Spot the real stars of Costa Rica. Here is the when and where you should be to get up and close with some of the most famous locals.
Costa Rica is one of the few countries in the world that has both two toed and three toed sloths, you can spot them everywhere in Costa Rica except the Guanacaste area. You just have to look up really high.
White faced and squirrel monkeys: Manuel Antonio National Park is the perfect place to see both of these species all year round.
Howler Monkeys: You will hear one before you see one. Howler monkeys can be heard and seen all year round throughout many of Costa Rica’s national parks.
Spider monkeys: These monkeys are most often seen in Manuel Antonio national park and Corcovado National Parks all year round.
From December to March Humpback whales call the warm south pacific waters home. There are two seasons: July until the middle of November and from mid-December to April. Marino Ballena National Park is a great location to go whale watching, which also happens to have a whale tail shaped coast.
Families can take a boat tour out on the pacific and watch baby whales being taught how to swim by their mothers.
Away from the whales you will also have a chance to jump in to the pacific for a swim, the waters here are warm all year round.
Turtle nesting is one of the top must see experiences in Costa Rica and truly magical.
There are four different types of turtle species Leatherback, Green turtles, Oliver Ridleys and Hawksbill.
Leatherback: On the Caribbean they nest from March to July. On the Pacific they nest from September to March.
Green turtles: They nest from June to October along the North Caribbean, especially in Tortuguero.
Olive Ridleys: Found along the Pacific coast, they nest throughout the year. Although on many of the beaches the nesting is concentrated from July to November
Hawksbill: This species nest in Cahuita National Park in September and October and can be found foraging in the Golfo Dulce.
Quetzals- Said to be the most attractive bird in Costa Rica. These small and cute birds have striking green and red colouring. However, their small size, camouflaged colours and very fast moves make them hard to spot and even harder to capture on camera.
Best place to find them is Los Quetzales National Park during mid-February to May on avocado trees.
Hummingbird – There is 50 different species of hummingbirds in Costa Rica. They typically nest during the dry season months of December through April therefore, may be more reclusive during these months.
Scarlet Macaw: This species was nearly extinct in Costa Rica however, due to the countries efforts in sustainability and protection of national parks the Macaws are growing in population. You can now hear their distinctive sound as they fly across the sky in pairs. They can be seen on the Osa Peninsula and around the Carara Biological Reserve.
The largest lizard specifies in Central America, an adult green iguana can reach six feet in length.
On a hot day you will find these large lizards coming down to catch some rays.
Eco lodges are the best places to see iguanas. Whilst having your lunch it’s common to have an iguana walk past or standing next to you.
While out on the pacific coast spotting whales you will also get a chance to see dolphin Common dolphin species found on the Pacific are Risso’s, rough – toothed, spinner and striped
Whilst on the Caribbean you can regularly find Costero and bottlenose dolphins.
Dolphins can be spotted all year round
Usually linked with Costa Rica the famous small tree frogs can be found all year round however, you will particularly find them spotted in the lowland rainforests of Tortuguero National Park, Manuel Antonio National Park and in the cooler regions of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve.
In Costa Rica you don’t have to go looking for butterflies they come to you. You can find them everywhere. Around 18% of the world’s species can be found in Costa Rica, as well as 90% of the species that are found in Central America.
The blue morpho butterfly is the most famous butterfly in Costa Rica. This is one of the largest butterflies in the world, with a wingspan of 20 centimetres (8 inches). You will most likely see its huge vibrant blue wing fly past you.