Costa Rica is a cornucopia of unique and amazing wildlife, and this is one of the reasons so many people flock to visit this remarkable Central American nation. From vibrant birdlife to lizards and snakes; from jaguars to sloths; from beautiful butterflies to insects that are like no others in the world, you never know what you might encounter or at least glimpse on day trips from San Jose Costa Rica.
Costa Rica is abundant in diverse frog life, and some of these species are dazzling in their beauty. The country is home to more than one hundred and fifty known frog and toad species, however, scientists believe there are many, many more yet to be discovered by humans. In all of Central America, there is no richer place to see these stunning little amphibians.
Some of the most renowned frog species in Costa Rica include:
- Red-Eyed Tree Frog – there are forty-three species of this little frog and they are noted for their vibrant red eyes and bright colors. They sleep during the day on the underside of hanging leaves, and they have a loud and unique nocturnal call.
- Glass Frog – this unique frog has a bright, reflective, translucent skin through which the internal organs can often be seen. There are fourteen species of this frog, and many of them live high in branches above streams. They care for their eggs until they hatch and the tadpoles fall into the stream below.
- Poison Dart Frog – with eight species, this frog is stunning in appearance and has a poisonous skin which it uses as a defense mechanism against its predators.
- Lemur Leaf Frog – this frog has bright bulging eyes that are a silver colour. Exposure to light results in a skin colour change from dull dark green to spotted lime green. These frogs are somewhat unique in that their toes are not webbed. These frogs are vulnerable due to fungal disease.
- Splendid Leaf Frog – this larger frog has green skin with bright orange/yellow and black markings. They are very elusive and not easy to spot in the wild.
Where to See Frogs in Costa Rica: Frogs and toads are usually found in moist environments such as near puddles, streams, and in wet rainforests. They’re most active at night and during the wet season. They avoid the drying sun and like damp soil, mossy foliage, and leaf litter. They are carnivorous and eat insects and other smaller creatures like baby frogs, baby mice, and even very small snakes and lizards.
The best places to see frogs on day trips from San Jose, Costa Rica include:
- Costa Rican Amphibian Research Center at Guayacan Rainforest Reserve
- La Paz Waterfall Gardens Ranarium
- Manuel Antonio on the Pacific Coast
- Limon – Caribbean Coast – Cahuita National Park and Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge
- La Selva Biological Station – Caribbean Lowlands