Costa Rica is a country rich in biodiversity, containing nearly 6% of the total known species on Earth. Over the years I have had the pleasure of traveling back to Costa Rica countless times, and recently resided there for a year traveling the country with a field studies program.

Halfway through the program I was able to aquire a used DSLR and start practicing my photography skills, and the wildlife of Costa Rica was a favorite subject of mine while working there.

National Parks in Costa Rica are a great place to view the wildlife and hiring a guide is essential to help you find the things you wouldn’t normally notice. One of my favorite places was Corcovado National Park, which even has an accessible concrete path, and in en route to one of the most visited national parks and beach towns Manuel Antonio.

Please enjoy this photo journal with shots from my time living in this beautiful country encountering these amazing Costa Rican creatures and their habitats.

For more Costa Rican wildlife, read our post about studying hummingbirds in Cerro de la Muerte

You don’t have to be a pro to see wildlife in Costa Rica. All you need is a guidebook and the right camera or binoculars to start spotting some of these amazing animals.

For birding we recommend this waterproof field guide, or this more in depth birding book. If you’re interested in more general wildlife, this waterproof field guide covers a great base, and this general wildlife guide book has more information to get you started. 

Even if you don’t bring a guide, you will still want to bring a set of lightweight binoculars with you to spot far off wildlife while you are hiking and exploring the beautiful landscape, since a cell phone camera will often just not do you justice.

We like this pair, with a fair amount of range and an affordable price, to get you started on your wildlife spotting adventure. Be warned, however, because it is addicting! 

Getting ready for a trip to Costa Rica? Read our guide on Costa Rican Slang before your trip!

Have you been to Costa Rica and spotted any of these animals? Or are you planning for a future trip? Leave us a comment and let us know where you are headed, or what you have already seen!

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