Costa Rica Monkeys

Did you know that Costa Rica is home to four species of monkeys and that all of them can be found in the Osa Peninsula? These New World monkeys include the mantled howler, white-faced capuchin, squirrel and spider. All four are considered threatened due to habitat loss throughout their home ranges.

Mantled Howler Monkey (Alouatta palliatta)
Named for their loud vocalizations, howler monkeys are often heard before they are seen. With a diet consisting mostly of leaves, howler monkeys tend to sit still longer than the other three species making for some great observations during vocal displays.

Mantled howler monkey - Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica
Mantled howler monkey – Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica
Mantled howler monkey - Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica
Mantled howler monkey – Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica
Mantled howler monkey - Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica
Mantled howler monkey – Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

White-faced Capuchin Monkey (Cebus capucinus)
Like most New World monkeys, capuchins are diurnal and arboreal spending the vast majority of each day searching for food (fruit, leaves, insects, etc.). This highly intelligent species has been used in the entertainment industry, and more notably, has been trained to assist paraplegic patients.

White-faced capuchin monkey - Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica
White-faced capuchin monkey – Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica
White-faced capuchin monkey - Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica
White-faced capuchin monkeys – Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

Central American Spider Monkey (Ateles geoffroyi)
With respect to body length, spider monkeys have disproportionately long limbs and tail. This feature is the reason they got their name. Out of the four species, spider monkeys may be the most fun to watch because of their acrobatic displays in the tree canopy.

Spider monkey - Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica
Spider monkey – Osa Penisula, Costa Rica
Spider monkeys - Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica
Spider monkeys – Osa Penisula, Costa Rica
Baby spider monkey - Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica
Baby spider monkey – Osa Penisula, Costa Rica

Squirrel Monkey (Saimiri oerstedii)
The smallest of Costa Rica’s monkey also has the most restricted range in the country. If you’re hoping to see squirrel monkeys in their natural habitat, search in secondary forests and partially logged primary forests.

Squirrel monkey - Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica
Squirrel monkey – Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica
Squirrel monkey - Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica
Squirrel monkey – Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica