Costa Rica is a biodiversity hotspot, home to more than 500,000 species of birds, amphibians, insects, reptiles, mammals and marine animals. Here are 6 animals your family can watch for.
Three-toed sloths can be spotted almost anywhere there’s rainforest in Costa Rica, although it can sometimes take a trained eye to spot them sleeping in the treetops. Their Hoffmann’s two-toed sloth cousins are also common, but mostly active at night.
Like sloths, you’re highly likely to see wild monkeys if you simply keep your eyes on the trees. In the case of white-headed capuchins, they come out early in the morning and late in the day.
There are three other species of monkey in Costa Rica: howler monkeys, which your ears might find first from the calls of the male at dawn and dusk; the small Central American squirrel monkey; and the endangered Geoffroy’s spider monkey.
The jaguar is at the top of many wildlife spotters’ wish lists, but this feline is very rare, camouflaged and generally not interested in coming out to say hello. Visitors do see them on occasion, particularly in wild areas of national parks such as Corcovado. Even if you miss the cat itself, spotting some scat or a paw print can be an exciting find.
- By Andy Murdock