Costa Rica Wildlife – 8 Quick Facts About the Tayra

Bet you never saw one of these guys. The Tayra, also known as Perico ligero, is part of the weasel family and thrives in Corcovado National Park and the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, Costa Rica.

So when you have a friendly welcome from this curious animal, you’ll know these quick facts about it:


1. They are omnivorous like to eat fruit, carrion, small mammals, reptiles and birds.

2. Their homes are usually in hollow trees, burrows in the ground, or nests of tall grass.

Find out the best spots for wildlife viewing in Costa Rica. 

3. Tayras are expert climbers, and can leap from treetop to treetop when pursued. They also run fast and swim well.

4. Tayras grow to be around 60 cm. Yet their tails are almost 45 cm long.

5. They are nocturnal animals.

6. Tayras are really loud when they talk. Their litters can have up to 2 active, playful young.

7. The Indigenous use them as pets to control vermin problems and call them: ‘Cabeza del Viejo’ (Old Man’s Head), due to their wrinkled facial skin.

8. Fortunately, they are on the Least Concern species list.

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About Marina Villatoro

Marina Kuperman Villatoro CEO of, a travel resource site to inspire families to travel with kids of all ages. Marina has been an expat 20+ years in Central America raising 2 boys in a multicultural, trilingual household. She travels all over the world with her family to give first hand experiences of where to eat, stay and play with kids. Needless to say, it’s never boring! Join Marina on Facebook and Twitter for more unique and boutique family travel!

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