Discover the wonderful wildlife of Costa Rica on a wildlife adventure that will change the way you see the world. Here, lizards walk on water and frogs have strawberry-red eyes, spiders spin webs of golden silk, and rainbow-coloured flocks of birds soar through the sky. Our Costa Rica wildlife holidays take you on unforgettable journeys of discovery, from its sublime Caribbean and Pacific coastlines to its dense jungles where you’ll get to meet some of the country’s most magnificent animals.
Costa Rica has one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world and its tropical climate makes it a breeding ground for exotic flora and fauna. Our Costa Rica wildlife tours have itineraries that are packed with adventures. While one day you’ll be sailing along the rich waterways of Torguguero, the next you’ll be hiking through the rainforest listening to the distinctive sounds of howler monkeys and squawking toucans.
On a Costa Rica wildlife holiday, you’ll explore all this and more, as the country is home to some 5% of the world’s animal and plant species. You’ll also visit the mist-shrouded canopies of the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve, where monkeys can be seen swinging through the leafy canopies. Hike through Arenal Volcano National Park and visit the famous mud pools, look for dolphins off Carrillo beach, and perhaps watch green turtle hatchlings scramble towards the sea during nesting season. There is so much to discover on all our Costa Rica wildlife holidays, you’ll be talking about your trip for years to come.
Costa Rica Wildlife Holidays
15 DaysfromUSD 5,279
Guided Group (Excl. Flights)
Experience the Costa Rican rainforest, mountains and coast
Top 5 Animals to See on a Costa Rica Wildlife Holiday
Scarlet Macaws: Often seen during our Costa Rica wildlife holidays, the scarlet macaw is easily recognised by its brightly coloured plumage. It is the largest of the parrot family and is mostly spotted along the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. Its high-pitched squawk is also instantly recognisable, meaning these beautiful birds are usually heard before they’re seen. In Costa Rica the macaw is known as lapas and their huge beaks are used to crack open the tough shells of nuts and seeds. They tend to congregate in large flocks when they are roosting and feeding.
Turtles: Arguably the most synonymous with Costa Rica, the turtle often draws visitors here from all over the world to witness their mating and nesting habits. Tortuguero is the most well-known place for the endangered green turtle, which comes to lay eggs on the beach between the months of July and October. The Hawksbill, Giant Leatherback and Loggerhead turtles also nest here, and you can watch their eggs hatch and the babies make their short journey to the ocean between November to January. On our Costa Rica Adventure tour, you’ll enjoy a night time trip to Camaronal Beach to see the turtles nesting and laying their eggs in the sand.
Sloths: With their adorable smiling faces and sleepy heads, the cuteness of the sloth is hard to resist. On our Costa Rica wildlife tours, you’ll have the opportunity to get up close to these furry creatures with tours in Esquinas Rainforest Nature Reserve, Tortuguero and Monteverde, where they are most often seen napping in the trees. The sloth sleeps up to 20 hours a day high up in the forest canopies and did you know they also have algae covering their fur to camouflage them from predators?
Howler Monkeys: Another noisy creature that lives in the forests of Costa Rica is the Howler monkey. Named after its piercing call, it is heard swinging through the trees of Manuel Antonio National Park, Monteverde, Arenal and along the Caribbean Coast. They tend to live in small groups and the alpha male is usually the one heard howling the loudest. They can weigh up to 22 pounds with a body of up to 3 feet long. So, if you’re keen to spot a Howler monkey on one of our Costa Rica wildlife tours, just listen out for their unique cry.
Dolphins: Boasting a stunning coastline along the Pacific and Caribbean oceans, Costa Rica is a wonderful place to visit to see dolphins in the wild. On our Discover Costa Rica Wildlife Holiday, we take you on a private boat trip off the beach of Carrillo to look for Bottlenose and Spinner dolphins, which are often spotted playing in the ocean. Dolphins are extremely inquisitive and friendly creatures and sometimes they’ll even swim under the boat. In Costa Rica, dolphins are found throughout the year on the Pacific Coast so there’s a much greater chance of you spotting them on Costa Rica wildlife holidays.
FAQs on Costa Rica Wildlife Holidays
Where is the most wildlife in Costa Rica?
Everywhere you go, Costa Rica is brimming with wildlife, but we seek out the best spots where you’ll most likely come face-to-face with some of the country’s most impressive creatures. Tortuguero National Park is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit on our Costa Rica wildlife holidays. The Park is made up of swamps and meandering waterways where you’ll discover hundreds of species of birds, monkeys, butterflies, iguanas, caiman and the famous Costa Rica turtles, including the Hawksbill, Loggerhead, Green turtle and Giant Leatherback.
On our Costa Rica wildlife tours, you’ll explore various rainforests which are buzzing with fascinating creatures such as toucans, monkeys, sloths, possums and coatis. In particular, Monteverde is a great place to experience animal encounters on our Costa Rica wildlife holidays. But if it’s marine animals you’re looking for, then head to Manuel Antonio National Park where the marine reserve plays host to dolphins, whales and turtles as well as land mammals such as white-faced capuchin monkeys, mantled howlers and three-toed sloths.
What is the most common way to see animals in Costa Rica?
On our Costa Rica wildlife tours, we take you right to the heart of the action with guided walking tours along trails through the rainforests and boat trips down rivers and canals. You can also sail out onto the ocean to spot dolphins and whales in their natural habitat. The slow pace of the tours means you have a greater chance of meeting the local wildlife and watching them interact in their own environments.
What is the wildlife in Costa Rica?
Well, where do we start? With over 500,000 different animal species occupying this beautiful country, there are far too many to list them all. But some of the most iconic you could see on our Costa Rica wildlife holidays include:
Scarlet macaws Frogs Iguanas Various species of turtles Sloths Monkeys Coatis Dolphins and whales Caiman Armadillos Porcupines Possums
This was the first trip to Central America for my wife & me. The group size was only nine, so not too large which helped a lot when it came to looking through one mono scope at yet another new bird. The trip mainly involved birdwatching, though bathing in hot springs, a river & the Pacific ocean were features. The hotels were all to a good standard, however, the Suria hotel had a limited menu for all four main meals. Distances travelled were generally less than 5 hours, however, one day that was exceeded when a bridge partially collapsed. We visited tropical & rainforest as well as cloud forest & mountane (transitional) climates. Our amazing guide David, helped us to spot literally hundreds of birds & he was so knowledgeable & enthusiastic. He also ensured any problems were dealt with diligently & effectively. This was truly an incredible adventure & we can thoroughly recommend it.
The trip involved truly discovering the wildlife, geography, culture, history, religion and entertainment of Sri Lanka and its people. We saw temples, religious ceremonies, games, wildlife, markets, spice farms, tea plantations and dancing; we tasted some wonderful local food; we heard their amazing morning bird choruses, as well as amazing tales by Roshan, our guide; we travelled by bus, boat, tuktuk, bicycle and train, and stayed in some amazing hotels. Travelling with Exodus and having a local guide made the whole experience easy – everything is organised for you. The balance of activity and rest is really well thought out so it keeps you busy, but with rest breaks to enjoy the sun, the pool or simply explore a little more. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone.