Costa Rica wildlife marine life fauna birds animals

Costa Rica Wildlife & Marine Life

On this page discover Costa Rica wildlife and marine life in and around the country…
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Costa Rica wildlife

The variety of Costa Rica wildlife and flora is incredibly rich, and the country is a mega Mecca for birdwatchers. With its protected areas and extensive national parks Costa Rica is an extremely popular eco-tourism destination. But Wow… where do you start on wildlife in a fauna-rich country like this? From colourful butterflies and tiny blue jeans poison dart frogs to lovable sloths and scary American crocodiles, Costa Rica wildlife boasts an incredibly rich assortment.

Two species of sloth are found in Costa Rica – the three-toed and Hoffmann’s two-toed, spider monkeys, squirrel monkeys, howler monkeys, and the white-faced capuchin monkey. There are also Pacas, kinkajous, otters, wild cats – Jaguars, margays, ocelots, jaguarondi, pumas, little spotted cats; tayras, caimans and American crocodiles.

You will also find the basilisk lizard (three species – common, brown, emerald), black as well as green iguanas, toads (cane, bufo, giant), several different frog species (blue jeans poison dart frogs, red-eyed tree frogs, glass frogs, smoky jungle frog, rainforest rocket frogs). There are around 120 snake species in Costa Rica including boas, and pitvipers (eyelash palm and fer-de-lance).

There is a plethora of Butterflies and moths – they will be seen throughout the year but there are a lot more around in the rainy season. There are tens of thousands of invertebrate species and, not to be forgotten, the well known rhinoceros beetle (aka Hercules beetle).

Costa Rica marine life

The reef on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica is home to around 400 species of fish. Five species of turtles nest in Costa Rica, three species on the Caribbean side (there are seven species in the world). There are also spotted eagle rays, Manta rays, bat rays, West Indian manatees, dolphins, whales, reef sharks, nurse sharks, black tip sharks…

Costa Rica birds & birdwatching

As for birds in Costa Rica – more than 800 bird species have been recorded, with over 600 being permanent residents. Colourful favourites are Toucans, quetzals, scarlet macaws, great green macaws, hummingbirds, and Montezuma oropendolas. As you would expect, there are many Costa Rica birding vacations available. To find out more about birds in the region generally, go to the Caribbean Birdwatching & Birds page in the Caribbean Leisure Activities section.

Caribbean wildlife books

If Caribbean wildlife in general, as well as Costa Rica wildlife, is of interest to you, you will probably enjoy our Caribbean Book Reviews section as we have reviewed several Caribbean wildlife books.


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Explore Costa Rica… the Caribbean

Costa Rica adventure activities travel guide
Costa Rica adventure activities travel guide
Costa Rica adventure activities travel guide
Costa Rica adventure activities travel guide
Costa Rica adventure activities travel guide
Images on this Costa Rica Wildlife & Marine Life page are copyright of  Travel Excellence (rappelling, sloth, volcano), Westin Golf Resort & Spa IAGTO (accommodation, golf, monkeys),