Wildlife in Costa Rica

The natural beauty of Costa Rica and it's wildlife are two main reasons that people visit the country. It's geographic location between North and South America has much to do with the variety of species found within its borders, and the neotropical climate produces some of the most diverse ecosystems found anywhere on the planet. Costa Rica is often sited by eco watchers as having the largest number of species per area unit than any other place in the world.

With over 500,000 species documented between amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, insects and butterflies, it is no wonder that Costa Rica is an ecotourist fairy tale. It helps that the government in Costa Rica has a passion for wildlife and preserving it is an ongoing effort of officials. Costa Rica protects nearly 25% of it's land inside National Parks, wildlife reserves and biological corridors. All of this allows those traveling to Costa Rica to see exotic wildlife regardless of the region, direction, or season they wish to travel. Imagine waking up in the morning to Howler Monkeys, who make excellent alarm clocks as they start their day at sunrise. As you head to the local fruit stand, small animals from the racoon family called coatis seem to stand on their hind legs and hold out a paw as they beg for fruit you just bought.  Don't be startled if you are lying by a pool basking in the sun when an iguana lumbers up to see if you have any popcorn or other snacks you are willing to share with him. Some of the animals become so relaxed around visitors that these things do happen, however, the majority of the wildlife keep their distance observing you as hard as you are them.

Quick Facts:

12 Distinct ecozones where species flourish

More than 850 documented species of birds

More than 240 species of documented mammals

More than 290 species of reptiles and amphibians

More than 1200 species of Butterflies

More than 493,000 species of invertebrates