A trip to Costa Rica isn't complete without an excursion to observe its fauna. With many nature reserves, the country takes good care of its 231 species of mammals (monkeys, sloths, tapirs, anteaters, jaguars, and more). In some national parks, like Manuel Antonio and Cahuita, it's easy to spot these animals, making them the best ones to visit if you're traveling with young children. The Jaguar Rescue Center, near Cahuita, allows you to see these rare and elegant felines up close.
Corcovado National Park is a must for any animal lover, with 2.5% of the world's biodiversity concentrated in here alone. Crossing it requires several days of hiking through the humid, wild jungle, but it pays off: amazing encounters with tapirs, capuchin monkeys, sloths, and macaws will be your reward.
Costa Rica is also home to a total of 220 remarkable species of reptiles and 110 species of frogs. Ask your local Evaneos agency to arrange a nature guide to accompany you. Traveling with a guide increases your chances of seeing sights such as the basilisk lizard walking on water at Manuel Antonio, the famous red-eyed frog in Corcovado, or the camouflage techniques of the lizards and snakes of Tortuguero.
Along the Tarcoles river, you can even see crocodiles up close—a thrilling experience. Another unique experience is observing the nocturnal animals of Sarapiqui. You can set off on a night-time excursion for a rare chance to spot these particularly shy animals.