Tirimbina Rainforest Center and Wildlife Refuge
- Location : Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui
- Area : 850 acres
- Hours : 7 a.m. - 5.30 p.m. daily
- Telephone : 506-2761-0333
The longest suspension bridge in Costa Rica (860 feet) links the entrance of the Tirimbina Rainforest Center and Wildlife Refuge with its 850-acre rainforest. The bridge takes visitors on a stroll through the canopy of the pre-montane rainforest (1,500-5,000 feet) and over the Sarapiqui River. Occasionally, two-toed sloths are seen climbing across the bridge’s wires from one tree to the next looking for food and a place to rest.read more close
Only a third of the protected forest is actually used for eco-tours, leaving the rest of the habitat undisturbed. Even so, Tirimbina has 5.5 miles of hiking trails leading through the mountains and canopies; a great place to lose yourself (but not the trail) on a hike. Along the trails visitors may encounter howler monkeys, vine snakes, strawberry poison dart frogs and anteaters.
Tirimbina is a non-profit organization that focuses on rainforest conservation, research and education. The money it earns through ecotourism is used to fund research and education programs, which include offering free classes to 20 local communities educating the youth about the rainforest, in the rainforest.
Tirimbina is warm throughout the year; July, November and December are the rainiest months. The average rainfall is around 13 feet annually. Average temperature: 66-88º F.
A variety of tours are offered at Tirimbina, the most well-known is the chocolate tour; a tour educating visitors about the origins of the cocoa bean and how it gained notoriety throughout the world; with lots of chocolate-tasting. Other tours include natural history walks, bird/frog/bat/guided and self-guided tours. Tours range from $22-$27 for adults and $9-$18 for kids 6-14.
Flora and Fauna
In the midst of the humid, mid elevation rainforest there are more than 300 species of birds, 89 species of mammals, 30 species of amphibians and 35 species of reptiles.
Tirimbina has a restaurant, visitor’s center and lodging including 18 rooms with wifi, A/C, safe deposit boxes, hot water and private terraces. Rooms range from $40 to $90. Breakfast is $10 while lunch and dinner are $15.
Bus: From Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui, take a bus from the town’s main bus station toward La Virgen and ask the driver to stop at Tirimbina. Buses leave every hour and the drive should take about 20 minutes to get to Tirimbina.