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Photo of Sally Lightfoot crabs on a beach in Panama (Latin American animals images). Photo: Peter West Carey

Latin America Wildlife

Keep your eyes peeled high and low—Latin America teems with life. UnCruise visits Belize, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, and select spots on the northern coast of Colombia. All these areas are relatively small in scale but have dramatically changing landscapes, reaching from the shores of the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea to high volcanic peaks. The warm tropical climate nurtures the rich tapestry of life, making for an inviting and adventurous exploration.

Costa Rica alone is home to around 4% of the earth’s total species—it’s one of the 20 most biologically diverse countries in the world. Monkey laze around on jungle branches. Scarlet macaw munch on Attalea fruit high in palm trees. Spotted dolphins swim warm gulf waters and ride the waves off the ship’s bow. This is just a small sampling of the wildlife that can be encountered on a Latin America UnCruise Adventure.


Latin America Land Animals

  • Howler and squirrel monkeys and white-faced capuchin
  • Two- and three-toed sloths
  • White tail deer
  • Anteaters
  • Caiman and crocodile
  • Tree frog
  • Sally Lightfoot crab
  • Iguana
  • Basilisk lizard (pictured)
Photo of a basilisk lizard (Latin American animals images). Photo: John Howard


Latin American Marine Life

  • Humpback whale
  • Olive Ridley, Loggerhead, Hawksbill, and Green sea turtles
  • White-tipped reef shark (pictured)
  • Bottle-nosed dolphin
  • Manatee
  • Spotted eagle and mobula rays
  • Brightly colored tropical fish
  • Coral, sea slug, urchin, anemone
White-tipped reef shark (Latin American animals images)


Latin American Birds

  • Scarlet macaw and toucan
  • Ruby-throated hummingbird
  • Scarlet and Western tanagers
  • Roseate spoonbill
  • Crested Guan and white hawk
  • Red-capped manakin
  • Tiger heron and Amazon kingfisher
  • Trogon and resplendent quetzal
  • Pelican
  • Parrot
Bare-throated tiger heron (Latin America birding images). Photo: David Beebe

Chart showing Latin America wildlife typically seen by UnCruise guests by time of year and by country: Costa Rica, Panama, and Colombia, Belize, and Guatemala.

The different seasons and coastlines welcome a variety of Latin America wildlife. From humpback whales to ruby throated hummingbirds, wildlife ranges from the biggest to the tiniest critters. Scout out birds in the jungles, and snorkel with sea turtles or spot them on beaches.

In Panama, the Pearl Islands and the area around Coiba National Park offer opportunities for whale watching. And Costa Rica sees whales for eight months of the year—one of the longest whale-watching seasons in the world. But don’t forget the little guys. Watch Costa Rica’s blue morpho butterfly flutter by and iguanas skitter across the trail.

In Belize and Guatemala jungles, hear the call of the Crested Guan, Red-capped manakin, and scarlet macaw. Underwater angelfish, parrotfish, and tangs swirl amid your snorkel. Watch the shallows from on deck or a skiff for a chance to see the elusive manatee.

Know where and when you want to go? Review our Latin America itineraries to find the right departure for you.