What Type of Wildlife Can I Expect to See in Costa Rica?

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What Type of Wildlife Can I Expect to See in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is home to many wonders – amazing cities, volcanoes, tropical rainforests, and beautiful beaches all found in this Central American country. However, one of the most unique and outstanding features in Costa Rica is its wildlife. The country is home to a wide variety of exotic birds and animals, many of which are not found anywhere in the world.

Costa Rica is one of the greenest countries on the planet. In fact, the country plans to be carbon neutral by 2021. Ticas or Costa Ricans are enormously proud of their country and they are strongly committed to keep it vital and healthy by protecting its incredible array of wildlife specimens. It is one of the world’s most biodiverse countries which is home to over 500,000 species, many of which you can see for yourself at Manuel Antonio National Park along with many other beautiful parks of the country. Osa Peninsula is also worth mentioning. With so many natural destinations for spectating wildlife, what can you see in this amazing country? Read on to find out!

When it comes to wildlife, here’s what you can expect to see in Costa Rica:

Lots and Lots of Species

Anteaters, sloths, iguanas, crocodiles, monkeys, hummingbirds, toucans, bats, marine turtles, frogs, quetzals, leaf-cutter ants, scarlet macaws, snakes (some of the most dangerous in the world), starfish, manatees, jellyfish, sharks, whales, dolphins, and an explosion of exotic plant life is found in Costa Rica. Some species like tapir and jaguar, are elusive and rarely seen. However, you can catch a glimpse of their tracks. It is recommended that you have a naturalist guide with you as they are trained to pick out the hard-to-spot animals, e.g. sloths, that you may otherwise miss.

see sloths in Costa Rica


In Costa Rica, you could simply make a vacation of butterfly-watching alone. With over 8,000 species of moths and over 1,200 species of butterfly, these creatures play a crucial role in the biodiversity of Costa Rica. They also give an intriguing look into how insects and animals adapt to their surroundings. For example, swallowtail caterpillars disguise themselves as bird droppings in order to fool predators. Butterflies add color to the rainforest, both in the flowers they pollinate and in their brilliance.

blue Butterfly in Costa Rica


While wildlife lovers travel to Costa Rica to witness nature at its best, they also encounter another of the nation’s abundant inhabitants: insects. Of the half million species of Costa Rica, how many are insects? The truth is, nobody really knows exactly how many different species of insects are in this country. However, the popular number is about 4,000. While the large number of insects in the country may sound fascinating in theory, they can be irritating in practice. So, make sure to pack appropriate bug repellent before beginning your expedition into the forest.

insects in Costa Rica

No trip to Costa Rica would be complete without taking in the local wildlife. In fact, it is one of the primary reasons why people from different corners of the world venture to this tropical paradise. All in all, when it comes to wildlife, Costa Rica presents an experience like no other.

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