Costa Rica Wildlife: 10 Reasons to visit Diamante Animal Sanctuary

By: | September 19th, 2017 | 2 Comments


Costa Rica is famous for its lush tropical forests full of exotic animals. When you visit Costa Rica, you can’t leave without getting up close to some of the beautiful creatures native to this land. Costa Rica wildlife varies from innocent butterflies and friendly toucans to venomous snakes and giant crocodiles. A great (and safe) way to see the animals of Costa Rica is at a wildlife refuge. Diamante Eco Adventure Park has a beautiful animal sanctuary in the Guanacaste Province with dozens of species native to Costa Rica. We spent a day there interacting with rescued animals and ziplining through the tropical forests. See what Costa Rica wildlife we discovered at Diamante Eco Adventure Park‘s animal sanctuary. Here are our 10 reasons to visit a wildlife refuge in Costa Rica.

1. See snoozing sloths

These lazy little guys are so stinking adorable. Sloths are a must-see animal in Costa Rica. If you’re lucky you may spot one in the wild. If not, head over to a wildlife sanctuary. We missed this little guy’s feeding by 5 minutes…what a shame. He was already asleep by the time we arrived. Sometimes they are too sleepy to be bothered with eating.

Wildlife of Costa Rica

See a sleepy sloth at Diamante Eco Adventure Park in Guanacaste region of Costa Rica

2. Hold a toucan

The colorful toucans were our favorite part of Diamante animal sanctuary. We held them on our arms and fed them. They like hats so when I put on my sun hat, the toucan kept pecking at it and peaking underneath at me. He also stuck his beak down my shirt, that frisky bird! 😉 We spent a lot of time in with the toucans, feeding them out of our hands and holding them. It was so much fun. Our kids saw the photos and are begging us to take them next time. We definitely will be back for that!

Toucan in Costa Rica

Holding and feeding toucans at Diamante Animal Sanctuary of Costa Rica

Toucan at Diamante Animal Sanctuary

Interacting with rescued toucans at Diamante Eco Adventure Park in Costa Rica

3. Feed a marmoset

These cheeky critters are too darn cute! Don’t get too close though. These mischievous little guys might pee on you! Our guide told us that sometimes people get too close to the enclosure and have opened their mouths to say “Oh look how cute they are”. With an open mouth they got a mouthful of monkey urine. One almost got my clothes but thankfully I backed away just before he relieved himself. I did get to feed him some bites of plantain, which was really cool! Marmosets are actually the only animal at the sanctuary that are not native to Costa Rica. They were adopted into the family at Diamante after their caregiver passed away. We think they are adorable and were so happy to meet them.

Costa Rica wildlife

Curious marmoset at Diamante Eco Adventure Park animal sanctuary

Feeding a marmoset monkey at Diamante Eco Adventure Park animal sanctuary

4. Get your hat snatched by a mischievous white-headed capuchin monkey

We were able to get really close to the white-faced monkeys thanks to our guide. One sneaky monkey reached his hand out through the enclosure and tried to snatch my hat. It was hilarious but definitely took me off guard! These guys are considered the most intelligent New World monkeys. Have fun interacting with these smarty pants. You will also see them in the wild throughout Costa Rica. We saw several at our resort and on our ATV ride on the beach.

Capuchin monkey Costa Rica

White-faced monkey of Costa Rica at Diamante Eco Adventure Park

White-headed capuchin of Costa Rica

This monkey tried to snatch my hat at Diamante Animal Sanctuary in Costa Rica

5. Learn why male iguanas are so lucky

We learned a very interesting fact about iguanas from our guide at Diamante Animal Sanctuary. Did you know that male iguanas have 2 penises? Guys, I know you are all jealous. You are all thinking “those lucky bastards!” They can only use one at a time, though, so slow down those dirty minds. Nonetheless, it’s still pretty freaking cool. We unfortunately weren’t able to capture a photo of any iguana penises during our visit. They were just chillin’ while we were there. But the large male was surrounded by a lot of ladies, so they know what’s up. 😉

Costa Rica iguana

Lucky male iguana with 2 penises at Diamante Animal Sanctuary in Costa Rica

6. Be surrounded by beautiful butterflies

Butterfly conservatory in Costa Rica

Butterfly garden at Diamante Eco Adventure Park’s Animal Sanctuary

Who doesn’t love butterfly conservatories? It feels magical having the gorgeous creatures flutter around you and perhaps even land on you. If you’re traveling with young children, this will surely be a hit. Our kids absolutely adore butterflies. They cannot get enough of watching them fly around and get so excited if one lands on them. Bring your kids here and they will go crazy!

Butterfly in Costa Rica

Costa Rican butterfly at Diamante Animal Sanctuary

Butterfly garden Diamante Animal Sanctuary Costa Rica

Entrance to butterfly conservatory at Diamante Eco Adventure Park Animal Sanctuary

7. Gaze into the eyes of a rescued jaguar

Jaguar of Costa Rica

Rescued jaguar at Diamante Animal Sanctuary in Costa Rica

These stunning cats are a near-threatened species whose numbers are declining, so their protection is more important than ever. They are such beautiful and regal animals. It is awe-inspiring to see them up close. They seem to be comfortable and well cared for in their habitat at Diamante Animal Sanctuary.

8. Walk a hanging bridge over crocodiles

Crocodile of Costa Rica

Have a safe look at crocodiles at Diamante Eco Adventure Park

These ancient reptiles scare me, so I’m very happy that we didn’t see any crocodiles in the wild while in Costa Rica. Seeing them safely in the animal sanctuary was perfect. We even got to walk a suspended bridge over their habitat at the end of our zipline course. How’s that for exciting?

9. Learn which snakes to avoid in Costa Rica

Snakes are also on my list of scary animals that I hope not to encounter in the wild in Costa Rica. There are many different venomous snakes in Costa Rica that you may find on a hike through the tropical forest. Thankfully you can see them safely behind glass at Diamante’s animal sanctuary. We learned about the venomous snakes that we hopefully never meet eye to eye, like this yellow viper below. One bite from him out in the middle of the tropical forest and you’d be lucky to survive.  So if you want to see the snakes up close that are native to Costa Rica but don’t want to risk being bitten, come to an animal sanctuary.

Venomous Snake of Costa Rica Yellow Viper

The yellow viper is one of many venomous snakes native to Costa Rica at Diamante Animal Sanctuary

10. See a baby spider monkey

We love monkeys, and you absolutely can’t visit Costa Rica without seeing monkeys. A baby monkey is even better! Do you spot the baby monkey clinging on to its mom’s stomach? We could’ve stayed and watched this cutie for hours. Don’t linger too long though, because you’ll want to have plenty of time for all the other fun stuff to do and see there.

Spider monkey Costa Rica

See a baby spider monkey at Diamante Eco Adventure Park in Costa Rica

Conclusion on Costa Rica wildlife at Diamante

We only had a limited amount of time in Costa Rica, so it was great to encounter all the must-see animals of Costa Rica at one location. Diamante Animal Sanctuary is a great option to see dangerous animals up close but in a safe setting. It’s also perfect for enjoying time with friendly species like beautiful toucans and curious monkeys. We loved feeding the marmosets and holding the toucans. This place is a must-do in Costa Rica for anyone traveling with kids or animal-lovers of any age. The guides are very knowledgeable and will show you around the sanctuary. Check out all the other fun things we did during our time at Diamante Eco Adventure Park. Also read about our unique zoo experience in Cameroon, where monkeys escaped their enclosures and were roaming around free. Thank you to Diamante for hosting us!

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Costa Rica Wildlife: 10 Reasons to Visit Diamante Animal Sanctuary

Costa Rica Wildlife: 10 Reasons to Visit Diamante Animal Sanctuary

About Bertaut & Alexis

Costa Rica Wildlife: 10 Reasons to visit Diamante Animal Sanctuary
Travel addicts and proud parents of two young kids who make exploring the world a priority while working full time. Bertaut & Alexis enjoy traveling like millionaires without spending a fortune and share their tips on how to get luxury for less.

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