10 amazing rainforest animals in Central America

Central America is a goldmine when it comes to wildlife and great photo opportunities. When traveling across the continent I found that Honduras and Costa Rica offered the best places to see them.

One explanation is that Honduras is still untouched by tourists and that 25% of Costa Rica consists of national parks.

In these well-kept parks, you can find monkeys, sloths, iguanas, frogs, butterflies, sea turtles, and many types of birds. As a nation, Costa Rica protects its wildlife and promotes green policies.

Read next: 12 best places to see wildlife in Costa Rica

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I met these two compadres in Honduras. Overall I saw lots of colorful birds during my travels in the country, especially parrots and the Honduran national bird, the macaw.

Wildlife in Central America


The macaw is also found widely across Guatemala. This one was sitting in a courtyard a few meters from our restaurant table in Chichicastenango. As long as you don’t poke them or stick your fingers in their mouth, they’re very chatty and peaceful.

Wildlife in Central America


Dolphins are also a common wildlife, especially along the coast of Honduras. Usually, they swim in pods of 2 to 12 dolphins.

Wildlife in Central America


I saw this cutie in NicaraguaOverall I found Central America to treat their animals and wildlife with respect and care – except from Nicaragua. I don’t know why, but especially in Granada they mistreat their horses to a point where the poor-looking animals are only skin and bones. It’s horrible.

Wildlife in Central America


I never got the name of this lizard’s animal. However, I’ve seen his kind in Asia, Europe, and the Americas, so he seems to be getting around. He wasn’t particularly big, but what he lacked in size was made up for in speed… he was gone in a split second.

Wildlife in Central America


Kinka-who? The kinkajou (pronounced kink ah joo) have small, hand-like feet and a dense, wooly fur. It kind of reminded me of the Philippine tarsier.

Wildlife in Central America


Oh, how I searched the jungles, trees, and forests for a toucan – the most intense colored animal, I’ve ever seen. It looks exactly like a toy with all the sharply defined contrasts. What a fascinating animal!

Wildlife in Central America


Costa Rica is loaded with hummingbirds. A beautiful, speedy bird – nearly impossible to photograph. It took me 30 minutes to get a few good frames, plus a whole lot of patience and determination.

Wildlife in Central America


One of the highlights of our trip to Monteverde, Costa Rica, was seeing a sloth. Not only because I’ve never seen one before, but also because it’s so rare and odd-looking. Luckily for me, this one stayed in a tree right next to our hostel.

Wildlife in Central America


Now, this not-so-charming type of wildlife is widely spread across Latin America.

At the coast in Honduras, I saw several tarantulas crawling in and out of their burrows, and in the midsts of the town that is.

This very aggressive lady tarantula, the size of my hand, is from Costa Rica. Even the guide wouldn’t come near it.

Wildlife in Central America

Do you know where to spot wildlife in Central America? 

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Central America is a goldmine when it comes to wildlife and great photo opportunities. Here's a photo essay of the most beautiful and exotic wildlife in Central America.

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