Wildlife and the Pura Vida
Costa Rica is known to be one of the most biodiverse places in the world! With over 500,000 different species, the animals are so incredibly abundant that no matter what, you are bound to see several exotic creatures when you are in the country. Ranked number one for being the most biodiverse country in Central America, Costa Rica is the perfect destination for an immersive eco-experience.
Wherever you go in Costa Rica, whether it be the jungles or the beaches, you are bound to see a variety of animals such as monkeys, birds, sea turtles, dolphins, coati (a Central-American raccoon), snakes, frogs, crocodiles, wild pigs, sloths and more! With this country's incredible array of ecosystems– from volcano-fed hot springs to pristine beaches and tropical rainforests– Everyone who visits is sure to be overtaken with awe and appreciation for the natural brilliance this country has to offer.
On my trip to Costa Rica, I was able to explore several different places around the country. Each place I visited was unique in its own way. In the more coastal areas, wildlife included iguanas, scarlet macaws, Halloween crabs, sea turtles, spotted dolphins, Humpback whales, and toucans. The mountainous regions were rich in a wide variety of several types of bird species, blue morpho butterflies, margays, poisonous dart frogs, snakes, lizards and more! Monkeys, sloths, tapir, and coati were dispersed throughout.
My favorite place of all was the Osa peninsula. I found it specifically intriguing because unlike a trip to the beach or the mountains, the Osa was a great mixture of both! On one side, you were on the beach and on the other side, just a few feet away, you were in the midst of dense jungles. The wildlife is also more abundant on the Osa because it is home to the infamous Corcovado National Park. Corcovado is special because it's basically untouched by humans; nature was able to fully run its course leaving behind a breathtaking place booming with wildlife.
The animals are active at all times, day and night. There are nocturnal creatures like insects, owls, kinkajoos, snakes, etc. If you are ever walking around past dark, make sure you bring a flashlight and look closely ahead of you so you don't step on any of these critters! I have come inches away from stepping on snakes, crabs, and giant toads. The sounds of the animals at night are incredibly peaceful and calming, however, at around 4 am, when the sun starts to rise, the howler monkeys and scarlet macaws start to make their presence known. While some of the bird sounds are lovely in the morning, the macaws and toucans have loud squawks that may not be very pleasant when you are trying to sleep- in. You might want to get to bed a little earlier to get a full night's rest because once the animals are awake, you probably will be too.
For me, coming from a place like California, Costa Rica was a big change in scenery. I was blown away by the verdant landscape and thick, flourishing jungle. But the most entrancing part about Costa Rica was the incredible abundance of exotic wildlife. I am an animal lover, so being surrounded by animals was absolute paradise for me. I learned so much by simply observing the animals and seeing how everything works together naturally allowing the ecosystems to thrive. It all lives up to the saying “Pura Vida” this place is pure life.