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I Spy: Costa Rican Edition

I Spy: Costa Rican Edition

One of the top attractions of Costa Rica is the wildlife. Many visitors look forward to seeing all the tropical species that are home to the country. The most recognizable include sloths, monkeys, iguanas, toucans, and more. You won’t find these animals easily in San José, but will definitely have the opportunity to see these creatures in their natural habitat during excursions. The best areas, in fact, are the national parks, which offer shelter for the animals to roam freely.

National parks are protected areas that prohibit the destruction of wildlife in all forms. Commonly, you will see signs that warn against feeding or touching wild animals and littering in nature. These precautions protect the natural environment and ecosystem. In Costa Rica, the regulations of national parks can be even more stringent. For example, Cahuita National Park, along the Caribbean coast, closes daily at 4pm, a relatively early hour. This allows the animals to have a break from human interaction, and still enjoy the daylight hours. For Manuel Antonio National Park, this same standard applies, and the park goes even farther to be closed all-day on Mondays.

While visiting these parks, there will be some animals that you can spot easily. However, most hide clandestinely in the vegetation of their habitat. With this in mind, it is worth considering hiring a guide to help you in your scavenger hunt for all the wild animals. Many animals hide in plain sight, and you need a trained eye to be able to spot them. Otherwise, you may end up looking at the same animal over and over again (like the white-faced monkey).

Additionally, some areas offer day tours, as well as night tours. During the night tours you may spot insects, spiders, frogs, and bats. In Cahuita, Heidi solicited the help of her friend Fernando to give us both a day tour and night tour. An extra benefit of a hired guide is that they have the proper instruments to see the animals, such as telescopes and special lighting during the night. Check out some of the pictures we took, with the help of Fernando.

Iguana at Manuel Antonio National Park

Congo Monkey at Cahuita National Park

Three-Toed Sloth at Cahuita National Park

Two Frogs at Fernando’s Place

White-Faced Monkey Video

Me at Manuel Antonio using a telescope to view the animals in the trees


09 January 2020


Mia Casas