20 Living Creatures To Search Out In Costa Rica's Corcovado National Park

20 Living Creatures To Search Out In Costa Rica's Corcovado National Park

Did you know that rainforests are the world’s most vital habitats?

Did you know that about half of the world species live in the tropical rainforest?

Many of the rainforest animals of Corcovado use camouflage to disappear into the dense jungle surroundings and can be hard to spot, especially for those not used to searching for animals in the dense rainforest. A local guide, knowledgeable about the flora and fauna is the best way to increase your animal sightings.

Since the park is not a zoo, you can’t be guaranteed to see specific animals, as they roam the park looking for food, but with patience and a sharp eye, you will spot many creatures.

Start an animal list at the beginning of the day, and review it at dinner time. You’ll be amazed at what you found.


This list highlights 20 species that are commonly seen in Corcovado:

1. Howler Monkey (Congo):

One of the largest new world monkey. They have short snouts and wide-set, round nostrils. They can smell food up to 2km away. Their deep howl is what gives them their descriptive name.


2. Spider Monkey (Colorado):

One of the largest and most intelligent new world monkey. They eat mostly fruits and sometimes leaves, flowers and insects. They are social animals that live in groups of up to 35 individuals.


3. White-headed Capuchin Monkey (Capuchin):

A medium sized, intelligent new world monkey. They are indispensable to the rainforest ecosystem as they disperse seeds and pollen throughout the forest. Capuchin’s eat many different kinds of food, fruit, plants, insects, lizards.


4. Squirrel Monkey (Titi):

A small sized new world monkey. Their small size makes them pray to snakes and falcons. They are omnivores, eating mostly fruits and insects. They can live in groups with as many as 500 members.


5. Anteater (Tamandura):

They are mostly solitary animals with poor sight, but excellent sense of smell. Their specialized tongue allows them to quickly lick up as many ants or termites as possible without getting stung.


6. Boa Constrictor (Boa):

A large, heavy bodied, nocturnal snake. They eat a wide variety of mammals and birds, but feed mostly on rodents and lizards.


7. Scarlet Macaw (Lapa Roja):

A large, red, yellow and blue bird with a loud screeching call. These birds thrive in Corcovado due to the large supply of food available from the Almendra trees.


8. Tiger Heron:

A large wading bird that frequents river banks It often waits motionless for frogs, fish or crabs to come within reach of it’s long bill.


9. Tapir (Danta):

Primarily nocturnal, the tapir can be found at all hours. The animals is often found close to water and enjoys swimming and wading to keep cool. They have four toes on each of their front foot and only three toes on each of their back foot.


10. Preccary (Chancho de Monte):

Often spotted in large groups of 20 animals or more.They normally feed on fruits, roots, nuts, tubers and inertebrates and small vertebrates. They travel in packs and if encountered, should not be disturbed otherwise they can charge you. Climb a tree if you feel in danger of attack.


11. Coati (Pizote):

An intelligent and strong animal, coati’s are omnivores, eating invertebrates, small verebrates and eggs. They have a great sense of smell which helps them find food.


12. Leaf Cutter Ants (Hormiga):

These ants spend much of their time cutting leaves to make compost for gardens in which they grow the fungi that they eat. They can be seen carrying leaf pieces on their backs on trails that they have cleared on the forest floor.


13. Crested Caracara Hawk (Caraca):

A  bird of prey, they are recognized by their long legs and the reddish skin on their throat and cheeks. They can be found in open pastures and river edges. They often hunt live food on the ground, or steal food from other birds.


14. Crocodile (Crocodilo):

Crocodile and Caimen can be found in most rivers and estuaries. The ecosystem of Corcovado provides no shortage of food, so there is no immediate danger to humans unless they are provoked.


15. Bull Shark (Tiburon):

A shark commonly found worldwide in warm, shallow waters along coasts and in rivers. It’s name comes from it’s stocky shape, flat snout and unpredictable behavior. Because of it’s aggressive nature, river crossing in the park should be taken with great care and only at low tide.


16. Hermit Crabs:

The hermit crab of Corcovado lives both a terrestrial and aquatic life. The crab conceals itself in an abandoned sea shell. As the crab grows, it exchanges shells with other hermit crabs that need a new sized shell.


17. Pelicans (Pelicanos):

A large, usually pale colored water bird with a long beak and a large throat poach for catching prey and draining water from the mouth before swallowing. They frequent inland and coastal waters where they mainly feed on fish they catch near the waters surface.


18. Sea Turtles (Tortuga Marinas):

Four species of sea turtle are found in Corcovado: Olive Ridley, Leatherback, Hawksbill and Pacific Green Turtle. Females leave the ocean at night during the rainy season to lay clutches of eggs in the sandy coastal shores. Look for “tire tracks” on the beach leading up to a nest, or for evidence of broken eggs in the sand. If you encounter a turtle. give her lots of space, no flashlight, and never touch her clutch of eggs.


19. Tayra (Tolomuco):

An omnivorous animal with dark brown or black fur from the weasel family. They are active both in day and night. are expert climbers, and can jump through the canopy when being pursued by prey.


20. Three Toed Sloth (Perezoso):

An arboreal animal, it lives in the canopy and only comes to the forest floor once a week to defecate. Because their gray-brown fur appears greenish due to algae growing on it, they can be quite a challenge to spot in the forest.