What Are The Species of Monkeys That Live in Costa Rica?

Do you know that there are more monkeys than humans in Costa Rica?  It’s true!  While you won’t be seeing them in the San Jose vicinity, there are many places to find monkeys in Costa Rica, and today we’ll share with you exactly where those are.

Try to visit Manuel Antonio and you’ll be amazed by the great number of monkeys that come there daily. There you’ll find Costa Rica’s four different species of monkeys: Mantled Howler, Squirrel, White Face, and Spider.

The Four Types of Monkey’s You’ll Find in Costa Rica

If you want to know each species of monkey further and where to find them, keep reading below.

White Face Monkeys

The White Face Monkeys are native to Central America. These species are quite cheeky and highly intelligent which is why some of them are trained to help paraplegics. They’re also often cast in television shows and movies.

White Face Monkeys are omnivorous, meaning that they can eat almost anything. They’re also very active and live in groups of over 20 members. Compared to other New World Monkeys, these particular species walk more on the ground. They can also use tools and adapt to human behavior.

You can see white monkeys in these areas of Costa Rica: Manuel Antonio, Monteverde, Osa Peninsula, Arenal, Tortuguero, Nicoya, and Palo Verde. They’re usually concentrated in Manuel Antonio National Park where they steal food from visitors.

Squirrel Monkeys

One of the smallest primates in the world is the Squirrel Monkey that can only be found in Costa Rica and Panama. They’re omnivores and thrive in large troops consisting of 20-75 members.

Because of the prevalent deforestation and illegal pet trade, the Squirrel Monkeys are presently vulnerable. The national parks of Costa Rica are trying to stop their extinction. You can find these species in the Osa Peninsula, Corcovado National Park, and Manuel Antonio National Park.

Mantled Howler Monkeys

The Mantled Howler Monkeys are one of the largest monkeys in Central America. They’re the ones giving that loud, terrifying noise first thing in the morning, around 5:30 am. Many people affectionately call them their alarm clocks.

The male Howler Monkeys are known to give the loudest noise as they have a huge lingual bone which amplifies their voice. They howl to communicate with each other from miles away. They’re known to howl during the sunrise, rain, and even back at people.

This type of New World monkey are herbivores. They eat leaves, and they sleep to digest them effectively. Compared to other monkeys, howlers don’t move much and you’ll often see them sprawled on a branch of a tree, sleeping. They don’t need an ample space to live so they easily thrive in the dry parched heat of Guanacaste.

Howler Monkeys are spread in different areas of Costa Rica. You can spot them in Osa Peninsula, Monteverde, Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge, Manuel Antonio National Park, and Arenal. But the area where Howler Monkeys usually hang out is in Guanacaste. They’re so common in the area that you can even spot them on the roadside.

Spider Monkeys

The Spider Monkeys have prehensile tails that can support their whole body weight. They can weigh up to 9 kilograms or 20 pounds, making them one of the largest New World monkey species. They eat fruits as their main diet.

These monkeys used to be bountiful in the country but their population sadly reduce due to hunting and deforestation. Right now, they stay in areas that support their big troop sizes such as Corcovado National Park and the Osa Peninsula. Although less common, you can also see these monkeys in Rincon de la Vieja National Park, Monteverde, and Tortuguero.

Compared to the other three species of monkeys, the Spider Monkeys are the most active. Their prehensile tail enables them to move fast on trees. They’re also not particular with troops because there have been sightings of Spider Monkeys joining the troop of White Face Monkeys.

If you like to see all of these monkey species in Costa Rica, visit the Corcovado National Park.