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The geographical location of Tirimbina's property according to GPS o similar navigator is: N 10°25'02.27'' and W 84°07'31.99''. It is located near the community of La Virgen de Sarapiquí, Heredia Province, Costa Rica.

The property can be accessed through two sectors. The Reserve has its main entrance in La Virgen by means of a suspension bridge, which is property of the Reserve and located 400m from the La Virgen cemetery. The second entrance is via an unpaved road, accessible year round, through the community of "La Tirimbina". This is located towards the sector of San Ramon de La Virgen, 7km from the center of the village La Virgen.

According to the data of the La Selva Biological Station, the average annual temperature is 25.3°C, with a maximum temperature of 30.0°C and a minimum of 20.2°C. The average annual precipitation is 3777mm.


The property is located between 180 and 220 meters above sea level. The landscape around Tirimbina presents mostly moderate conditions, with inclines ranging between 10-25% and rolling hills. Within the protected area, close to the creeks and river, the hills are steeper, reaching up to 60%.
The soils are of volcanic origin and the soil surface is mainly dominated by volcanic rock. The land formations that shape the area were primarily created by lava flows which, with the warm climate, high precipitation and water trajectory, formed low, irregular hills. Physiologically, the landscape has primarily developed low hills of volcanic origin.

Tirimbina property is located in the Sarapiquí River basin, which extends 1,923 km2 and is formed by the confluence of the Bijagual, Tirimbina, Peje, Puerto Viejo, Sardinal, Patria and Sucio Rivers. The Sarapiquí River originates at the foot of the Barva and Poas volcanoes and flows directly to the San Juan River.

The Reserve has many small creeks that drain into the Sarapiquí River, forming the western border of the property. In addition, the Tirimbina and El Uno Rivers flow through the property.


The table on the right shows the land conditions by category of use.

The open area includes the main entrance to the Reserve, where you can find the picnic area, Chalet, parking, Volunteer House, Arboretum, main trail and gardens. There is also a Field Station with research facilities, located at the far side of the Reserve.

Due to the high influence of the Caribbean forests and its location in the northern zone at the slopes of the Central Volcanic Range and at mid-elevation, Tirimbina is an exceptional mosaic in its composition of species.

Mammals, for example, are well represented. The composition of the species is characteristic for the Caribbean Lowlands, although at certain times of the year, species from higher elevated areas can be observed as well, such as Sturnira ludovici and Artibeus toltecus. There are medium sized and large mammals like Philander opossum, Agouti paca, Tayassu tajacu, Mazama americana, Leopardus pardalis, Potos flavus, among others.
A large number of small mammals includes Micoureus alstoni, Proechymis semiespinosus, and more than 60 species of bats.

The avifauna is representative of the wet tropical forest, which is the most diverse in the country. It is characterized by endemic groups of South American origin, notably the motmots, hummingbirds, woodcreepers, manakins and antbirds.
Moreover, the geographical location of the Reserve is a strategic transit point for migratory birds. During the months of September and October, millions of birds use the varied mosaic of habitats at the Tirimbina Reserve as an area to feed and rest during their migration.

According to the Holdridge life zone system, the Reserve has two life zones: very humid Tropical Pre-Montane Forest with transition to Basal and very humid Tropical Forest. The forest is a combination of areas that historically had different uses, but for the last forty years has been in a state of regeneration. A walk through the Reserve reveals areas of secondary forest, abandoned cacao plantations and secondary forest in early regeneration. However, the majority (85%) is primary forest.

A great variety of species can be found in the forest. Among these are: Carapa nicaraguensis, Hyeronima alcheotnides, Apeiba membranacea, Sterculia sp.,Minquartia guianensis, Terminalia lucida, Protium sp., Virola sp., Terminalia bucidioides, Tabeuia rosea, Cederla odorata, Ceiba pentandra, Vochysia ferruginea, Vochysia guatemalensis, Pentaclethra macroloba, Luehea seemanii, Dypterix panamensis, and Lecythis ampla.


  A study at a permanent CATIE site (Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center), which monitors species with more than 2.5cms D.B.H., found that 304 species belong to 76 families and 186 genera, confirming the presence of 2,722 individuals per hectare at the Reserve. Of these, 14% were of the Rubiaceae family, 11% of the Areacaceae family and 8% of the Fabaceae family. (Delgado et al, 1997)
We offer education
programs for
all levels.

Explore the trails and
discover the flora
and fauna of our region.

Research in one of
the most diverse sites
in the world.