The Must See Flora and Fauna of Costa Rica

The Must See Flora and Fauna of Costa Rica

Whether you're a biologist or simply a nature lover, going to new areas gives you the chance to view creatures and plants that you've never seen before. Even if you've seen them before, viewing them in their natural habitat provides you with a look into their daily existence. If you have children, pointing out the animals and plants along the route might make the trip more instructive and possibly inspire them.

Visiting historical sites, and of course the beach are high on most visitor’s lists, but the flora and fauna are always favorites.

Costa Rica has been quite effective in protecting its rainforests despite having multiple towns and lots of agricultural lands. In reality, Costa Rica has more than 50 national parks, with six different types of rainforests, each with its unique set of animals and vegetation. There are over 500,000 natural animal and plant species in Costa Rica, many of which are endangered or extinct, so viewing them now might be your final opportunity.

Here are some of Costa Rica's must-see animals and plants, as well as where you might observe them.


The tapir, which looks like a mix between a pig and an elephant, is more than just a lumbering beast; it also helps disperse seeds across Costa Rica's tropical evergreen forests and deciduous dry forests. It will be difficult to miss one crossing your way, weighing between 150 and 300 kilograms, and their short elephant-like trunk makes them a fascinating sight to witness.

Tapirs may be found in Corcovado National Park, Santa Rosa National Park, and the Monteverde Cloud Forest. These are typical sites on many of the current Costa Rica vacation package excursions that concentrate on wildlife.

Capuchin with a White Face

What child doesn't like seeing a monkey? Our furry counterparts have an eerie quality about them, and their behavior is frequently all too similar. Monkeys such as the Howler, Spider, and Squirrel Monkeys may be found in Costa Rica. The White-Faced Capuchin, on the other hand, has long been a favorite and may be found in Costa Rica's dry woods, rainforests, and cloud forests. They normally reside in groups of up to 30, so sighting one usually means that there are many more around.

They may be found in abundance at Manuel Antonio National Park and across the Osa Peninsula. You'd be hard-pressed not to see one on a Costa Rica holiday package focused on wildlife, just as you would with the Tapir.


The Ocelot, also known as Manigordo (fat hands) in Spanish, is a tiny wild cat that belongs to the cat family. Although not native to Costa Rica, these large-footed felines are abundant throughout the country's jungles and are seldom observed in the wild.

Consider going to a refuge like La Paz Waterfall Gardens Nature Park for a certain viewing. Otherwise, keep an eye out for different plants and animals when you're out and about.

Quetzal is a magnificent bird.

The Quetzal, Costa Rica's and possibly the world's most beautiful bird, has long been adored and even considered sacred by local Mesoamericans. The male has all of the appealing qualities of the female, including vivid green plumage and a striking redbreast, white tail feathers, and lengthened upper tail coverts, as do most birds.

The Quetzal may be seen in the canopy of Costa Rica's central highlands; employing a local bird spotter can help ensure a sighting at the proper time of year.

Flora Even on the most basic Costa Rica holiday package, you will likely be blown away by what you see when it comes to Costa Rican plants. However, if you're interested in botany, the many botanical gardens there will astound you.


Orchids, well-known for their look, have had a profound impact on humanity and represent much more than their beauty. Costa Rica has around 1,400 orchid types, with some plantations importing international kinds as well.

La Garita Orchid Garden, located 8 miles from San Jose International Airport, is a must-see for orchid enthusiasts. A visit to the Lankester Botanical Garden, on the other hand, will expose you to the world's largest collection of orchids.

Botanic Garden of Else Kientzler

While it is one of Costa Rica's newest botanical gardens, it is already well-known both locally and internationally. It's packed with gardens featuring typical Costa Rican plant groups including palm gardens, succulent gardens, tropical fruit trees, and bromeliads, and it's located in the town of Sarchi. For this reason, the Else Kientzler garden is a renowned tourist site.

Published by William Smith

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