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Costa Rica

Wildlife holidays in Costa Rica

Tell me about Costa Rica …

Costa Rica is a Central American country bordered by Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the east and south. Its name means, literally, ‘rich coast’ and its government intends to make it the first carbon neutral country by 2021. It is also officially the ‘greenest’ country in the world!

Costa Rica has coastlines on both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and, for a small country, has a very varied range of habitats. It lies just north of the equator and boasts the fifth highest peak in Central America.
It has lush evergreen cloudforests in the highlands and dry deciduous forests in the lowlands. It also has marshes, swamps, rivers and subalpine paramo habitats.

Our Costa Rica specialist recommends...

Our ‘Costa Rica’ tour is a 15-day birdwatching holiday where we hope to see the best of the 800+ species such as the Resplendent Quetzal in the cloudforest. Other specialities include the Peg-billed, Large-footed & Yellow-thighed Finches.

Paul Stanbury
Operations Manager

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Featured Tours


Mount Arenal (Dave Riley)Magnificent Hummingbird (Chris Kehoe)Green Violet-ear (Roger Parker)Emerald Toucanet (Jo Bentley)Crested Guan (Peter Dale)White-necked Puffbird (Josh Joshi)Laughing Falcon (Josh Joshi)Keel-billed ToucanGreen Iguanas (Josh Joshi)Palo Verde wetlands (Josh Joshi)Snail Kite (Josh Joshi)Roseate Spoonbill (Josh Joshi)Grey Foxes (Josh Joshi)White-nosed Coati (Josh Joshi)Black Spiny-tailed Iguana (Josh Joshi)Purple Throated Mountain Gem, male, Monteverde (John Lockwood)

What’s special about its wildlife?

Costa Rica has the greatest density of species in the world.

Its bird life is particularly splendid – Costa Rica has one of the richest avifaunas of any country, with over 850 species recorded! Indeed, more species have been recorded here than in the whole of North America, yet the country is about the size of Wales. From a dazzling array of hummingbirds to orioles, antbirds, nightjars and wildfowl, Costa Rica is a superb birding destination.

It also has an extraordinary diversity of plants, butterflies and amphibians, while its mammals include sloths, tapirs, big cats and a rich variety of monkey species among many others species. Costa Rica is also home to the world’s fastest running lizard, and four species of turtle nest along its coasts.

Naturetrek tour to Costa Rica

Naturetrek offers a 15-day bird watching tour to Costa Rica. We visit as wide a range of habitats in the time as possible focusing primarily on birds but also taking time to enjoy some of the country’s other special wildlife.

What wildlife might I see?

  • It’s possible to see over 30 species of hummingbirds
  • We look for trogons, manakins & tanagers on the Pacific coast
  • Scarlet Macaws flying to their night-time roosts
  • A chance to see arguably the world’s most beautiful bird – the Resplendent Quetzal
  • Spectacular wetland bird life including up to five species of kingfisher
  • Many species of monkeys, sloths & other Neotropical mammals on our bargain tour


East Sussex
Costa Rica

We thoroughly enjoyed the trip and Chris Kehoe and local guide Esteban Biamonte have superb knowledge of the birds we saw and were very willing to share it with first-time visitors to Costa Rica like ourselves. The hotels were excellent and the transport, and driver Alberto, meant we visited all the birding areas safely and in comfort.

Costa Rica

Chris gave us a very well organised tour, he really knew his patch and made sure we all got the best out of the birds whatever our level of expertise. Santiago was a good driver and knew the birds, he and Chris made a good team. We saw a wide range of habitats and moved around Costa Rica, but never felt rushed…a great holiday. Thanks.

Costa Rica

The BA service was excellent. The Hacienda was particularly individual. All the areas chosen were particularly appropriate for wildlife and scenically beautiful. Chris was a personality I shall never forget; strong, humorous, knowledgeable and efficient.