Costa Rica wildlife guide

photo by ReservadasDeCoche.com on Flickr

Costa Rica means ‘rich coast’ in Spanish, and there could be no better name for this beautiful country in Central America. Costa Rica is rich on many accounts: it has an incredibly rich culture, history and wildlife. People from all over the world flock to Costa Rica to explore its lush could forests, see its volcanoes and enjoy the beauty of Costa Rican nature on the beach and in natural parks. If you are an outdoors person and an animal lover, visiting Costa Rica will be like stepping into an Animal Planet documentary. There is so much wildlife in this country that it’s impossible to step out of the city without coming face to face with at least a few critters! If you like coming up close and personal with wildlife or just observing it from a distance, here’s a Costa Rica wildlife guide that will tell you what you can find where.

Butterflies and other insects

photo by Sam Effron

Even people who hate creepy-crawlies with a fashion will admit to liking butterflies – especially if they only focus on their vibrantly colored wings! Costa Rica’s huge butterfly populations adds a lot to the country’s ecotourism industry. There are over 1200 species of butterflies and 8000 species of moths flapping around in Costa Rica, and they can be seen in the wild all year round. Beautiful butterfly species like king swallowtail or the delicate glasswing can be seen either in natural parks or in The Monteverde Butterfly Garden or the Butterfly Farm near Juan Santamaria International Airport are two of the best places in the country to admire these colorful insects.

Amphibians and reptiles

If you like frogs, snakes and other cold-blooded critters then you’ll have a lot of fun trekking through the rainforests in search of tiny frogs and lizards. There are about 175 species of amphibians in Costa Rica’s forest, and 225 species of reptiles. Some interesting species that you might want to see are the red-eyed tree frog, poison dart frogs, glassfrogs or the huge smoky jungle frog. You can also see large lizards like green and black iguanas, but when it comes to reptiles, visit beaches in Tortuguero National Park to see 5 of the world’s 7 species of sea turtles. The private reserve of the Costa Rican Amphibian Research Center has great guided tours for those interested in frogs and toads.

Birds and mammals

photo by Arturo Sotillo

Costa Rica is a bird watcher’s paradise, with almost 900 species of birds recorded – that’s more than in all of North America! Turrialba, Sarraquipi, Monteverde, Guanacaste and Nicoya Peninsula are great destinations for birdwatchers. Some of the most interesting residents of Costa Rica’s forests are four species of monkeys, sloths, giant anteaters and tapirs, but most commonly a lot of bats. Bats make up more than half of Costa Rica’s mammal species! If you want to make sure that you get to see some interesting animals while in Costa Rica, book a wildlife watching tour in one of the many national parks.

Leave a Reply