Costa Rica has four different species of monkeys, one of them Pippi Long stocking’s Mr. Nilsson and it´s not rare to see any of them while travelling with Yarok in Costa Rica.
The beauty of Costa Rica is it´s nature and that so many big parts of the country is protected areas where you can see all the animals live free in their natural habitat without interference of humans and it´s also illegal to hunt and domesticate wild animals in Costa Rica.
It´s very common to wake up in the sunrise while Howler monkeys are roaring or to have lunch and see white face monkeys passing by in the trees.
The roar of the Howler monkey can be heard over a half of mile distance through the jungle and very often at sunrise and sunset.
The Howler monkey looks like a tiny Gorilla and it´s about between 1.5 feet to 3 feet tall and weighs between 10 and 20 pounds but it´s roar is very powerful and puts respect in a lot of other species. They live in flock with between 10-20 individuals where half are male and have are female and there is one alpha male who is the dominant impregnates the females.
The young male monkeys live a normal life in the flock until they are sexually mature and then leave the flock. They mainly feed on leaves, fruits and flowers that they pick while finding balance and support with their tail that is a little longer than themselves. The Howler monkeys can be found almost in every part of Costa Rica.
White face monkeys
This is the most common specie of monkeys to spot in Costa Rica. This depends on three things; there are plenty of them, they are not afraid of anything and they are constantly moving around which gives us a greater chance to spot them.
The White face monkey is a bout 1.5 feet tall and weighs about 5-10 pounds and they are famous for their white fur in their face and black/dark brown bodies. Each flocks normally between 8-20 monkeys and they have one dominant alpha male that leads the flock.
These monkeys eat almost everything such as leaves, fruits, insects, bird eggs; lizards and they are constantly hunting for food. They are a very curious specie and it´s common that they come up to humans looking for food in handbags and such. Even though they are small and cute it´s still recommended not to touch these fellows because they can be hostile defending their territory. These monkeys used to be common as pets around the world because they are easy to domesticate but in Costa Rica it is strictly forbidden by law to keep them as pets.
The Spider monkey normally stays in flocks of 20-30 monkeys and have big territories between 200-400 hectares where they hunt for food individually or in smaller groups of 2-4 monkeys.
The Spider monkey has longer arms and legs and the tail is longer then the body, which is about 1, foot 4 inches up to 1 foot 8 inches. It moves through the trees by swinging it´s body and it can make far leaps and keeping the balance with the tail.
The Spider monkey eats mainly fruits but also flowers and plant shoots. By eating so much fruit the Spider monkey becomes very important to the eco system as it carries around a lot of the seeds. They make a loud noise that they use to gather the flock or scare of rivaling monkeys entering their territory.
This monkey is famous from the Pippi Long stocking movies as Mr. Nilsson but in Costa Rica this monkey lives freely in the jungle and rain forest from Manuel Antonio and south.
It´s about a foot tall with a tail that measures about 4 inches longer then the body and it weighs only between 1-2 pounds where the male is the bigger of them two. It lives in groups of 8-100 monkeys, but in Costa Rica it´s normal to see them in groups of 10-30 monkeys.
They move quickly and lively through the jungle and therefore hence the name Squirrel monkey. Just like the White face monkey the Squirrel monkey eats almost everything it can get a hold of such as leaves, fruits, insects, bird eggs and lizards.
These monkeys used to be hunted, domesticated and sold as pets but today they live free in monkeys’ paradise Costa Rica!