Wildlife in Costa Rica

Spider Monkey Jumping Sequence 2
Spider Monkey Jumping Sequence 2

A wonderland with pristine landscapes and a symphony of colors, Costa Rica offers a magical experience to those who venture here. The country holds a mosaic of natural landscapes offering an amazing array of flora and fauna.

The incredibly rich topography of Costa Rica spreads from the cloud forests to the majestic volcanoes to golden beaches and lush jungles. A total of 1,077,308 hectares of the country is protected by national parks, forest and wildlife reserves. There are an estimated 160 species of amphibians, 205 species of mammals and 220 species of reptiles found in the ecological habitats of Costa Rica.

Monkeys Throughout Costa Rica

No trip to Costa Rica would be complete without a monkey sighting. Home to four species of this primate, the rainforests offer great opportunities for sighting these fascinating creatures. Listen to the deep howler of the monkeys or their guttural calls through the rustling leaves overhead as you hike through the forests. The most commonly spotted monkeys are the Capuchin. This monkey inhabits a diverse range of habitats that can be anywhere from the high-altitude cloud forests of the central region to the lowlands of Osa Peninsula. The large Howler Monkeys are easy to spot in the dry tropical rainforests of Guanacaste and the Nicoya Peninsula while the more elusive Spider Monkeys reside in the high canopies of the jungles found along the edges of Tortuguero. Tiny Squirrel Monkey abound the forests of Osa Peninsula and Manuel Antonio.

Nesting Country

Out of the seven marine turtle species of the world, six lay their eggs on the protected beaches in Costa Rica, these include the extinct Leatherback, Olive Ridley, Green Turtle, Hawksbill and the Loggerhead Turtle. The main nesting sites are protected by the national park systems. Conservation programs are helping preserve the wildlife in Costa Rica and ensuring their continued existence.

Wildlife Habitats

Costa Rica is also home to some very unusual wildlife species like the small rodents – Paca, Agouti, and the adorable Kinkajou and Coatimundi (look alike of raccoon and weasel). Bats make up half the species of mammals found in Costa Rica. These vary in size and appearance and range from the smallest Vampire Bats to the fascinating Bulldog Bat to large fruit eaters. In addition to these you can also find Turkey Vultures, Scarlet Macaws, Jaguars, the beautiful Blue Morpho Butterfly, Fer-de-Lance Vipers, Anteater, Three-toed Sloths, Wild Pigs, Armadillos and Green Iguanas throughout the region.