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We have seen ‘exotic’ wildlife in every Central American country, but not in the abundance we had imagined – a few snakes in Mexico, the sea life in Belize, some howler monkeys in Guatemala, a few macaws in Honduras, a bunch of spider monkeys in Nicaragua.

This all changed once we crossed the border to Costa Rica – this country is wild! Our wildlife sightings increased instantly, and in every place we visited, the mountains of Monteverde, the beaches of the Caribbean or Manuel Antonio on the Pacific coast, we spotted sloths, coatis, huge Golden Orb spiders, frogs, colorful crabs, snakes and bright Blue Morpho butterflies, tiny hummingbirds and huge iguanas.

Here is a selection of our favorite wildlife photos from our time in Costa Rica:

Monkey in Manuel AntonioThe monkeys in Manuel Antonio were the cheekiest in all of Costa Rica. They ignored the tourists…

and spent a lot of time just hanging around…

Monkeys playing in Manuel AntonioIn Manuel Antonio we also spotted some sloths sleeping high up in the trees:

Sloth sleeping in tree in Manuel Antonio… but in Monteverde we didn’t even need to search – one just lived across from our hostel in the trees by the road and used the electricity wires as a shortcut on the way home:

Sloth in Monteverde
Sloth MonteverdeIn Monteverde, we also ‘met’ a curious coati (anteater) in the woods:
Coati MonteverdeCosta Rica is also known for its great variety of butterflies, especially the Blue Morpho, but also colorful ones like this:
butterfly in monteverdeWe saw several snakes during our stay in Costa Rica – can you spot this tiny green snake in this picture?
Mini snake in Manuel AntonioThe crabs we saw in Cahuita on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast were the most colorful ones we’ve ever seen anywhere:

Blue crab in Cahuita
Coloured crab cahuita
crab in cahuitaNear the village of Manzanillo we saw hundreds of huge Golden Orb spiders sitting in their webs:
Spider web near ManzanilloIn Monteverde, the spiders were living in the ground – you will see lots of tarantula nests:

Tarantula in MonteverdeThis iguana enjoyed the views of the Pacific ocean:

Iguana by the ocean…while this big iguana hung out at the beach:

Iguana at the beach in Manuel Antonio

Costa Rica is also a birdwatchers’ paradise, being home to rare species such as the blue crowned mot mot:
Mot mot in Monteverde… and countless hummingbirds:

Green hummingbird in Monteverde
Hummingbird monteverdeRaccoons might be less exotic, but still extremely cute!

racoon in Manuel AntonioClick through our Flickr slideshow for more animal pictures from Costa Rica:



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Tags : costa ricamanuel antoniowildlife


  1. Aww Ladies the pictures are gorgeous! The very first one of the monkeys is precious! I love the hummingbirds and butterflies…Seriously, now you’re adding another CA country we have to stop in. What a funky looking anteater! I adopted one in Venezuela and I loved her-Dulce was her name. I miss her. Alot.
    Mica recently posted..A day in Semana Santa at Copacabana

    1. Hi Mica – a lot of budget travelers skip Costa Rica because it can be more expensive than the other countries in CA, and while that is true, it blew our minds there as to the amount of wildlife. Between the animals and the beaches, we’d say don’t skip CR, just do your research first! Let us know if you need any advice!

    1. Hey guys – actually, this poor little guy had had an electric shock recently, and was crawling around with three out of four limbs. We felt terrible for him, but the locals said he was recovering well!

  2. Aww Ladies the photos are ravishing! The first of the monkeys is valuable! I cherish the hummingbirds and butterflies… Seriously, now you’re including another CA nation we need to stop in. What a hip looking insect eating animal! I embraced one in Venezuela and I adored her-Dulce was her name. I miss her. Alot…..

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