our Resident Experts at selva verde
We are very fortunate at Selva Verde to have excellent naturalist guides, who share their knowledge and appreciation of the flora and fauna of the rainforest with our guests to provide a true connection with Costa Rican nature and culture. We would like to present our local resident naturalists, Ronald, Iván and Randy.
Jose Ivan Castillo Gomez
José Iván Castillo Gomez grew up in Río Frío de Sarapiquí in Costa Rica's Heredia province, where he attended school surrounded by a banana plantation. After completing high school, in 2003 he trained as a bartender and waiter while also learning English. This course was key for Iván in starting his career in ecotourism; that same year, he began working in Selva Verde's Selvita bar. Five years later, he started working toward his degree in Sustainable Tourism Management. At that time birding was already his favorite hobby, so much so that he was chosen for the naturalist guide training program offered by the Organization for Tropical Studies La Selva Biological Station, where he learned a great deal about the rainforest's natural history. Thanks to this course and his love for nature, he became a member of the freelance guide staffs at La Selva, Tirimbina Biological Station, and Selva Verde.
While working in the Selvita bar, Iván had the opportunity to further his knowledge by engaging with professional naturalists and taking additional natural history courses. In January 2013, he was appointed the head of Selva Verde's naturalist guides. Now he enjoys what he does even more, and learns something new in the forest every day. His pastimes include birding with his wife and friends, nature photography, reading natural history and mountain biking.
Randy Gómez Alvarado
Randy Gómez Alvarado grew up in Puerto Viejo, Sarapiqui where he studied Eco-Tourism in high school. He comes from a family of conservationists and was motivated by his uncles to become in a naturalist. After graduation, he worked with different hotels and reserves in Sarapiqui area as a freelance guide. Randy now works as a naturalist and tour guide at Selva Verde Lodge and Reserve. Randy strives to teach the importance of the tropical rain forest and how important conservation is today. He considers the forest of Selva Verde one of the premier forests in Costa Rica for its abundance of flora and fauna with an amazing variety of habitats that can be found. Randy leads hikes on the trails of Selva Verde Rainforest Reserve and helps guests learn about the flora and fauna of the rainforest. His passion for the wildlife and birds are evident on every tour he does.