Discover Costa Rica’s Exotic Animals!

Dazzle Yourself with the Great Variety of Mammals that Live in This Land…

Do you feel that nature and all its mysteries invite you to explore? Then you will be identified with destinations that involve watching a lot of wildlife. If this is your case, Central America is about to become your favorite place to go. This region is very attractive for those ecotourism enthusiasts since it has great ecologic wealth.

In this sense, Costa Rica is an excellent example. Despite being a small country, it is characterized by abundant flora and fauna that dazzle all those who visit it. It has approximately 5% of the world’s animal species, from reptiles and amphibians; to mammals and birds. With a total approximate of 500,000 species, it is considered one of the most biodiverse places on the entire planet.

In addition to the aforementioned, Costa Rica leads most world conventions on conservation, sustainable ecotourism, and sustainability in general. Because of this, more than 25% of the national territory is protected in special conservation areas. You can be amazed when getting to know its parks and wildlife refuges but, if we still do not convince you to visit us, we made a list of the most exotic animals in our country that you will not be able to forget:

Perezoso (Sloth)

It is a mammal that is commonly found in the humid jungles of Central and South America. It can be classified into 2 large families, 2-toed and 3-toed; however, more than 50 different genera are known. They get their name in Spanish for spending most of the day dozing among the tree branches.

3-toed sloth with its offspring

In our country, you will find the “Sanctuary of the Sloths” which was created in order to protect these animals, in addition to the various endogenous birds of Costa Rica. It is the only research center of this type; it rescues, rehabilitates, and takes care of wounded species, especially those that have been separated from their mothers.


This wild cat is ranked 3rd among the largest in the world. Belonging to the carnivores of the panther genus, it is the only species of this type found in the rainforests of Central and South America.


In Costa Rica, we have the Jaguar Rescue Center. Located in the old port of Limón. It specializes in the rehabilitation of wild animals and their subsequent reintroduction to their natural habitat in protected areas. They focus primarily on the jaguar; the most persecuted animal in the Americas. Therefore, it is the symbol of nature that is in serious danger of extinction.

Tigrillo (Ocelot)

It is a species of carnivorous mammal distributed from Costa Rica up to northern Argentina. It is small, similar in size to a domestic cat; a little brown tail, the back a little gray with coffee, with small spots in the form of dark brown rosettes on the periphery and, towards the center of its eyes, it has a yellowish tone.

In Costa Rica, you can find it towards the center of the territory and part of the central Pacific.

Pizote (Coati)

Pizotes have short limbs, elongated snout with an excellent smelling sense, large eyes, and short ears. In addition, they have colors ranging from brown to reddish. They are social animals; they live in bands of 5 to 20 individuals.

This animal is found distributed almost throughout the country, but mainly in lowlands such as Santa Rosa or Guanacaste. However, you may be lucky to observe it in forested areas or areas covered with bushes. Even flocks of up to 150 individuals have been seen in extreme places such as the volcanoes of Costa Rica.

Red frog

It is a tiny species with an intense red color and black spots. It invites you to play it at first sight, but … Be careful! This one is highly poisonous. Among their main predators are themselves since they are very territorial and can kill each other. If you wonder where you can locate it, it is located in the Caribbean, from Nicaragua to Panama.

Red frog on dry leaves

In Costa Rica, for example, you will find them in several of our national parks throughout our national territory. Among the places, you can visit are the Arenal Volcano, Tortuguero, and the biological station “La Selva”.


There are approximately 600 species of iguanas in the world, and out of 38 are here. They are native to the tropical areas of Central America and the Caribbean. You can see them on the Nicoya peninsula or in hot places.

Green turtle

In Costa Rica, 5 to 7 species of marine chelonians that inhabit the world can be observed, including the green turtle. This is large and is distributed in tropical and sub-tropical tides.

It is currently in danger of extinction. Therefore, it is illegal capturing, damaging, or killing them. Costa Rica is responsible for its protection with the “Tortuguero” National Park.

Green turtle

This protected area is located in the Caribbean of Costa Rica. It is one of the largest nesting sites of this species. It is composed of a system of beautiful wetlands with lagoons and navigable channels. The time when you can enjoy the observation of turtles is usually between March 1 and October 31.

If what you like is to explore nature, this is just a stroke of the magic that you will live during your visit to Costa Rica.

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SOURCEYohander Rodríguez
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