​Rio Magnolia is excited to announce that we are now part of UNESCO's Savegre Biosphere Reserve! The Savegre River basin, the Baru River basin and much of the surrounding area, including Rio Magnolia, which is located in the Biological Corridor of the Tapir (Danta), was declared a Biosphere Reserve on Wednesday, June 14, 2017, in Paris, France by UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere program. The program designates certain areas of the planet that are well conserved and representative of a variety of natural habitats as biosphere reserves.

The UNESCO defines a biosphere reserve as, “learning places for sustainable development whose aim is to reconcile biodiversity conservation and the sustainable use of natural resources”; and provides the following description of Savegre River:

“Savegre Biosphere Reserve (Costa Rica)—This site is located on the central Pacific coast, 190 km from the capital, San José. This reserve has high biodiversity value, hosting 20% of the total flora of the country, 54% of its mammals and 59% of its birds. It has approximately 50,000 inhabitants, whose main activities are agriculture and livestock rearing. Crop production is significant in high altitude areas, including plantations of apple, pomegranate and avocado. During recent years, ecotourism has increased and has become a source of socio-economic growth in the region.”


The Savegre Biosphere Reserve extends from Manuel Antonio National Park, including its area of marine reserve, along the coast to the Barú River. From the coast it follows the Savegre River basin and Baru River basin, and the basins of numerous other rivers upwards to the central mountain range at 3400 meters (11,155 feet) of altitude. In addition to Manuel Antonio one other national park Los Quetzales is found within its boundaries, as are Cerro Nara Protected Zone, Los Santos Forest Reserve, Cerro Vueltas Biological Reserve, and two national wildlife refuges, Hacienda Portalón and Hacienda Barú. It includes three biological corridors, Los Santos, Rio Naranjo, and Path of the Tapir. The total area is 312,914 hectares (733,227 acres).

The project to accomplish the declaration of Savegre Biosphere Reserve by MAB was begun in 2011 by the Association Friends of Nature of the Central and South Pacific (ASANA), the organization which founded the Path of the Tapir Biological Corridor in 1990.

As of the end of 2016 there were 669 biosphere reserves located in 120 countries. Of those reserves 14 cross international boundaries meaning their territories include area within more than one country. The Savegre Biosphere Reserve is the fourth to be named in Costa Rica. The others are La Amistad, the Volcanic Mountain Range, and Water and Peace.

We are extremely happy for the world recognition of this amazing area and look forward to carrying on our responsibility  for land conservation and sustainable use and sharing this information with our guests.


View of a part of the Savegre Biosphere Reserve and Path of the Tapir looking west from Rio Magnolia.