Costa Rica Jaguar Corridor Conservation Properties

1,052 acres / 426 hectares

This is a unique opportunity to continue the proud legacy of Rara Avis, a place that is legendary in the history of conservation in Costa Rica. Rara Avis was the world's first Eco-lodge, setting the tone for a new paradigm in conservation and introducing Eco-tourism's innovative new idea as a viable means to protect and preserve fragile Ecosystems.

The property encompasses over a thousand acres of pristine jungle, more than 95% of which is primary old-growth forest. In a country that is world-renowned for its outstanding levels of biodiversity, this is one of the natural jewels in Costa Rica's biodiversity crown. Rara Avis has the highest diversity of amphibians and reptiles recorded in Costa Rica. It shelters 367 bird species, 47 mammal species, and over 500 species of tree. Its location on the lush Caribbean slopes in the shadow of Cacho Negro volcano makes it an important altitudinal corridor for the movements of multiple iconic endangered species, such as the quetzal, the jaguar, and the great green macaw.


The story of Rara Avis goes back more than 2 million years to the dawn of the Pleistocene era. Repeated waves of ice-age glaciations wiped out ancient forests worldwide during that era. Rara Avis sits in the center of a small island of forest that miraculously managed to survive those Pleistocene glaciations, making it one of the most ancient and unique ecosystems on Earth.

In the early 1980s, Rara Avis's forests were due to destroyed by significant logging concerns seeking hardwoods. They were only saved from destruction by the intervention of American biologist Amos Bien, who established a biological station here in 1983. His aim was not simply to preserve the forest but to demonstrate that the rainforest could be conserved by using it sustainably for Eco-tourism and research purposes. Amos's ground-breaking idea was to show the local inhabitants that they could make more income by using the forest sustainably than they could by deforesting it and farming cattle.

Amos's ambitious environmental vision became a thriving reality. Rara Avis was catapulted onto the world stage in 1986 when National Geographic's "Explorer" film crew came here to document Donald Perry's construction of the world's first canopy-exploration tramway (AWCE). The tramway was a unique technological innovation in canopy research that made the cover of the New York Times.

Having gained global recognition, Rara Avis soon became the forest of choice in Costa Rica for successive waves of the world's foremost biologists. They came here for decades to make discoveries and to further the knowledge of their specific chosen field. Since the passing away of founder Amos Bien in 2017, the research began to slow down, and Rara Avis finally closed its doors in 2020 in the wake of the COVID pandemic.


Rara Avis borders the immense Braulio Carrillo National Park on two of its sides. The property is located within the San Juan-La Selva Biological Corridor, which is of particular importance to the conservation of jaguars and the great green macaw. Access to Rara Avis's extraordinarily diverse ecosystem offers one of the most outstanding natural platforms on Earth on which to study all of the main disciplines of environmental biology, from orchids and arachnids to simians and amphibians.

Together with its neighboring properties Selvatica and Terra Folia, both protected areas, it forms a secure joint-conservation block of almost 4,000 acres (1,600 hectares). Rara Avis has been a template and a beacon of global conservation standards for over 30 years. The door is now open for new ownership to continue and expand upon Amos Bien's outstanding contribution to environmental studies. This is a golden opportunity for research institutions to take Rara Avis forward and to continue to fulfill its natural potential as a world leader in biological research.


Eco-tourism was born at Rara Avis. It was a popular and successful Eco-tourism epicenter for three decades, attracting high praise from all media sources. Amos Bien was a global ambassador and advisor on the subject of sustainable tourism, and Rara Avis was built on those high ecological ideals.

It was often full to capacity in its heyday, with people sometimes sleeping in the corridors in high season because it was so popular. It has the space to house more than 30 tourists and 24 scientists in its main lodge and scientist's quarters. Tourists and researchers from all over the world have traveled here. The challenging access route to the lodge has become one of the most legendary aspects of the Rara Avis experience. It adds considerably to the visitor's sense of a unique deep-forest adventure. Some of those visitors have described the experience as a life-changing one, and many consider it to be the highlight of their travels in Costa Rica.


The research station consists of a large main lodge building that sleeps 28 people, three scientist's cabins that can sleep 24 people, 2 river cabins, a guide's building, a small museum, and a large communal restaurant. Clean water is abundant, and electricity has been provided by solar panels, which now need replacing.

The property has three spectacular waterfalls, the tallest of which is 80 meters high. Since the arrival of the Covid virus, Rara Avis has now been virtually closed for over a year, with only minimal biological research still taking place. Consequently, most of the existing infrastructure has deteriorated by the elements, and much of it requires renovation to be used.


Rara Avis is located on the Atlantic slopes of Cordillera Central. It is accessed from the small town of Las Horquetas, which is 10 minutes drive north of the main highway 32 that connects the capital to the Caribbean coast.

The access road from Las Horquetas to the property is in fair condition as far as the Yatama Lodge, after which horses are required to reach the small outpost of Plastico. The last leg of the journey from Plastico up to Rara Avis is a muddy trail that takes an hour and is best traveled by tractor or on foot. From the access town of Las Horquetas, San Jose is an hour and a half drive away, and Arenal Volcano and Tortuguero National Park are also an hour and a half away.





For more information on this property send an email to:


Costa Rica Conservation Properties Private Conservation Ranch for Sale : River Frontage Sacred Mountain Reventazon Views Private Land Conservation Resources Costa Rica :: The Jaguar Project and FONAFIFO The Jaguar Project : Conserving the Barbilla-Destierro Wildlife Corridor in Costa Rica : Reventazon Hydroelectric Project Dam Costa Rica Private Land Conservation in the Reventazon River Valley of Costa Rica : Information Costa Rica Wildlife Corridor Conservation Properties in the Reventazon, Pacuare and Turrialba Region