welcome to Selva Bananito Reserve home of the pure nature and the untamed adventure Selva Bananito Reserve: conservation with no frontiers!