10 Rare and Beautiful Species Found in Rincon de la Vieja

If you love wildlife, imagine visiting a forest that hosts about 4% of the world's species.

Plus, you get to witness flora and fauna in a pristine, untouched environment where preservation is the Rincon de la Vieja National Park's priority. This makes walking through the unique dry forest of Costa Rica a wildlife adventure.

rincon de la vieja

So, if you plan to visit Costa Rica, traveling to the Pacific Northwest of the country will have you site seeing waterfalls, swimming in natural springs, and hiking through an abundance of wildlife.

We've gathered the 10 most sought after animal sightings to get you excited about your visit.

1. Long-tailed Manakin

The abundant species of birds in the national park will keep any bird enthusiast busy especially when you look out for this beautiful species.

Its distinct blue back and red head stand out on its midnight black body including a long thin tail and bright orange feet. But, despite its visible features, it has only be recorded by 51 observers.

If you don't see it, then you still might hear the mating call of males singing for a mate. And if a female likes the song, you might get to glance at the courtship dance to win her heart and close the partnership.

2. Black-banded Snake

This slim colorful snake may slither by you on a hike, but it may go unnoticed since its full length as an adult is only 45 cm. But, if you do happen to sight it, you may wonder how you missed the bright black and orange stripes.

At this size, its main meal includes centipedes. And luckily for us, it is a non-venomous species, so you can observe without worrying about a deathly ending.

3. Canivet's Emerald

This tiny hummingbird of 8 cm is common in Central America among subtropical or tropical dry forests like the Rincon de la Vieja National Park.

Its sequins of emerald green on its neck and tail give it a suitable name. The metallic shimmer may be confused with the garden emerald but they can be identified by their red beak with a black tip.

4. Mantled Howler Monkey

While taking one of our tours of the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano you might want to look up into the canopies for a group of up to 40 Howler Monkeys. These primates thrive on the young leaves of trees as well as the fruit of the ficus tree.

They do like to rest and relax, so you may hear the deep call of the male monkeys who prefer calling over moving to communicate. Another unique feature is their ability to see in three colors, unlike a normal two-color vision due to diet.

5. Naprepa Flexifera

Seeing this species of moth or larva depends on which stage of life there are in. The larva Naprepa Flexifera changes to more intensive colors. The end result before their transformation is a bright blue with orange dots exterior.

As a moth, you will miss its sighting since their dull brown color is meant to camouflage them from predators.

6. Trooping Crumble Cap

These edible fungi are also known as fairy inkcap because they group together to make a whimsical display of white umbrella-shaped wonder.

Their white caps stay strikingly clean as they do not turn black after maturity like most mushrooms.

But, if you see these beauties, do not touch them as they can are fragile and can fall apart easily.

7. Monk Orchid

First found in the tropics of Africa, the Monk Orchid is now naturalized in places like Rincon de la Vieja Costa Rica, South and Central Americans, and even Florida.

Despite its attractiveness of pale pink flower, it is considered an invasive plant in non-native locations like Florida. This is due to its easy fertilization process and limited soil needs.

Despite its diversity, seeing one of these in the vast tropics of Costa Rica is still rare and exciting.

8. Central American Agouti

An essential component to the disbursement of flora through Costa Rica including the area of a volcanic whip is the spread of seeds.

This agouti species helps carry the seeds around large portions of the forest. But don't mistake them for a rat or squirrel even though they are about the same size, they tend to be more orange, yellowish, or reddish.

9. Groove-billed Ani

You can see this tropical bird all year long in Costa Rica since it only migrates from its North American and Northern Mexican territories.

This black bird may resemble a crow or raven but its curved beak and short torso make it a unique sighting. Its extremely long tail also distinguishes it between other common species.

10. Black Spiny-tailed Iguana

Among many species of lizard in this region, the Black Spiny-tailed Iguana is one of the largest at over 4 feet in length. You may have seen the more common Green Iguana in a pet shop, but this is a spiky, striped version.

They are a fast breed as well as good hiders. You may see them climbing a tree or under rocks eating leaves, flowers, and seeds.

How to Visit Rincon de la Vieja

Our hotel and guided tours make it easy to visit Ricon de la Vieja National Park. We pride ourselves on keeping our hospitality and tourism sustainable as to not disturb the natural wonders of the park.

But, we do not forget the luxurious part of any vacation by offering amenities like superior dining options and a relaxing spa.

Contact us today to find out about our vacation packages for your Costa Rican getaway.