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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


T. & H.E.
Costa Rica

This was an excellent trip. The Hacienda was a wonderful place, tranquil and a superb base to watch birds and wildlife while experiencing real Costa Rican hospitality. Our guide, Demitrio, was a very experienced man, and really knew his birds and was passionate about his job. All the local guides used were excellent, and I have to say a special word about Santiago, our driver, who was charming and charismatic, a good driver and skilled birdwatcher! The number and variety of birds we saw was amazing and I would have no hesitation in recommending this tour or this beautiful diverse country to anyone who wishes to experience Central America at its best.

Costa Rica

I think it was a first class holiday. You couldn’t wish for a better guy to run the show out in Costa Rica, his bird knowledge, and the time he gave to all on the trip was second to none.

Costa Rica

Colin is an excellent leader with a very impressive knowledge of the local birds.