Astonishing animals in Costa Rica
How amazing is Costa Rica’s wildlife? Four out of seven sea turtle species nest here and it’s one of few countries to have two- and three-fingered sloths. There are hundreds of different amphibians, including the famous red-eyed tree frog. And if you think when you’ve seen one hummingbird, you’ve seen them all, allow Costa Rica to introduce you to its 50 plus varieties.
Curating the list of wild wonders down to 10 isn’t a simple task. Fortunately, the local experts at the Costa Rica Tourism board know their stuff, understand what’s likely to get kids’ pulses racing, and what’s good to see and when. Have a look at their final cut, and don’t be surprised at how many fantastic creatures are best seen from May to October: perfect timing for UK school holidays.
1/9 Howler, capuchin, squirrel and spider monkeys
Costa Rica is home to four native species of monkeys: the mantled howler; white-headed capuchin; Geoffroy’s spider monkey, and the Central American squirrel monkey.
True to its name, you’ll probably hear the howler even if you don’t see it: the male’s loud and eerie calls reverberate around forests at dawn and dusk. Both capuchin and spider monkeys often pop up (sometimes at eye level) on aerial tours of Monteverde Cloud Forest, and soaring overhead through the tree canopy in Manuel Antonio National Park. Kids will need good observation skills to spot a tiny squirrel monkey, as the adult male seldom grows bigger than 30cm.
Where to see monkeys in Costa Rica
- All four monkey species are found in Corcovado National Park on the Osa Peninsula.
- Monteverde Cloud Forest is a good bet for spotting capuchin and spider monkeys.
- Mantled howlers are quite widespread and seen, or heard, in several of Costa Rica’s national parks.
- There’s a high chance of seeing spider monkeys, along with capuchin and howlers on a tour of Manuel Antonio National Park.