Scavenger Hunt: Costa Rica – What Animals are Common in Costa Rica

One of my favourite things about exploring new places is seeing the different kinds of wildlife that is present in different countries and regions. Here is a list of the animals and plants that we encountered during our 7 day stay in Costa Rica and where we saw them.

Our goal was to see how many different species we could see on our own without any guides! We hope to give you a realistic expectation of what animals you can see in Costa Rica during rainy season in 7 days. We strongly recommend going to Costa Rica in rainy season (because that is all we know at the moment) as there are less people in the national parks and it increases the likelihood of seeing animals in their natural habit and natural state. Also we recommend keeping your distance from the animals and respecting their habitats. Click here for our Costa Rica and Manuel Antonio National Park Guide. (Coming Soon!)

Note: The ✓ means we saw it, but unfortunately weren’t able to photograph it. The other animals left without a ✓ are common to see in Costa Rica, but we didn’t get a chance to see them.

humming bird ✓ La Paz waterfall garden

quetzal bird

scarlet macaw parrot ✓ Gaia hotel and reserve and at Jaco Beach

Sadly, these beautiful birds were once severely endangered due to mono-cropping and poaching. However, amazingly, Gaia hotel and reserve has created a gorgeous environment for them to thrive in. If you are planing on visiting the Manuel Antonio area and are looking for a place to stay, we highly recommend this hotel. They have a beautiful 10 acre reserve devoted to preserving and restoring the scarlet macaw population. Chase and I were so fortunate to be able to spend a morning helping plant cashew and almond trees to assist in the efforts to help these birds thrive again. Also, on this beautiful reserve are several others species of animals such as spider monkeys, iguanas, lizards and more!

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Yigüirro, Costa Rica’s national bird

Blue-Gray Tanager

Toucan ✓ Manuel Antonio area at El Avion restaurant

We highly recommend checking out this restaurant if you’re in the area. It has gorgeous views of the ocean and the rainforest and it’s really well priced. Within minutes of us being seated we saw 2 toucans and a 3 toed sloth.

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turquoise browed motmot

spider monkey ✓ Gaia hotel and reserve

white faced capuchin ✓ Manuel Antontio national park on the beach

Definitely  keep an eye on your belongings because these monkeys will snag anything they can grab in search of food. They will come up to you, but please remember not to touch them or feed them because any bacteria that we have on our bodies and the food we have can make them very sick.

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two-toed sloth

three-toed sloth ✓ Manuel Anontio national park

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howler monkey

coati

red-eyed tree frog

zebra long wing butterfly

blue morpho butterfly ✓ La Paz waterfall gardens and Rio Celeste waterfall

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glasswing butterfly

Plants

banana plant ✓Manuel Antonio national park

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starfruit

papaya

avocado

lychee

mango ✓ Gaia hotel and reserve and Nayucca waterfall trail

pineapple

orchid

pink ginger ✓ Rio Celeste Hideaway

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monkey ladder vine

Guanacaste Tree

Heliconias or Lobster claws

shampoo ginger

Others 

Costa Rican raccoons  Manuel Antonio national park

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various butterflies ✓ rio celeste waterfall and la paz waterfall

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hawks ✓ Gaia hotel and reserve

monkey comb ✓ Gaia hotel and reserve

iguana ✓ Gaia hotel and reserve

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wild dogs ✓ Rio Celeste area

We made friends with this lil guy and named him Rico!

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frog ✓ Manuel Anontio national park

lizard ✓ Manuel Antontio national park and Gaia hotel and reserve

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gecko ✓ Gaia hotel and reserve

sea cucumber ✓ Snorkelling in Manuel Antonio

cows ✓ everywhere! 🙂

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lilly ✓ Asclepios wellness retreat

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aloe ✓ Asclepios wellness retreat

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alligators  ✓ Near the town of Jaco

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Cougars ✓ La Paz waterfall garden

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jaguars ✓ at the La Paz waterfall gardens

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Overall, if you are visiting Costa Rica, and your goal is to see some wildlife, we highly recommend visiting Manuel Antonio National Park. view our post here for more information.

Have you been to Costa Rica and seen any of these animals? Leave a comment below saying what you spotted and where 🙂

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