We are Ave Sol, a sustainable tourism destination on the banks of the breathtaking Pacuare River.
Ave Sol River Sanctuary is a river lodge and nature reserve that offers simple and comfortable cabin accommodation in the heart of the Pacuare River basin. It is how you might picture Costa Rica before exploration; one of the precious places where you can really experience nature at full volume.
As Ave Sol comes into view, rapids give way to a natural pool which has formed along the bend in the river. Our cabins rest high on the banks of the Pacuare, greeted every morning by the songs of the native bird life and the river itself. The view is unique (even among properties along this stretch of the river) encompassing panoramic extensions up and down-river, with the highly active Turrialba volcano steaming in the distance.
We engage specialized rafting operators to run our private tours. By far the most popular way to access Ave Sol is by rafting down the river, however for casual guests we can also be reached by road with a short walk and river crossing in a cable car. Please note that the road from the highway down to the river is suitable for four wheel drive vehicles only.
We want to keep Pacuare wild and free.
Ave Sol was first constructed by hand, without electricity and using sustainably harvested wood from our land. Other construction materials such as the roof tops were crossed over the river on rafts. The patronage of our guests allows us to continue the development of Ave Sol without damaging the finely balanced ecosystem. The presence of visitors is also a powerful deterrent against poachers, illegal logging and illegal dam construction; simply by your presence, enjoying the river and forest, you help us to keep it safe.
Ave Sol is part of the locally owned company Rie Rio Pacuare, with the main objective of protecting the Pacuare River basin's natural ecosystems. The company was formed by a team of professionals in biology, natural resource management, veterinary science and tourism working in the Talamanca Mountain Range in order to promote wildlife conservation and sustainable development. We work to achieve a successful alignment between, tour operators, universities, NGO's and local rural and indigenous communities to ensure that growth in our region is sustainable and equitable. To achieve our goals we promote the implementation of various programs and environmental projects in four major work areas:
We are protecting 120 acres of mature rainforest in one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world, with the freely flowing Pacuare River at its heart.
Generating ecological data is a huge priority for the conservation of this important ecosystem. We provide facilities and support for these projects.
The Cabecar people have lived in Talamanca for thousands of years. We are proud to work with them to share their unique heritage with the world.
We want to provide a place where people can connect with the power and beauty of the forest, and explore their own relationship with nature.
Let the river carry you to the heart of the forest.
History of Ave Sol
Alvaro Farias Garita, Founder
"From my early years growing up in Costa Rica, I was always in nature and began volunteering as a young adult with the National Parks Service.
When I became a river guide in 1999, I was introduced to the Pacuare River for the first time and it was love at first sight. I rafted daily through the canyon, waterfalls and dense rainforest, knowing it was largely inaccessible via road and trails. I enjoyed every moment and felt that I needed to give something back.
In 2004, when they started attempting to build a dam once again on the Pacuare, I decided to make this river part of my life and joined the community effort. We won some tough battles in order to protect this river and this challenge continues today.
In 2007, the river itself guided me to Ave Sol. For years we had rafted by an abandoned cattle farm which had recovered into secondary forest. A ‘for sale’ sign had become a part of the landscape. What I was soon to discover was that the majority of this land was mature rainforest.
After purchasing the 120 acres from the elderly owner, I opened a thin trail using my machete to prepare for my first night on the land. With the company of a candle, I found a place to sleep in a very old, tiny shack that was the sole structure amidst the forest. As night began to fall, so did the rain. A storm quickly came over in full force, I could see the trees being pulled back and forth with the wind and it felt like the lightning would hit the shack. The roof leaked and I was awake all night soaking wet. But in the calm of the early morning, I realized this was my welcome from all the power of nature, the Spirit of the Pacuare River was happy to feel my presence.
When I rose that morning with the mist of the river, the forest, the volcano, I felt a duty to keep this place pristine and share the feeling it inspires with many people. I believe that the more people come to know and love the Rio Pacuare and its forest, the more strength we gain to care for it, allowing it to flow powerful and free…and finally be declared protected, forever."