There aren't many other tropical destinations that offer as wide a variety of wildlife to see as Costa Rica. There are countless wildlife reserves, sanctuaries & national parks in the country that offer tourists an amazing chance to get up close & personal with some of the world's most exotic plants, animals & insects. Even if you could dedicate just one day to exploring the biodiversity of Costa Rica during family vacations or luxury travel adventures, you won't regret it. The nation is filled with individuals who have dedicated their lives to the safety & protection of these beautiful creatures.
- Africa Mia: If you're looking to get yet another continental experience on your vacation to Costa Rica, the Africa Mia reserve allows visitors the chance to embark on the closest thing to a safari adventure in the entire Caribbean with over 11 species native to the transatlantic continent, according to CostaRica.com. More than 150 animals dot the three sections of the reserve where visitors can ride in an open-air vehicle to witness these creatures adapting to the Costa Rican environment & even feed a few at the petting zoo. Though there are no aggressive or territorial animals, tourists can see zebras, antelope, giraffes & ostriches milling about the landscape. Some native Costa Rican species also reside at the reserve which truly makes the natural diversity one-of-a-kind.
- The Bat Jungle: Instead of waiting outside to try & glimpse the country's native bats gliding through the dark sky, vacationers can travel to the Bat Jungle to see these animals hanging from the ceiling. With 95 bats of eight different species swooping down from their upside-down perches to snag pieces of fruit fed to them, these animals have adapted to an entirely different schedule than their wild compatriots, according to the atrium's website. Eating during the day & sleeping at night allow visitors to see these elusive bats as special equipment manipulates their generally inaudible noises so that the human ear can hear them.
- Butterfly Farm: Mesh nets cover this entire facility, which houses more than 50 species of butterflies & caterpillars along with plants & flowers that are just as colorful as the insects around them. Visitors to the farm walk along a pathway decorated by murals painted by local artists depicting these beautiful creatures. The facility is dedicated to the process of maturing these insects & spreading knowledge of their importance throughout various cultures & mythologies. Experts help tourists learn to spot hidden eggs on plants & can learn the different vegetation the bugs use for food & habitat.
- Arenal EcoZoo: This serpentarium holds over 70 different species of snakes, crocodiles, lizards & turtles, showcasing the vast diversity of the region's reptile & amphibian populations. The park was founded with the main purpose of educating people on these animals & stressing just how fragile their ecosystem is. Though the array of creatures at the Arenal EcoZoo is vast, it only represents less than half of the total species on Costa Rica. Night tours allow tourists to see some of the more rare & exotic nocturnal species, but the regular tours focus on the biology & nature of the cold-blooded animals as well as their important role in the wild.
The next time you're at Costa Rica & you want to see some of its natural beauty, visit one of the many safe havens for the animals that call the country home. You'll be impressed by their beauty & left wondering which is more remarkable, the appearance of the wildlife or that of the landscape around you.