You owe it to your kids to see nature the way it was before zoos and theme parks existed. Give the family a trip they will remember forever.
Sandwiched between North and South America and between The Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Ocean, Costa Rica is a bio geographical bridge bursting with life and natural wonders. For such a small country, it offers some of the finest and most varied wildlife viewing on the planet. Similar in size to West Virginia, this rain forest-cloaked Central American country is home to more than 500,000 different species — about 4 percent of all plant, insect and wildlife species on Earth. All six Central Americans countries with Costa Rica as the leader agreed to coordinate their efforts to prevent biodiversity loss and create a huge system of interconnected parks, reserves and wildlife corridors that seamlessly link North America to South America. The vision is for an immense biological corridor connecting the forests of southern Mexico to those in the rest of Central America, all the way down to the Panama Canal.
If you’re planning a trip, plan to take some of our wildlife observation tours with one of our expert naturalists guides. There are several ways to observe wildlife. You may hike, horseback ride, motor boat (the best) or ATV (least desirable) but however you travel around Costa Rica you will see lots of animals. Make sure you look out for some of these weird and exotic animals:
The strawberry poison dart frog is a unique creature for many reasons but in particular, because of its ability to morph. It can change from red bodied with blue legs to green with black spots to navy blue. These frogs, found all throughout Central America and Puerto Rico, are only toxic in the wild, creating its poisonous defenses from natural elements found in the jungle. Once domesticated, a diet of fruit flies and store-bought goodies doesn’t quite do the trick. Despite their small size, strawberry poison dart frogs have been quite a successful species and are in no danger of becoming extinct.
2. American Crocodile
The American crocodile, found in southern Florida and all the way down to Ecuador is well populated in Costa Rica. The average crocodile is 10 to 13 ft. long, but in Costa Rica they measure about 13 to 16 ft. long. They can often be seen congregating by bridges where unenlightened tourists toss them food for photos. This species is currently threatened and now only about 1,500 American Crocodiles live in Mexico, Central and South America. The biggest threat to their existence is loss of habitat.
3. White Headed Capuchin Monkey
Quite the clever animal, white headed capuchin monkeys are known to use tools as weapons and as a means of getting food. They also will rub plants over themselves for what appears to be herbal medicinal use. This could be one of the reasons for their long life and high population. These monkeys hang out in groups of up to 40 monkeys and can live to be over 54 years old. They are found in southern Central America, Columbia and Northwestern Ecuador. In Costa Rica, the intelligent primates are easy to enjoy as they are among the most commonly seen animals in the National Parks.
4.Scarlet McCaws In Central & South Pacific Of Costa Rica
A flash of brilliant red, blue and yellow, and a loud raucous squawk, and you know you are in the jungle. There is nothing quite like the sight of wild Scarlet Macaws flying overhead or contentedly gathered in bunches in a treetop to give you the full feeling of being in the tropics.Their distinctive noisy cry carries for miles, so you usually hear them before you see them. When you do sight a Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao), they are a breathtaking rainbow of colors â€“ fire engine red bodies with sunshine yellow and royal blue wing feathers tinged with a bit of green, and a distinct stark white patch around both eyes. LEARN MORE
Ocelots are nocturnal cats and are about twice the size of a normal house cat. They can be found in every country south of the U.S., except Chile. They range in length from 38 to 60 inches long but only weigh 20 to 35 pounds. Their light weight and massive feet make them excellent tree climbers. Once listed as vulnerable due to hunting (mostly for their fur), ocelots have had a resurgence and are now not considered a threatened species. However a serious threat comes from the commercial development of its habitat.
Sloths are among the more unique animals in the world. Known for being incredibly slow, three-toed sloths sleep 16 to 18 hours each day and live high in the jungle canopy, coming down only once a week or so to go to the bathroom. While they walk and move along trees very slowly they are actually strong swimmers. When in the trees they do not travel very far usually staying in their home range of about 12 acres and will even spend about 20 percent of its time in one tree. While sloths will actually fight for their territory using their long claws, females will give up their territory to their young after caring for them for their first nine months.
- 7. King Vulture
The king vulture is the last remaining member of its genus. They are strong scavengers and will usually be the first to arrive at a fresh kill. Other than its distant cousins, Andean and California Condors, it is the biggest of all vultures. Its length ranges from 27 to 32 inches and its wing span can be up to 6 feet 6 inches wide. These birds are spread out from Southern Mexico all the way to Northern Argentina. With somewhere between 10,000 and 100,000 individuals in the wild, the king vulture is a healthy species with its only threat coming from loss of habitat
If you are walking through the Costa Rican rainforest and hear “yo-YIP, a-yip, a-yip” you are likely eavesdropping on this big-beaked bird telling its friends to follow him. The chestnut-mandibled toucan is the biggest toucan in Central America and is a prominent member of the habitat. Despite the big bill, toucans mostly eat fruit though will make do with insects and small snakes when the opportunity presents itself. These toucans live between Eastern Honduras and Northern Colombia. In Costa Rica, you will find them in the wet forest lowlands of the Caribbean and on the Pacific side along the Cordillera de Talamanca up to Carara.
This long-nosed brother of the raccoon is also known as the “Snookum Bear.” Coatis are widespread and can be found as far north as Southern Arizona and stretch down into Northern Argentina. Though not aggressive when provoked or when defending itself, these creatures can be fierce fighters. They have strong jaws, sharp teeth and can swipe quickly with their paws. There is little data on this animal regarding its population. Hunting them is still unregulated and while, like most animals, it suffers from loss of habitat, they are listed as not threatened.
10. Howler Monkey
The mantled howler is one of the largest Central American monkeys, and males can weigh up to 9.8 kg (22 lb). It is the only Central American monkey that eats large quantities of leaves; it has several adaptations to this folivorous diet. Since leaves are difficult to digest and provide less energy than most foods, the mantled howler spends the majority of each day resting and sleeping. The male mantled howler has an enlarged hyoid bone, a hollow bone near the vocal cords, which amplifies the calls made by the male, and is the reason for the name “howler”. Howling allows the monkeys to locate each other without expending energy on moving or risking physical confrontation.
Sublimely beautiful Costa Rica has something for everyone. The treats range from exciting adventure to leisurely relaxation, and everything in between that we can add to your diving package. Furthermore, tourists can sample the laid-back national lifestyle that ticos (the name the Costa Ricans call themselves) refer to as ‘Pura Vida’ – ‘pure life’: no stress, no hassle. All this, combined with unsurpassed natural beauty and a developed and accommodating tourist industry, makes Costa Rica a wonderful place to visit and vacation.
Our agents can set up the all inclusive or al a carte vacation package and itinerary you want throughout the country. There is no charge for our service and we’ll save you money and lots of time and you’ll get the vacation you want.
*We have a wonderful NEW DVD, it is 23 minutes: LEARN MORE
To see all the adventure tours that Bill Beard’s operates Throughout Costa Rica: CLICK HERE
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Our Reservation Office Is Located In La Fortuna, Costa Rica In The Shadow Of Arenal Volcano, behind the Catholic Church, Near The World Famous Hot Springs.
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Contact Our Office At 877 853-0538 or 954 453-5044 M – Sat., 9 – 9 ET
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IMPORTANT NOTE – Please be advised that every reasonable effort has been made to keep all prices up to date and free of errors or omissions. Prices and policies from our vendors and the Costa Rican government are subject to change without notice. Invoices will be issued at the time of booking to confirm all final rates and offers.