Wildlife & Costa Rica

Costa Rica is an exciting destination for its enormous variety of wildlife.  You will see Howler monkeys right outside your door at Lake Arenal Retreat Center. You will hear their deep rumbling growls echoing through the jungle, especially early in the mornings when they mark their presence and their territory.

Costa Rica is famous for its colorful birds like Scarlet Macaw, Toucan and Quetzal.  In a lucky moment, you’ll see a phosphor blue Morpho butterfly or spot a tiny strawberry red Poison Dart frog (cute but poisonous).  In the national parks there are also jaguars, tapirs and sloths just to name few.

Costa Rica is considered to possess the highest density of biodiversity in any country worldwide. There are tropical rainforests, deciduous forests, the Atlantic and Pacific coastlines, cloud forests, and Mangrove forests.  In Lake Arenal area itself there are over 2,000 species of plants, 120 mammals, and 300 birds. The Costa Rican government is active in protecting its biodiversity. Over 27 percent of the land in Costa Rica has a protected status as a national park, wildlife refuge and/or forest preserve. It is a real nature lover’s paradise!

Situated geographically between Nicaragua and Panama, Costa Rica is a small country about 200 miles long and 70 miles wide with two coast lines, the Caribbean and Pacific side. As a Central American country, Costa Rica is unique in that it has not had a standing army for over 50 years while maintaining the longest uninterrupted democracy. The standard of healthcare and education is high, with a 95% literacy rate.

The population of Costa Rica is approximately 4 million. Costa Ricans, known locally as Ticos, are warm and friendly people. Costa Ricans have won surveys as the most content people in the world. It shows! The saying: Pura Vida! is used generously as a greeting or farewell. Literally translated it means “pure life,” but it can mean many things including:  “Full of life,” “This is living!” or “Going great!”