Be on the lookout for these five animals in Costa Rica


Costa Rica has done a good job of protecting areas where flora and fauna can flourish.  Here are some animals to seek out which are fun to observe and will provide great bragging rights upon your return.

Three fingered sloth, photo credit Wikimedia.

Three fingered sloth, photo credit Wikimedia.


These slow-moving cuties have faces that make them look like they are always smiling.  They can be seen throughout the country, but look for them on the Caribbean coast where it is not uncommon to see them do their upside-down traverse across treetops and sometimes restaurant beams.

Large American Crocodile, photo credit Wikimedia.

Large American Crocodile, photo credit Wikimedia.


The endangered American Crocodile can measure up to 16 feet long.  They can be seen from a safe distance on tours through mangroves such as the Guacalillo Estuary in the Central Pacific coast.

Blue Morpho, photo credit deborah_grecco.

Blue Morpho, photo credit deborah_grecco.


There are over 1,500 butterfly species in Costa Rica.  One of the most beautiful is the Blue Morpho due to its large size and iridescent blue top wings.  Furthermore, they are quite easy to see, they live everywhere, from beaches to forests.  Good luck trying to catch a photo due to their erratic flight patterns and dark brown underside visible when they are resting, and camouflaging from predators.

Baby leatherback, photo credit melissaleia

Baby leatherback, photo credit melissaleia.

Sea Turtles

Different species come to nest in Costa Rica, both on the Pacific and Caribbean coasts.  Depending on what time of year you are visiting, chances are there will be turtles nesting and/or hatching on a beach here.  Either experience is unforgettable.  From the tears of a leatherback as she lays their eggs, to the promise of a future a baby turtle holds while battling predators on the way to the sea.

Strawberry dart frog, known as "Blue Jeans" frog, photo credit wikimedia.

Strawberry dart frog, known as “Blue Jeans” frog, photo credit wikimedia.


Out of the many frog species that call Costa Rica home, the tiniest and more colorful are the poisonous dart frogs.  They range in color from bright yellow, to fluorescent green stripes, to the red and blue-legged variety popularly called the blue jean frog. They like damp forest areas and can be viewed throughout the country, from Monteverde to Manuel Antonio as well as in Tortuguero.


Article by Katie Widdowson


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