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Sylvan is in rugged Costa Rica, it's South Pacific zone. 

We're near Piedras Blancas and Corcovado National Parks, and easy to find from the Pan American Highway, making Sylvan perfect for a day visit. 


Sylvan welcomes visitors each day at 09h00. Exit is 14h00, unless you opt to book one of the rustic field station cabins for an overnight stay.  All visits begin with a 30-45 minute river walk through the Rio Sorpresa, guided by Fiona who will impart her 30+ years of expertise on how to spot local wildlife. You will then be welcomed at the field station with complimentary coffee and a packed snack, wrapped in a banana leaf to help keep your energy up! After the field station break you'll be escorted on another 30-45 minute nature walk through the rain forest to the waterfalls where you can swim and relax, When you are ready we will return to Sylvan Camp for a home-cooked meal. After lunch we'll show you our gardens and you have time to freshen up before we walk you out to your car. 

You will receive directions with your booking. If you'd like us to organize a pick-up/drop-off service for you from Golfito airport, your hotel, or Rio Claro town, please allow at least three days between your booking and arrival.  

We do also accept self-guided visitors, although it is advisable to take a tour for your first visit, and we reserve the right to close trails so please do notify us if you wish to find your own way in. 

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guest

be

our

guest

be our guest

Getting to Sylvan is an adventure. Once here you'll hike the river and forest with an expert guide, before swimming in one of the most spectacular series of waterfalls in Costa Rica. What better way to spend a day! 

When you first arrive, we'll walk along the Rio Sorpresa, crossing back and forth 6 times. We will see Orange-chinned Parakeets nesting atop dead palms, several species of kingfishers and herons, and White Ibis.  Common Basilisk Lizards race across the water surface as we approach.  We may see a group of White-nosed Coatis crossing the track, tails held straight up.  

When we arrive at Sylvan camp we'll pause for a coffee and snack, use the washroom and relax in a hammock for a few minutes.

 

We'll then walk into the forest.  The narrow trail is cut into the side of a steep hill, so it is important to stay single file and watch your step.  After a few minutes the path levels out and widens as we reach the floodplain of the river.  Here we can look for anoles and frogs, learn about tent-making bats and see their tents, and watch blue morphos flying slowly along the trail. The water gets louder as we reach a bend where the Rio Sorpresa and Rio Cataratas meet.  We make our way uphill on another narrow section of trail, looking out for two species of poison dart frogs. The trail heads downhill, and then we see the first waterfall! Another bigger waterfall can be seen enticingly up above.   

This is the waterfall that you can actually swim behind, so we might want to take a dip.  Later we will climb a very small, steep trail that takes us to the top of the first fall and to the best swimming hole - a deep, walled pool that is glorious.  It is a bit of a scramble to climb up the small falls, but well worth it, as you can get to the largest and most majestic cascade of them all.  Take as much time as you want to truly enjoy this pristine setting.  

We head back the same way we came, stopping for wildlife along the trail.  At Sylvan camp you can have a quick shower and change clothes, enjoy a snack or finish your packed lunch, before heading back through the river to your transportation and final destination.  
 

be our guest

be our guest

be

our

guest

be

our

guest

be our guest

be our guest

be our guest

be our guest

Overnight Visit