The Incredible Biodiversity In Costa Rica

a red eyed tree frog moving on a tree branch

Biodiversity is the variety of all living things in the world, including plants, animals, and even bacteria. According to the Embassy of Costa Rica in Washington D.C., Costa Rica takes up only 0.03 percent of the earth’s surface area but contains nearly 6% of the world’s biodiversity!

If you’re lucky enough to visit Costa Rica, you will be in one of the most species-rich places in the entire world. With coastlines on two abundant seas, thousands of rare microclimates in the mountains, and rainforests teeming with life, it’s no wonder that Costa Rica is considered a paradise for ecotourism.

At Casa Teresa, many of our special guests choose to stay in our luxury villa in order to have an adventure in the bountiful wonders this land has to offer. Here are just a handful of the tens of thousands of species you can encounter in this beautiful country.

Plant Life

Close to the equator, the biodiversity in Costa Rica is supported by the perfect climate of heat and rain to maintain an incredibly lush rainforest, a cloud forest, and a “dry” forest. Here, you can find more than 9000 species of flowering plants alone!

Mangroves thrive in environments on the coast where the roots absorb salt water to survive. When the tide is in, mangrove forests look surreal—like a forest in the sea.

In the tropical rainforests, trees can grow up to 100 feet tall, and zip line tours allow you to feel like you’re flying in the canopy.

In the mountains of Costa Rica, you can find an extremely rare biome that only exists in a handful of places around the world: the cloud forest. This type of forest is so dense with mist and humidity year-round that it can sustain species that survive nowhere else. The most famous cloud forest in Costa Rica is Monteverde, where you can feel like you are living in the sky. Rising temperatures globally and cloud forests are highly threatened, so you should visit while you can.

Marine Life

Bordering two seas, the aquatic biodiversity in Costa Rica has almost everything you can imagine in the way of marine life.

Turtles are famous for inhabiting Costa Rica’s Caribbean and Pacific coastlines. If you visit during the right season, you might even be lucky enough to see baby turtles hatch and make their way into the ocean.

Whale and dolphin watching tours are popular in Costa Rica. Off the Nicoya Peninsula, where Casa Teresa is located, you can see migratory humpback whales at certain times of the year. While out at sea, you might also see beautiful eagle rays, manta rays, reef sharks, blacktip sharks, and even manatees.

Make sure you snorkel or scuba dive when visiting Costa Rica: there are over 400 species of colorful fish on the Caribbean coastline alone!


You might hear one of Costa Rica’s most famous mammals before you see it: the famous howler monkey has a call that reverberates through the forest.

If you’re fortunate, you might be able to catch a glimpse of the rare spotted jaguar roaming the jungle. Even rarer is the beautiful, sneaky ocelot. And then, of course, there’s the adorable and slow-moving creature everybody loves: the sloth.

In addition to the animals you’ve surely heard of, Costa Rica has a variety of incredibly rare species you will find almost nowhere else: the bicolored tapir, the curious peccary, the rodent-like agouti, the white-nosed coati, and so many more. It’s well worth roaming the jungle to discover the unique mammal biodiversity in Costa Rica.

Reptiles & Amphibians

One of the most recognizable creatures in the Costa Rican wild is the red-eyed tree frog. With bulging red eyes and a strikingly vivid color palette, it’s become something of an icon. But this is just one of thousands of unique reptiles and amphibians that you can find here.

Approximately 85% of Costa Rica’s videos are frogs. You can find countless vibrant little creatures sticking to enormous leaves and snatching up the insects to keep the jungle’s bug population in check. Look, but don’t touch: the infamous poison dart frogs are native here.

Large lizards like iguanas roam the land, as well as around 120 species of snakes, 20 of which are venomous. There are also two crocodilian creatures in the waterways, the spectacled caiman and the enormous American crocodile.


Costa Rica is perhaps the best place in the entire world for birdwatching. With around 900 species, more than all of the United States and Canada combined, there is no lack of avian life that makes up the biodiversity of Costa Rica.

From scarlet macaws, to rare hummingbirds, to keel-billed toucans, the list is far too long to even begin. Come see (and hear!) for yourself the incredible birdlife this amazing country has to offer.

Stay With Us

Without a doubt, the best place to stay in Costa Rica to enjoy all of the beauty of this country is at Casa Teresa luxury villa. With four private suites, personal massage and chef services, and a secluded backyard facing the famous Santa Teresa beach, Casa Teresa is truly a paradise within a paradise. To book your stay, contact us today.