Wildlife of Costa Rica

I have a confession to make: Costa Rica was not on my list of places to go. OK, I take that back. It was on the list, just not at the top. I’m not a fan of big crowds and watered out tours. This was (ignorantly) my perception of Costa Rica. I do not like “Americanized” destinations, unless they’re in, well, America. After spending seven nights in the country I can confidently say that there are still parts of Costa Rica that are not spoiled with huge resorts or crowds and I am so happy that Mr. Wife with Baggage could persuade me to see all that this Central American Country has to offer.

Wildlife in Costa Rica

My true apprehension was due to my intense desire to see a “real” rainforest. The kind of jungle that my first grade teacher so expertly taught about. The kind with the monkeys and frogs. The kind that humans are destroying. The kind that we need to help save. I was afraid Costa Rica’s recent development and popular status for American travelers spoiled these rainforest, and took the animals with it. I wanted desperately to see real jungle animals. Luckily, (thankfully) places like this do exists in Costa Rica and I was not disappointed!

We spent 3 nights on the Caribbean Coast and hiked through Cahuita National Park while there. The park was teaming with wild life that a park ranger was happy to point out to us after we gave him a few bucks to do so. Tour guide schmoore guide. Just bribe a park official! Just kidding. No, not really.

We also spent time on the Pacific Coast in Manuel Antonio National Park and saw all kinds of wild creatures – mostly humans – but some more tame! Check out some of our favorite pictures below of the Wild Life in Costa Rica.


Leaf Cutter Ants in Costa Rica

Leaf Cutter Ants

Stick Bug

I have never seen a stick bug! Let alone, this big!

Butterfly in Costa Rica


Lizards, Snakes and other Reptiles:

Yellow Viper Costa Rica

Yellow Viper

Costa Rica Colorful Frog

Red Eyed Tree Frog

Crocdiles in Tarcoles

Crocodiles at the Tarcoles River and Bridge. THIS is why you do not swim in rivers in Costa Rica!

Geckos in Costa Rica

I hate geckos (and other lizards) so Mike tormented me and the gecko by catching it.

Green Lizard in Costa Rica

This colorful guy was found in Cahuita National Park

Iguana Costa Rica

That is one spiky iguana.

Lizards in Costa Rica

Look at his beady eyes.


Toucans in Costa Rica

A flock of toucans perched high up in the trees.

Scarlet Macaws in Costa Rica

Scarlet Macaws are even prettier out of the cage.

My personal favorites:

Manuel Antonio Colorful Crab

I loved this colorful crab in Manuel Antonio National Park.

Sloth in Manuel Antonio National Park

I absolutely LOVE sloths. This guy is the reason I wanted to visit a rainforest. He is magnificent!

The cute little beach towns in Costa Rica that dot the coastline offer great views, but they were just not my cup of tea for this trip. You all know that I am a beach lover, but Costa Rica to me is about the lush, dense, humid tropical forests. The jungles were everything I learned about as a kid, and then some. My heart breaks to know that the country’s rainforests, and these animals’ habitats, are loosing the battle to farmers and developers. Will the rainforests be around for future generations? Costa Rica is still the wild country that I was hoping for, but for how much longer? I went to Costa Rica hoping to see wild life and rainforest, but I left on a mission to help save them.

Here are a few links to educate yourself on deforestation and how we can all help save these animals’ homes!

5 thoughts on “Wildlife of Costa Rica

  1. Jennifer Turnbull-Houde

    Enjoyed your post. Glad you made it to Cahuita. That’s a great little off the beaten path gem. If you ever make it back to Costa Rica, let me know! Lots of small towns to explore that aren’t touristy at all. You’d probably enjoy the region south of Manuel Antonio and definitely the Osa Peninsula- so much wild rainforest!

    1. Wife with Baggage Post author

      I’d love to come back – which I can honestly say surprises me! I’d love to see the Osa Peninsula and even the Tortuguero National Park. Two Week in Costa Rica will be a great resource for us when we return! 🙂

  2. Pingback: Visiting Manuel Antonio Park | Is Manuel Antonio Park Crowded? | Wife with Baggage

  3. Pingback: Flowers of Costa Rica | Wife with Baggage

  4. Pingback: Costa Rica: NOT Americanized | Wife with Baggage

Leave us a comment or question!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.