Wildlife Watching in Costa Rica | Travelblog | Edventure Travel

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The best places to view wildlife in Costa Rica

Wildlife watching in Costa Rica is a lot of fun. And you don’t even have to put a lot of effort into it! You have probably seen the sloth, the toucan, the blue Morpho butterfly and the red-eyed frog on photos of Costa Rica, but there are so many more animals to see! In this blog, we inform you on the best places to spot various animals during your Edventure.

Corcovado National Park

Corcovado National Park

One of the best places in Costa Rica to go wildlife watching is in this national park in the south of the country. According to National Geographic, you will find 2.5% of the world’s total biodiversity in Corcovado. A great place therefore to go birdwatching and to spot other wildlife. This national park is a fantastic destination for every nature lover.

In Corcovado live all 4 types of monkeys that occur in Costa Rica. With a bit of luck you’ll spot the howler monkey, the capuchin monkey, the pendulum monkey and the smallest, the squirrel monkey. But you can also come across a tapir, witlippekari, macaws and eagles. And if you’re really lucky, you might see a jaguar yourself!

This is not all, the area is also known for whales and dolphins. Every year whales migrate along this coast. The best time to spot them is between December and March and between July and November, so there is a good chance you actually see them during your holiday. Dolphins can be spotted almost all year round.

You can also discover the beautiful underwater world near Caño Island and snorkel or dive among turtles, rays, moray eels, barracudas and schools of fish.

A nice destination to spend the night is Drake Bay, the most well-known location to stay in the region, because of the boats arriving from Sierpe. But mass tourism is certainly has not arrived here yet. You can book various tours from Drake Bay. And from the village you can also travel to more off the beaten track destinations such as Carate. If you don’t have enough time to actually travel to the Osa Peninsula, you can also book a whale watching tour from Uvita during your stay in Ojochal or another closeby destination.

Paradise for bird lovers


Paradise for bird lovers

If you like birdwatching, Costa Rica is your ideal holiday destination.  In every part of the country, you can spot different types of birds!

The toucan is perhaps the most popular bird in Costa Rica and also one of my favorites. There are 6 species of toucans that have their home base in Costa Rica. On the Caribbean coast you can easily spot the famous toucan with the colored beak (the Throat Bill Toucan), e.g. in Manzanillo near Puerto Viejo or in Cahuita national park.

In places like Tortuguero, Arenal and Corcovado you will spot other species of toucans and many other birds.

If you want to see the beautiful Quetzal, you’ll have to go visit Monteverde or San Gerardo de Dota. These are the two places in Costa Rica where the Quetzal still occurs and it’s definitely one of the most special birds you can spot in the wild in Costa Rica!

Boca Tapada and Caño Negro are two off the beaten track destinations which are also famous for birdwatching. The green parrots or the Great Green Macaws are the best known and most protected inhabitants of Boca Tapada. The best thing to do in Cano Negro is to hire a kayak and explore the wetlands surrounding the village to go see the many species of waterbirds living here.  In addition, you also find also turtles, caimans and crocodiles in these areas.

Palo Verde is also a fantastic off the beaten track destination for spotting many species of water and migratory birds. This national park includes the largest wetland in the country, which attracts these species of birds.


Turtle watching

Turtle watching

Tortuguero is the perfect place to see turtles nesting and to spot baby turtles making their towards the sea. Between July and October and between February and April you have the greatest chance of experiencing this unique phenomenon.

If you want to experience the nature of Tortuguero in its purest, far away from regular tourism, then Barra Pacuare is where you want to go. During your stay here you’ll spot caimans, crocodiles, river turtles, sloths, snakes, birds and monkeys.

Turtle spotting is also possible on the Pacific coast of the country. The village of Ostional has become wellknown for the hundreds, perhaps thousands of turtles which come here to nest between August and November. Furthermore, the nearby beach of Junquillal is also a nesting place for different types of turtles.

Do you want go wildlife watching in Costa Rica?

Take a look at our travel packages and round trips to get inspired and or even compile your own trip.

Do you have any specific questions or need advice? Let us know your what you need and we’re happy to help compile your tailor made  dream holiday!