costa rica’s creatures.

by Janetha on August 2, 2012

in dogs,travel

one of the best things about costa rica was all of the animals we were able to see and interact with.

on day we went to the jaguar rescue center for a guided tour of the sanctuary.


the sanctuary houses injured, mistreated, and confiscated animals and rehabilitates them until they can be reintroduced to their natural habitat. super cool. here are just a handful of the animals we got to see.





tadpoles waiting to get out.


an injured hawk—he’s there for life.




my favorite—a spectacle owl. she was sad because her life mate recently passed away.


we went on a jungle hike in manzanillo and saw wildlife on a smaller scale: bugs, spiders, snakes.. lots of creepy crawlies. we also saw another sloth hanging out in a tree.

it was pretty rad getting right in the thick of the jungle.

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do you spot the toad?

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a closer look…

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this viper was beautiful. for some reason, snakes don’t creep me out a bit. love them. as long as they don’t bite me.

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scariest moment of the trip? holding a giant spider. jklfwehjkfewnklasdl.

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don’t let that smile fool you. i hated it. tears came to my eyes.

at least it wasn’t on my face! this is ricky, our tour guide. he was awesome!

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if you head to puerto viejo, you MUST book the gandoca-manzanillo jungle hikewith ricky (we booked through gecko travel)—it was such an incredible experience and we all learned so much about animals, plants, and nature in general.

we saw a few critters and creatures when out and about on our own.. everything from tiny hermit crabs to a big monkey swinging in the tree overhead.

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the best animals in costa rica were DEFINITELY the dogs. they were all over the place! i was in heaven! because, you know, all dogs go to heaven. and heaven is in costa rica, i just know it.

they all became our fast friends.

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this sweetie, peewee, reminded us of penny. she was so sweet and followed marshall around. yep, just like penny.

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i freaking love dogs.

and all animals.

and costa rica.

xo. janetha g.

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Alex @ therunwithin August 2, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Gah I want to play with sloths! So cool. This looks like a blast.

Alex @ Brain, Body, Because August 2, 2012 at 12:14 pm

We LOVED the Jaguar Sanctuary! Did you see the deer who lives there? Our guide let us pet her; she liked to like our hands!

Carbzilla August 2, 2012 at 12:43 pm

No way Viper. Can’t even think about it. Can’t even reread this post.

dogs dogs dogs dogs dogs

Erica August 2, 2012 at 1:03 pm

FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The monkeys are so darn cute. Poor owl :( That spider would have freaked me out like nuts

The Delicate Place (@misathemeb) August 2, 2012 at 1:09 pm

everytime i see the word jaguar…i say it in an austin powers voice ‘jag-UUU-arrrhhh. terrified of snakes…had to skip that part! omg! sloths. so cool!

i bet your pups got lots of lovin when you returned!

RainStorm August 2, 2012 at 1:17 pm

I love dogs too! And I have a very specific plan of the dogs I want to one day own. Some of them even have names even though they’re still imaginary (at the moment at least).

Yuck to snakes though :( At least you warned us before postin the picture – I particularly hate surprise snakes!

Looks like you had a wonderful time – what an amazing place :)

Michelle @ Eat Move Balance August 2, 2012 at 1:21 pm

That is a lot of animals! Crazy!

Have you ever seen the sloth video from the Ellen Show ( It cracks me up!!!

Janetha August 2, 2012 at 2:23 pm

YES! Hahaha I love it

Andrea August 2, 2012 at 1:29 pm

We have talked about going to Costa Rica a few times seeing your pics make me want to make it a reality. My dog is the bigger version of the last dog pic in this post.

kim@hungryhealthygirl August 2, 2012 at 1:39 pm

My kids would love all of the animals! The monkeys are so cute and the slothes are so ugly they’re cute. ;)

RunEatRepeat August 2, 2012 at 1:44 pm

Costa Rica is my favorite place in the world!!! Love love love.

alannah August 2, 2012 at 1:58 pm

Hi Janetha,
I just passed on your posts to my mom, because she is planning a family vacation to Costa Rica for our family as well as her sister’s family. I know you didn’t want to do an in-depth recap post (which I completely understand) but are there any other activities or places you visited that you highly recommend? Or that you heard other people really enjoyed?

Janetha August 2, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Hi Alannah! Do you know what part you are going to? My parents have been to Costa Rica a dozen times and have been to all parts of the country. They LOVE giving travel tips. If you plan to go to Puerto Viejo, I’d love to email you about it. But if you plan to go elsewhere, I bet my parents have been there and can tell you some tips :) Let me know!

alannah August 2, 2012 at 4:21 pm

My mom actually just let me know that there wasn’t enough room on the plane for all of us… so now she is either looking at changing the dates of the vacation and is also considering Panama or El Salvador! I’m not too picky, relaxing can happen anywhere warm!

But if we do still go to Costa Rica, I will email you for some more travel tips- I always love hearing what other people’s trip highlights were.

Kayla @Keep Moving Forward August 2, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Seeing that spider made me want to throw up! When I lived in Taiwan there were some that large but with thicker legs… and they visited my room a couple of times… I cam getting all tingly just thinking about it… I LOVE all of your pictures of the other creatures though. What a great experienced!

Kris August 2, 2012 at 2:46 pm

I love dogs. those look SO SWEET.

and GAAH that spider. no. NO! everything else is fine, but NO. I just had to redo my ponytail to gather up stray hair… because I have the heebies so bad I think things are crawling on me now. ;)

I love dogs. and sloths.

Roz@weightingfor50 August 2, 2012 at 3:00 pm

In a word “WOW”!!! LOVE all the animal shots. (Sorry Ricky, not meaning you…)
thank you so much for sharing these with us Janetha!!!! I wanna go to Costa Rica NOW!!

Katie August 2, 2012 at 3:39 pm

ohymgosh now I want a baby sloth as a pet. Could they BE any cuter?!

Sam @ Better With Sprinkles August 2, 2012 at 4:04 pm

I’m the same way with snakes – I’ve never had any problem with them.

But that spider….nope. I’d be freaking right the eff out.

purelylori August 2, 2012 at 6:21 pm

i have heard so many good things about costa rica, but I honestly probably will never go I have a huge phobia with frogs, haha I know weird.

emily August 2, 2012 at 8:11 pm

Sloths! Kristen Bell would die.

Janetha August 3, 2012 at 12:44 pm

haha i know, huh?

Miranda August 2, 2012 at 8:40 pm


Stephanie @ Reclaimed Wellness August 2, 2012 at 9:40 pm

This makes me want to go to Costa Rica so bad!! But I’ll pass on holding spiders. Eek!

Amy Q August 3, 2012 at 7:23 am

1. That spider is horrendous.

2. We loved the beach dogs in Costa Rica, too! One especially cute on kept trying to get on the surf board with my 8 year old during the kids’ surfing lesson- no kidding! TOO cute.

jessiker August 3, 2012 at 8:04 am

LMAO Nick’s face on the spider photo. WOW that is huge for you! So proud. I know how much you hate spiders. Yeah that is a gorgeous place, I hope to go back there. F that snake though, luckily I didn’t see any snakes on my CR adventure. I LOVE THAT SLOTH his name is juan carlos.

Janetha August 3, 2012 at 12:44 pm

lol when we saw the snakes, marshall said “what is that noise jess makes? sks sks sks?”

Emily @ August 3, 2012 at 8:13 am

AHHH!!! Those critters would FREAK me out! I’m such a baby…pretty awesome to see online, though!

Calee August 3, 2012 at 10:07 am

That sloth is adorable! And I’m with you on snakes. They’re pretty as long as they’re not going to hurt me. And creepy face spider, dude.

Sara @ Nourish and Flourish August 3, 2012 at 10:44 am

I love monkeys! They’re probably my favorite wild animal because they’ have so much personality! I actually befriended one when I was in Costa Rica…yes, a semi-wild monkey. I also became enemies with a monkey when it stole my backpack off the ground and ran away with it. Our guide chased the monkey down, tackled him, and returned my backpack to me. I’m not making this up.

The dogs are absolutely adorable! The viper? Not so much. ;-) Happy Friday! xoxo

Annette@FitnessPerks August 3, 2012 at 12:33 pm

I.would. DIE if that spider got NEAR me!! Gahhhh! You’re a brave woman.

Amy August 3, 2012 at 1:32 pm

I said a lot of ‘Awws’ during this post… except for the spideys they are kinda creepy.

elaine c. August 4, 2012 at 10:48 am

i scrolled by SUPER fast on the pic of the snake. YIKES, i do not do snakes!

BUT, i loved the sloths and they apparently love boobs! sloths are so cute, i’d love to be able to hang out with one someday.

spider on the face — that guy is brave!

Danielle August 4, 2012 at 11:01 am

Did all of the puppies have homes? I would be so sad if they didn’t. I’m a dog freak haha. Whenever I see a dog wandering by itself, I always hang around until it’s owner shows up:)

Janetha August 6, 2012 at 7:55 am

Yes! They all have homes but hang out together on the beach during the day.

kristen @ livinlifeinlouie August 5, 2012 at 3:18 pm

That smiling picture totally had me fouled haha. And what cute dogs! do they live their or are they strays?

Janetha August 6, 2012 at 7:53 am

4 of the dogs lived at the hotel, and the rest have homes but hang out on the beach. they all have collars and that’s how you know they have a home! if there is a collar-less pup, they said that those ones were strays, but all the ones we played with had collars, luckily!

Megan Jane April 23, 2013 at 1:51 am

Just thought you’d like to know that your picture of me (remember your guide?) with the sloth made it to #1 on CollegeHumor’s page…
And in case anyone is wondering, #8 is also me, from another tour later in the year…
Megan Jane

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