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Wildlife holidays in Costa Rica

Take a wildlife tour in Costa Rica and discover exotic wildlife from sloth to hummingbirds. Hear the call of the howler monkey echo through the rainforest, spot the red-eyed tree frog, or witness Atlantic Green turtles come to shore to nest on the beaches.


Small group wildlife tours to Costa Rica

Discover the wildlife of Costa Rica and experience the weird and wonderful sloth hanging in the lush rainforest of Manual Antonio National Park. Or the brightly coloured plumage of the indigenous quetzal amongst the overhanging moss and lichen of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve.

For cat lovers, there are six species here to try and see, from the most common ocelot to the illusive jaguar. And if turtles are your favourite, you could be spoilt with the sight of five thousand green and leatherback turtles coming ashore on the beaches of Tortuguero.

Get off the beaten track and experience the wildlife of Costa Rica with our expert itineraries and local tour leaders. Our small group tours are the perfect way to meet new people and get to the heart of your destination, with an average tour size of just 11 people, small enough to get closer to the wildlife of Costa Rica.

Our most popular wildlife tours in Costa Rica

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Best wildlife destinations in Costa Rica

Tortuguero National Park

Cruise the jungle waterways and explore the rainforest of Tortuguero National Park. Start the day with a bird-watching boat trip at dawn and see water birds such as heron, egret and kingfisher along with other species including toucan. Delve deeper into the jungle and hear the call of the howler monkey echo through the tree. You may even spot shyer animals such as ocelot, tapir or the elusive jaguar. If you’re visiting between June and September, finish the day with an evening walk and witness over 5,000 green and leatherback turtles coming ashore to nest on Tortuguero’s beaches. Many of our wildlife tours in Costa Rica visit Tortuguero National Park, including our Explore Costa Rica tour. 

Manuel Antonio National Park

Explore on our Costa Rica – Coast to Coast trip and visit Manual Antonio National Park. Famed for its beautiful beaches and rich wildlife, you’re likely to see white-faced capuchin monkey, coatimundi (part of the raccoon family) and tiny squirrels. It’s also one of the best places in Costa Rica to see sloths. After wildlife spotting, spend the rest of the day relaxing on the white sandy beaches. If you stay all day, the sunsets from this coast are spectacular. 

Monteverde Cloud Forest

Walk the paths that wind their way through gigantic ferns, ducking underneath the lichen and moss that hangs from the giant trees. The jungle floor is an endless green carpeted with blossoms that fall from the high canopy. If you’re lucky you’ll see the rare, but common to this area, quetzal. Known for its brightly coloured plumage, the quetzal is surprisingly good at blending in with the rainforest so is difficult to spot but our expert local leader will be on hand to help and have a good track record of spotting them. See them for yourself on our Highlights of Costa Rica tour

What to expect on a wildlife holiday in Costa Rica

What clothing should I pack for a wildlife tour in Costa Rica?
Costa Rica has a tropical climate but seasonal weather patterns are difficult to predict. For your wildlife tour, we recommend you pack lightweight clothing and a warmer jumper for cooler evenings. A good waterproof is essential and waterproof trousers are optional. Long trousers and long-sleeved shirts are recommended on jungle walks and trail or walking boots. Trainers or sandals can be worn outside of the jungle.

Do I need any additional equipment on a Costa Rican wildlife tour?
For a Costa Rican wildlife tour, we recommend you bring: a sunhat, sunscreen, a small umbrella, a torch, insect repellent, a travel adaptor and a water bottle. Binoculars are essential for bird and animal spotting and, for those interested, we suggest bringing snorkelling equipment for your time in Manuel Antonio National Park.

What is the accommodation like on a Costa Rica wildlife holiday? 
Most of the accommodation for our Wildlife tours in Costa Rica are comfortable hotels. These have a good level of service and often have amenities such as a restaurant, bar, garden or swimming pool. The rooms are generally comfortable with en suite facilities. For some tours, we also stay in premium hotels and/or premium or comfortable lodges.

How much activity is there on a wildlife tour of Costa Rica?
Our wildlife tours in Costa Rica are graded from ‘Moderate’ with lots of exciting activity and downtime built into each day, to ‘Full-On’ with a fully-packed itinerary.

How many people will there be on a small group wildlife holiday in Costa Rica?
On our Costa Rican wildlife holidays, our average tour size is just 11 people. For family tours, in general you will travel with three to five other families.

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