Learn about Costa Rican Rainforest Ecotours

  • David Vaughan with lobster-claw heliconia
  • David Vaughan explains Costa Rican fauna
  • David Vaughan of La Danta Salvaje
  • El Jefe David Vaughan serving hot chocolate
  • El Jefe Don David Vaughan cooking at La Danta

I started La Danta Salvaje in 1989 as a not-for-profit private forest reserve in an effort to protect the Costa Rican rainforest. Since then, I've brought travelers from all around the globe to La Danta to enjoy first-hand its incredible beauty and learn about the delicate ecosystem.

The tropical rainforest of Braulio Carrillo National Park--La Danta Salvaje abuts to the park--is a biological gem. This flora and fauna sanctuary is an emerald-green mass of vegetation, a saturation of tropical plants, waterfalls and trees that are heavily laden with orchids and other plants that cling to their trunks and branches. Even if someone has witnessed the beauty of a virgin rainforest before, no one who visits the park and surrounding area can avoid feeling a sense of awe because of its beauty and magnitude.

La Danta is located on the lush Caribbean slopes of the Central Volcanic Mountain Range and consists of over 1,000 acres of primary growth. The reserve forms part of the invaluable buffer zone necessary in preserving the integrity of the park and many species of plants and animals are endemic to the area.

So far I have financed the project privately, but unfortunately just purchasing rainforest is not enough to protect it. It must be maintained as well, which means stopping animal and plant poachers, hunters and logging interests. In order to support and maintain the reserve, I began organizing these excursions.

We take small groups in order to preserve the natural environment and make sure to leave as small a footprint as possible. Our goal is to provide an experience that enhances our guests’ awareness of the importance of preserving the rainforest through immersion and education. We hope to reinforce our guests’ appreciation and respect for the environment and La Danta Salvaje’s unique ecosystem.