Squirrel Monkeys of Costa Rica  

They are incredibly cute, and a ton of fun to watch as they move through the forest, often pausing to squeal and chirp before making a seemingly death-defying leap from one tree branch to another. 

Jann Taylor

There are four species of monkeys in the small Central American country of Costa Rica. The Squirrel Monkey, which is the smallest, might just have the largest personality. 

Adults weigh in at between 1.1 lbs and 2.4 lbs and are just under 12″ in length. Their tails, in fact, are actually longer than they are!

The Squirrel Monkey is also perhaps the most colorful, too, sporting an orange back and a distinctive white and black facial mask. 

Within Costa Rica, these little cuties are found only on the Pacific coast, living in troops that vary greatly in size, making their homes in tropical evergreen forests, mangroves, and secondary forests. They travel through these forests noisily, disturbing vegetation as they move about. Here they subsist on insects, fruits, and even leaves. Its predators are numerous and include raptors, cats as well as snakes. 

Ben Blankenship

While the Central American squirrel monkey can live for more than 15 years, they remain vulnerable due to deforestation and pet trade, which is illegal. Their numbers are increasing, however, due in large part to the work of the national parks in Costa Rica. Like Corcovado National Park, which is near where we visit on Backcountry Journeys Wildlife of Costa Rica tour, which travels to the remote Osa Peninsula, home to a large portion of the nation’s squirrel monkey population. 

Don’t miss out on our Wildlife of Costa Rica trip extensions. Sign up for our Resplendent Quetzals Extension where we’ll travel to the Talamanca Mountains where we’ll find the charming Savegre Hotel, as well as the Resplendent Quetzal, perhaps the world’s most beautiful bird. Complete your Costa Rican adventure by adding our Tortuguero Extension (available on our February and April tours only), where we’ll travel to the Caribbean coast following your main Costa Rica tour.

Booking the main tour combined with both extensions will get you to the mountains and both coasts providing you a complete Costa Rican vacation. 

Kenton Krueger







Kenton Krueger has spent the past several years guiding backpackers, hikers and photographers into the wild places of the American West such as Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Glacier, Katmai, Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks, as well as internationally in Costa Rica. In addition to backpacking and camping, his adventures include rock climbing, exploring the slot canyons of southern Utah, mountain biking, and bagging 14ers in Colorado’s San Juan Mountain Mountain Range. Kenton is a trail runner, former pilot, and has had several of his writings and photographs published in the Omaha World-Herald newspaper. Kenton looks forward to utilizing his years of guiding experience, combined with his passion and experience behind the lens to provide memorable and unforgettable experiences at the wild places we will visit together.


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