Wildlife and highlights of a Costa Rica safari

A holiday to discover the wildlife in Costa Rica simply amazes all as, despite only representing 0.03% of the earth’s surface, she contains no less than 6% of the world’s total biodiversity - a truly impressive statistic! Costa Rica is a thrilling combination of mountains, cloud forests, volcanoes, two very opposing coastlines with paradise beaches and countless national parks that comprise 25% of total landmass. 

You could stay in Costa Rica for years and still discover new natural wonders.

Flora and Fauna

Lush and green all year round, flora and fauna abound in Costa Rica. Over 200 mammal species rustle stealthily through the undergrowth, and whilst many are elusive, jaguar, ocelot, margay, puma, jaguarundi, sloths, monkeys, bats and armadillo are all waiting to be spotted, particularly during night hikes. Reptiles and amphibians also thrive in this ecological haven, with over 170 amphibians, such as colourful tree frogs and dart frogs seen alongside snakes, caiman, lizards and iguanas.

Often referred to as Costa Rica’s ‘Little Amazon’, Tortuguero National Park is one of the 'must-see' locations to explore on holiday due to its moist tropical rainforest and network of rivers, canals and lagoons that simply beg to be explored by boat. The primary means of navigating is via boat, and there are also hiking trails for those wishing to explore on foot. Containing a marine and land dual ecosystem, the park was created to protect the green turtle due to its perfect nesting ground. It is hugely important for conservation, as many endangered sea turtles lay their eggs here, including leatherback, olive ridley, green turtle, loggerhead and hawksbill. 

Aside from turtles, a wealth of wildlife can be seen in the coastal rainforest such as caiman, river otters, tapirs, sloths and hundreds of bird species including macaws and toucans.


Monteverde and the Pacific coast

The inland areas of the country offer equal appeal to those on the coast, with Monteverde’s cloud forest offering cool, misty walks through various trails, which is great for birdwatching and, if you are lucky, you may spot the national emblem - a resplendent quetzal. Here you can also zipline through the forest canopies giving you a thrilling bird’s eye view on the luscious green landscape below. Further east, Arenal’s many hikes in the foothills of the volcanoes are also a great place to experience the variety of topography, with geothermal hot springs and the volcano itself rising out of the jungle in brilliant symmetry.

On the Pacific side, the area around Drake Bay is a great place to observe sea mammals including dolphins, Orcas and humpback whales in their natural habitat. Manuel Antonio Marine Preserve is also home to sea turtles and dolphins, which you can see as you sail the Pacific waters on a boat expedition. 

Cocos Island is Costa Rica’s best spot for diving and snorkelling, including underwater safaris amongst hammerhead sharks, eagle rays, manta rays, tropical fishes and - if you are very lucky – whale sharks.

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