I never get tired of watching the monkeys in Costa Rica. It is so much fun to watch the cute, miniature-sized Squirrel Monkeys jump and play, and marvel at the ingenuity of clever White-faced Capuchin Monkeys. Spider Monkeys are wonderful to see swinging gracefully through the trees with their long arms, legs and tails. And the haunting call of Howler Monkeys at dawn, dusk, or before the rain, gives you that spine-tingling “I’m in the jungle” feeling.
There are only a few places in Costa Rica where you can see all four native species of monkeys – Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge on Golfo Dulce, the Piedras Blancas National Park, Osa Peninsula and Corcovado National Park.
Out of 250 species of primates in the world, 68 are in the Americas. Native to the forests of Costa Rica are the threatened Central American Squirrel Monkey (Saimiri oerstedii), the White-faced Capuchin (Cebus capucinus), the Mantled Howler Monkey (Alouatta palliata) and the endangered Geoffroy’s Spider Monkey (Ateles geoffroyi).
All four kinds of monkeys are active during the day and live in the treetops. You can see them using their strong limbs and prehensile tails (almost like a third hand) to swing between the trees when you walk the trails at Playa Nicuesa Lodge or on a visit to the Piedras Blancas National Park. On the kayaking tour in the Esquinas River mangrove estuary, you can frequently see White-faced Capuchin Monkeys and also Squirrel Monkeys.
Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge is located in the pristine rainforest on a remote beach of the Golfo Dulce. A TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence winner, the rainforest lodge in Costa Rica has its own 165-acre private preserve bordering the Piedras Blancas National Park.
August and September bring whale-watching season to Golfo Dulce, where you can see migrating Pacific Humpback Whales that come to Costa Rica’s warm waters to breed and give birth.
Article by Shannon Farley