Highlights Along the Way
Family Travel, Treats, Tips, & Traditions

Costa Rican Wildlife : Travel


Three words – Costa Rican Wildlife. When our kids found out the hubs and I were going to be traveling to Costa Rica they gave us a list of animals they really wanted us to take pictures of if we got the chance.  We shared this list with our private guide and he showed us all the animals we were hoping to see and more!  All the animals were seen along the roads we traveled or in the Manuel Antonio National Park (nature preserve) from a safe and respectful distance.  None of the animals shared were in zoos or held as pets – the Costa Rican wildlife is absolutely breathtaking!  Here are a few of our pictures as well as our video of a Three-Toed Sloth!


The White-Faced Capuchin Monkey was so cute!  We watched a family run around several trees looking for bugs and berries, they barely noticed us at all!


On our drive to San Manuelo, our keen guide spotted a tree full of Scarlet Macaws.  These birds were really hard to find!  This was the only time we saw Scarlet Macaws on our entire trip and they were in one of the tallest trees I have ever seen!  Keep your eyes and ears open when you are in Costa Rica!  It was incredible to see them in their natural environment!

Weevil Beetle

This Weevil Beetle came to say hello to us right on our balcony at Arenal Kioro Suites & Spas.  He was super cute and we enjoyed watching him walk around.  We snapped this picture to show our guide, who told us that he was not at all dangerous.


Our guide spotted a family of Toucans also in a large tree on the side of the road.  I could not believe how colorful beautiful and BIG these birds were!  I don’t think I have ever seen a Toucan in real life – even in a zoo!  It was a treat to birdwatch!

Golden Orb Spider

This is a Golden Orb Spider that was hanging out just a couple of feet from our hotel Finca Rosa Blanca.  These spiders are all over Costa Rica and while they are HUGE and scary-looking, our guide told us they are not poisonous….. we still kept a safe distance just in case!  The Golden Orb spider’s webs are extremely strong and used in making bulletproof vests.  Once we got past the initial freak out, we were able to appreciate how beautiful this creature was….. still though, I’m glad they are not native to California!


Our son asked us to get a picture of a crocodile and our guide knew just the place.  Along our travels, we stopped at Crocodile Bridge.  Crowds gather to watch dozens of crocodiles swimming and sunbathing below.  My son sure loves this smiley crocodile….. I still shudder!

three toed sloth

This adorable little guy is a Three-Toed Sloth, he was in a tall tree at the entrance of the Manuel Antonio National Park …. he was kinda my favorite.  We have a different Three Toed Sloth on video at the bottom of this article.  They are beautiful creatures!

two towed sloth

The Two-Toed Sloth is a bit bigger and furrier than the Three-Toed Sloth.  This guy was hiding well and this was the only shot we could get of him!

Costa Rica Iguana

OK – so this is probably the biggest iguana I have ever seen in my entire life!  Iguanas are everywhere in Costa Rica and they are very calm.  We of course gave any iguana or lizard we encountered space.  This particular iguana was huge!  Head to tail he was taller than my husband – it was insane!  I have never seen an iguana this color before, our guide told us that male iguanas turn this orange color during the mating season. *blushes*

And below is a pretty awesome video of a three-toed sloth.  My sincerest apologies for the shakiness – but I still think it is pretty awesome!


*All photographs are mine and may not be used without written consent.*

*Keep in mind it is illegal to touch or feed wildlife in Costa Rica, make sure to keep a safe and respectful distance so as not to interrupt the natural balance of life.*

Until Next Time ~ Kate
Categories:  Travel
  1. Deanna says:

    Wow you got some amazing photos! What camera did you use? I had trouble getting great photos of the sloths and toucans we saw.

    Hope you had a great time!

    • Kate says:

      Thanks Deanna! We broke down and bought a Samsung Galaxy and it is ridiculously amazing. We had a big fancy camera and honestly could not do as much with it as we can with this – and it is SO compact! It has a 21X zoom and it has tons of amazing settings – we also have a macro video of a butterfly drinking pineapple juice! – coming soon 😉 – Our memory card had a bit of an issue while we were there – but the camera itself is amazing!

  2. Jewel Blair-Smith says:

    Fantastic pictures Kate. Thanks for sharing. AJ

  3. Rust says:

    SO much color nearer the equator, amazing! That toucan is gorgeous!

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