May 28, 2019

Wildlife in Costa Rica


Wildlife in Costa Rica


Wildlife in Costa Rica


Wildlife in Costa Rica
Now Trending



follow @michelle.away

This blog is your passport to thrilling adventures, where we dive deep into the captivating world of tropical destinations and their rich historical heritage. 


white face monkey in Costa Rica

There is plenty of wildlife in Costa Rica, whether you are into mammals, insects, or reptiles. In my nine days I saw an abundance of wildlife in Costa Rica. I saw two and three toed sloths, white faced monkeys, several types of snakes (my biggest fear), iguanas, frogs, a yellow snail, colorful birds, spiders, scorpions, and even a 19 foot crocodile!

*This post contains affiliate links, which means if you buy something through those links I will receive a small commision at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support.

Where Can You Find the Wildlife in Costa Rica?

Spotting wildlife in Costa Rica can be easy for some animals and harder for others. For me, I had a guide throughout my trip. Guides are trained to find the harder to spot animals so I recommend having one for at least part of your trip.

Crocodile Bridge, Costa Rica


Birds are everywhere. Just standing outside my hotel in Quepos, I spotted 2 pairs of Red Macaws. In La Fortuna there were Chachalaca all over our hotel grounds. They are related to the chicken.

Go for a guided night walk tour to spot the wildlife at night. Unfortunately I didn’t get to see any Toucans during the day, but I did get to see 3 at night. Two were Keel-billed and one was a green (didn’t catch the official name) toucan.

On a boat ride through the mangroves in Damas, I was able to spot a Bare-throated tiger heron.

While touring the Mistico Hanging Bridges in La Fortuna, I was able to spot a Broad-billed motmot. There were also white and blue herons. Another bird we spotted, which was a bit harder to see, was a Boat-billed heron.


Oh snakes, my biggest fear! Well, I call Costa Rica my journey of facing fears. Let me tell you, Costa Rica has snakes. Many of them. And there are tons of poisonous ones. On the night walk, we spotted 3 green vipers! On the boat ride through the mangroves, a cat eye snake (not venomous) fell into our boat! Talk about a moment of panic for this little lady. Thankfully, our tour guide was quick to grab it and get out of the boat and back where it belonged. Like I mentioned, Costa Rica wildlife is EVERYWHERE!

To see snakes up close but with the safety of a barrier, visit the reptiles in the Selvatura Adventure Park in Monteverde (where there is also ziplining). Along with snakes, they also have frogs. They are stunning, sporting bright colors and in all shapes and sizes. Selvatura Park even have glass frogs. They appear green from the top, but can be so translucent that you can see their internal organs. It was spectacular!

One the second night of my time in Costa Rica, during the Kinkajou Night Walk tour, the guide spotted the famous red eyed tree frog. With bright green and blue skin, and of course red eyes, this frog was an amazing sight, and only inches away!



Probably most people’s favorites, the mammals of Costa Rica are always an exciting site. On our second full day of the trip, just driving down the highway, the driver of our van spotted a three-toed sloth in a tree next to the road. Sloths are something that not everyone gets to see, so to see one on day 2 was exciting. On the third day, we had a two-toed sloth right on the hotel property! I felt very lucky to get to see both types of this wonderful animal. To see them up close, visit the sloths at Selvatura Adventure Park.


I didn’t get to see any howler monkeys, but you sure could hear them. During our first night walk, we also spotted a troop of spider monkeys high in the trees settling in for the night.

The number one highlight of my trip was on the boat ride in the mangroves. A large troop of white faced monkeys swung in the trees alongside our boat. The boat driver and tour guide vered toward the shore. As we approached, the alpha male just hopped right on the boat! Next thing I know, the guide pulls out some palm fruit seeds. He hand us each one. They all hopped around the boat curiously checking us out. Holding my hand out, one of them took the fruit right out of my hand and proceeded to hop around on the branches along the shore. The guide told us that in years past, people used to give the monkeys bananas. I mean when you think monkeys, you think bananas. Well, as it turns out, the bananas were not good for the monkeys, so in order to keep them safe and healthy, they stopped doing that and started giving them the palm fruit seeds, which is better for them. It is a memory that I will forever cherish.


Other Mammals

Other mammals you could spot on your adventure include coati’s, racoons, jaguars, anteaters, and many so much more. With 5% of the world’s wildlife, it truly is a haven for those who love to see fauna in the wild.

This sloth was along the highway in Costa Rica

It’s your turn to find Wildlife in Costa Rica

I hope you decide to visit Costa Rica. With beautiful fauna at every turn, you a sure to see some incredible animals. Don’t forget to bring your camera! Learn more tips about Costa Rica here.

Book your amazing Costa Rican adventure HERE.

The comments +

  1. Petra says:

    I actually was just in Costa Rica a few months ago so this post has brought me back! Great read, very informative! 🙂

  2. Nicolle says:

    I am back in Costa Rica in November this year and cannot wait!! I love the Sloths, haven’t seen one yet, but lots of monkeys 😉 Thank you so much for sharing this, love it!!!

  3. The Honeymoon Guide says:

    love the reptiles photo !

  4. Hannah says:

    So much wildlife, and the pictures are adorable, thanks for sharing!

  5. Madeline says:

    Love the pictures! Can’t wait to visit one day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Seeking a tropical paradise in your inbox? Discover tips for immersive historical and sun-soaked travel, savoring adventures, and capturing their essence with an artful touch.

Join in below
You’ve successfully signed up! Check your email for details.