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Are you an animal lover? Then you’ll love Costa Rica! Check out the amazing wildlife you can expect to see on your Costa Rica vacation here.
Costa Rica has idyllic beaches, diverse culture, and incredible wildlife.
While you’re out exploring the rainforests, indulging in luxurious beach-side spa treatments, and horseback riding through the mountains, you’re sure to encounter lots of Costa Rican wildlife.
Costa Rican Wildlife You May See on Your Vacation
On our recent honeymoon trip to Costa Rica, Kevin and I came across a ton of wildlife, plenty of which we weren’t prepared to see (climbing all over our porch in the middle of the night). If you want to know what kind of wildlife you might come across on your next Costa Rica vacation, read on!
We saw these monkeys (pictured above) on our zip line adventure through the trees. The zip line guides scraped some metal against the metal of the zip line posts to agitate the monkeys and let us hear how they howl. And boy can those little monkeys howl: Their howl can travel three miles through dense rainforest.
This was a rare find on our horseback ride through the mountains as our guides didn’t expect us to see any. Smaller than the howler monkey, the spider monkey is considered the most intelligent species of monkey and typically bark or scream. I didn’t get a good look at this monkey since my horse was determined to push through and was stopping for no monkey.
A member of the raccoon family, this was our friend who got onto our porch in the middle of the night. They’re about the size of a large house cat with elongated noses and long tails. I’m also pretty sure I heard the little guy thunk against our sliding glass door because he was trying to get inside and watch TV with us.
Even raccoons make their appearance in Costa Rica. We were startled half to death our first night at the resort due to one of these bandits scampering across our path. In a couple seconds, another raccoon followed and they dashed off into the night, and though they had gone out into an open field we weren’t able to find them to confirm what we had seen. But then our third night there, there the raccoons were lounging nonchalantly by the pool.
Do you find skunks adorable when they run across your feet in the middle of dinner? Somehow despite the fact this dinner guest was uninvited, the spotted skunk was still a very cute animal. Just 16 inches long, this furry little thing is slender with two stripes and two spots on the sides of his butt. The skunk is nocturnal, and this particular one must have been familiar with the resort and used to people because with all of his scampering he didn’t cause any problems but some startled feet.
Lizards galore! We found these scaly friends all over our resort. There were small ones on the walkways and large ones sunbathing in the grass. Then there was the very large spiny tailed iguana in the tree. The spiny tailed iguana is so named because of black, keeled scales on their tails. They’re the largest of their kind and are the fastest species of lizard. But this one was content to chill in the tree all day; he was there when we went to the beach in the morning and he was still there when we went down to watch the sunset.
Top Costa Rica Tours
With so much to see, Costa Rica can be overwhelming for any first-time traveler. To take some of the stress out of planning your visit, opt for a guided tour! Check out this list of the top Costa Rica tours to help you make the most of your time in this beautiful Central American country.
- Arenal Volcano Full-Day Combo Tour with Lunch and Dinner
- Surf Lessons in Tamarindo, Costa Rica
- Full Day Waterfall Adventure
Where to Stay in Costa Rica
Find the perfect place to rest your head on your visit to Costa Rica, from the top rated accommodations to unique stays you can’t get anywhere else.
- Where We Stayed: Occidental Papagayo
- Top Hotel: Tulemar Resort
- Great Value: Volcano Lodge, Hotel & Thermal Experience
- Unique Stay: Arenal Observatory Lodge
More Costa Rica Travel Tips
Make the most of your trip to Costa Rica, whether it’s a honeymoon or a regular vacation. Check out these travel tips and itineraries:
- The Best Things to Do on a Costa Rica Honeymoon
- What to Pack for a Trip to Costa Rica
- The Perfect Drinks For a Costa Rica Vacation
Ready to visit Costa Rica? Plan your trip with these tips.
- Book your flight: Find the cheapest flights using Skyscanner, my favorite flight search engine.
- Find accommodation: You can find top hotels and honeymoon resorts in Guanacaste, Costa Rica using Booking.com.
- Book your tours: Make the most of your honeymoon by booking amazing tours in Costa Rica.
- Get packing: Make sure you’ve packed everything you need with my packing list resources.
Have you run into any interesting Costa Rica wildlife? Tell me about it in the comments!