Costa Rica Mammals

West Indian Manatee in Tortuguero
West Indian Manatee in Tortuguero

One of the biggest attractions to Costa Rica that brings millions of visitors to this land each year is the Costa Rica fauna. This country features numerous Costa Rica National parks where visitors can be a witness to the amazing biodiversity of this beautiful place. Many tourists come to Costa Rica wildlife refuges to learn more about the native animals here and to see them thriving in their natural habitat. Costa Rica has one of the most diverse collections of mammals on the planet. Here are some details about the rich animal life in this part of Central America.

Aquatic Animals

Costa Rica has two scenic coastlines, which border the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. There are also many rivers and lakes throughout this land. Each body of water has its own type of aquatic mammal to see. Whale watchers will be delighted by the seven different species of this large mammal found here. Visitors to this area can also find dolphins. Probably one of the most special aquatic mammals in this region is the manatee. These gentle creatures are a protected species and can be found in Tortuguero.

The Cats of Costa Rica

There are also numerous species of wild cat found in Costa Rica. Even though many of the wild cat species have been threatened in the past, the country has worked hard to make sure these animals continue to thrive well into the future. The government provides protection to six different wild cat species. Costa Rica is home to one of the rarest wild cat species, the jaguarondi. The wild jaguar can also be found in some wildlife refuges throughout the Costa Rican jungle, such as the lowest levels of the Cordillera Talamanca, Tortuguero, Santa Rosa, Corcovado and the Rio Macho. Additionally, wild cats such as ocelots, pumas, oncillas and margays also make Costa Rica their home.


Also in Costa Rica, visitors can see one of the strangest animals on the planet, the anteater. Anteaters typically live in the lower areas and midlands of Costa Rica. There are three common species of anteaters found in this country, the silky anteater, the lesser anteater and the giant anteater. If you want to get a glimpse of this unique animal, visit the Santa Rosa National Park or the forests of the Osa Peninsula.


Costa Rica is also known for the wide variety of monkey species that live in the jungles and mountains. There are four species of monkey found in Costa Rica. As you make your way through the country, you may see the howler monkey, the capuchin monkey, the spider monkey or the squirrel monkey.


This part of the world is also a place to spot a variety of bats that live in the caves and jungles of the land. At Tortuguero, you can find the fishing bulldog bat. Other types of bats that are commonly seen in Costa Rica include the vampire bat and the Jamaican fruit bat. It’s easiest to spot these species when you’re touring a noted national park or wildlife refuge.

Other Species

Besides bats, aquatic animals, anteaters and wild cats, Costa Rica has a large selection of other types of mammals throughout its topography. You could spot some tapirs, sloths, mice, rats, gophers, deer and several different types of weasels. Additionally, more common types of mammals found in other parts of the world also live in Costa Rica. Animals such as raccoons, porcupines, coyotes, foxes and peccaries can also be found throughout the country.

A visit to Costa Rica would not be complete without checking out some of the most diverse mammals in the world. Make sure you visit a wildlife refuge or other natural spot to experience an unforgettable moment. You could see some of the rarest animals on the planet and help contribute to their protection.

Guanacaste Escape Adventure Tour
7 Days / 6 Nights
Starting at $932 per person
Around Beautiful Costa Rica Tour
10 Days / 9 Nights
Starting at $1,216 per person