The 10 animals you may come across in Costa Rica
Discover the diverse wildlife of Costa Rica
Will you be able to find them hidden in nature?
One of Costa Rica’s most emblematic animals, the sloth can be seen all over the country. It is not so easy to see, with its coat colour it blends in with its surroundings. It’s a good idea to have a guide who can find them for you – it would be a shame to miss them.
You’ll find four different species of monkey in Costa Rica: the squirrel monkey, the spider monkey, the capuchin monkey and the howler monkey. It’s a tropical country where you’ll see a lot of forest, which is the perfect environment for a monkey. In any given area you’ll be able to see or even hear a monkey.
Towards summer, at the height of Costa Rica’s wet season, you may be lucky enough to witness turtles laying their eggs on the beaches of Tortuguero or some of the Nicoya Peninsula. Five species of turtle can be spotted: the Olive Ridley, the Leatherback, the Hawksbill, the Green and the Loggerhead.
Humpback whales cannot be seen all year round. On average, they are 14 to 17 metres long and weigh up to 45 tonnes. The warm waters of Costa Rica attract them on their journeys, and around the human season you may be able to see them on the Pacific coast.
Usually associated with Guatemala, being the country’s emblem, you may still come across a quetzal in Costa Rica. Chances are you’ll spot one in the Monteverde area or in the mountainous regions south of San Jose. It is distinguished by its emerald green plumage, scarlet red belly and long tail. If you can’t see it, you might be lucky enough to hear it.
Have you ever seen a toucan? You may be lucky enough to see one in Costa Rica, where there are six different species. It’s more common to come across one on the Caribbean coast, especially in the Cahuita and Tortuguero national parks. This majestic bird with its huge beak is sure to please.
If you happen to be passing near the Tarcoles bridge, be sure to stop off – you’re sure to spot several crocodiles! Chances are you’ll come across one during your visit to the Tortuguero canals, sometimes sunbathing on the banks.
Don’t worry if you feel you’re having trouble seeing animals in general, you won’t miss the iguanas. You’re bound to come across one during your stay, and their size is impressive, especially the green iguana, which can grow up to two metres long. They’re not afraid of the city, so even outside the forests you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of them.
The white-nosed coati is a small mammal of the raccoon family that is not afraid to roam wherever humans are. You’ll see it coming with its long nose and furry tail, often pointing skywards. It can be seen mainly around Manuel Antonio, Cahuita and the Arenal volcano.
The red-eyed tree frog
The red-eyed tree frog is a very colourful little frog. Don’t be fooled by its colour into thinking that you’ll find it very easily; it can be found in tropical forests, above all at night and especially in rainy areas such as Sarapiquí or Arenal.