If you are a nature lover and relish the idea of seeing flora and fauna in their native habitats, there are some destinations around the world that are better suited for wildlife watching. Head to one of these top spots, and your next vacation will be filled with the sounds of life all around you!
Monteverde, Costa Rica
High in the Monteverde cloud forest, you can glimpse one of the most stunning birds on the planet: the resplendent quetzal. If you don’t have the great fortune of seeing a quetzal, you’re sure to be pleased with the other 400 species of birds that call Monteverde home. If birds aren’t your cup of tea, keep an eye out for the adorable and elusive sloth, one of the 5 big cats native to Costa Rica, or the howler monkeys you’ll be able to hear before spotting.
Alaska has some of the most stunning scenery, but it also has the best wildlife in the United States. Head to Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge to marvel at over 3000 Kodiak bears or stick to the coast for a chance to see seals, sea lions, otters and possibly even some whales!
Tanzania has every animal you’ve ever loved at the zoo. It’s home to what safari tour guides affectionately call “the big five”: lions, leopards, rhinoceros, elephants, and cape buffalo. If those amazing animals don’t make you swoon, you can also witness wildebeest migrations, hippos playing in the mud, zebras frolicking, and giraffes stretching to reach a tall leaf!
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
If you’re looking for unique wildlife, you won’t find any better place to spy new animals than in the Galapagos Islands. Thanks to the isolation from the rest of the world, the wildlife here has thrived. Truly spectacular creatures have evolved here over time like the giant tortoises, iguanas, and the islands’ bevy of colorful birds.
The Amazon (throughout South America)
The lush jungles of the Amazon make an ideal home for a plethora of fascinating (and sometimes downright terrifying) animals. Spot brightly colored birds in trees, get up close and personal with a sloth or a monkey, and beware the brilliant poison dart frogs. You’ll also hope that the only anaconda sighting you experience is one of its shed skins!
The Everglades, Florida
These marshy areas off Florida’s coasts are teeming with nature. You’ll see birds of every shape, color, and size as well as turtles and tortoises. But, if you’re really lucky, you’ll get to see alligators and crocodiles mingling peacefully, or maybe even spot an elusive mountain lion.
Like Costa Rica and the Galapagos Islands, Madagascar has very diverse and unique native species. From the humpback whales seen along the shores to the wide variety of primates (including 10 species of lemur), you’re sure to get your fill of animals in this wildlife wonderland.
Manitoba is a special place; not only can you watch beluga whales but you can even snorkel among them! If you prefer to stay dry, though, you can spend your time bird-watching over 250 bird species or you can take a tour to see the king of the ice himself: the magnificent polar bear.