Costa Rica may be a small country but its home to such an array of plants and animals that you can hardly believe what you will discover when you visit this rich, lush country. Sloths, whales, and birds of all types are just some of the creatures that you can spot in this tropical paradise. Howler monkeys, ant eaters, caiman, crocodiles, and sea turtles are just a few more animals that you can encounter while visiting Costa Rica.
Trips to Costa Rica from the United Kingdom just got easier with new non-stop flights from Gatwick to San Jose with British Airways. The airline re-introduced the non-stop flight after Thomson Airways resumed flights to Liberia, Costa Rica’s second international airport, located in the northern Pacific province of Guanacaste.
More flights and more non-stops flights makes visiting Costa Rica easier than ever before and once you’re in the little piece of paradise, spotting some of the unique and exciting wildlife can be as easy as booking a tour or taking a guided hike. For sloth spotting, check out the Sloth Sanctuary, just outside of the city of Limon, in the province of Limon on the Caribbean coast. The sanctuary houses orphaned, injured, and abandoned sloths and always offers guided canoe trips through sloths’ natural habitats. Hiking in the Cahuita National Park, not far from the Sloth Sanctuary is another great way to spot these fury friends, lounging about in their native setting.
If bird watching is more your style than Costa Rica is your dream vacation. With over 800 different species of birds, Costa Rica is a bird lover’s heaven. In the Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge, along the Nicaraguan border, bird lovers can spot glossy ibis, black-necked stilt, northern shoveller, wood stork, as well as numerous types of humming birds. Boat trips along the water ways of the Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge are a great way to explore the area and see some of the many species of birds. Monteverde and Volcano Arenal also host a wide variety of birds, including the elusive and beautiful quetzal. This bird can be hard to spot, so guided tours of the area are recommended.
Night tours can be fun and exciting and since almost 80 percent of the animals that live in the Monteverde Cloud Forest are nocturnal, guided night tours are where the action is. Tarantulas, armadillos, porcupines, and red-eyed tree frogs are just some of the critters that come out at night and can be seen during a guided night canopy tour of Monteverde.
Head out of the mountains and to the Osa Peninsula on the Pacific coast to see whales, dolphins, and more marine life. Humpbacks, pilot whales, orcas, and dolphins are prevalent off the coast almost year round, except for April to June when they migrate elsewhere. Otherwise, anytime is a great time for dolphin and whale-watching.
And it’s not just British Airways and Thompson Airways that are catching on, other airlines, like the U.S. based Southwest Airlines are now offering non-stop direct flights from Houston several times a week. In can only be assumed that more airlines will follow suit considering how popular Costa Rica is among international travelers.