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The community of Chilamate exhibits a rare coincidence of forest and road. Chilamate is located where the Sarapiquí River passes through the southern extension of the Sardinal Hills. Probably because of the ruggedness of the terrain, the land has not yet been deforested. The main road from Puerto Viejo to the capital city of San José, parallels the river, thus in Chilamate, there is easy access to the forests of the Sardinal Hills. In addition, electric and telephone lines run along the road through Chilamate. This coincidence of forest with road access and basic utilities makes Chilamate an ideal location for the development of nature tourism projects, which is why Selva Verde Lodge and Islas del Río are already located there.

The Selva Verde property includes 180 hectares of forest to the south of the road, extending to within 1.7 kilometers of the Braulio Carrillo National Park extension. In addition, there are three small private reserves to the north of the road, each approximately 800 meters long and 200-300 meters wide. These reserves are currently separated by two strips of cow pasture, each 100 meters wide. It is expected that in the coming years, these pastures will be purchased by the owners of the small reserves and the forests allowed to regenerate. This will result in the creation of one single reserve of approximately one square kilometer in size. Of the three private reserves, Giovanna Holbrook and Juan Holbrook own the western one, Tom Ray (a North American) owns the central reserve, and Isaias Alvarado (a native of Sarapiquí and resident of Chilamate) owns the eastern one.

The areas already under protection in the Chilamate area are highlighted in green on map B. The areas proposed for protection are highlighted in blue and pink.

Thomas S.Ray
Tue Aug 1 16:54:18 JST 1995