Margay

What a stunning small wild cat and if you are lucky on one of our Costa Rica wildlife holidays you will have the chance to see and photograph them in the wild. Out of all the wild cats the Margay is the most adapted for a true arboreal life. It is the only cat to possess the ability to rotate its hind legs by 180 degrees, enabling it to run headfirst down trees like the squirrels you see in the local parks. We are lucky to have these stunning photos taken by wildlife photographer and one of our clients, Martin Farrell.

Since 2008, the Margay has been listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List and this is mainly due to numbers dropping due to habitat destruction and fragmentation. They were actually legally hunted up until the early 1990’s; so, the population is still very much in recovery mode and needs careful studying to establish the best conservation measure to implement.

If you are lucky enough to see its larger relative the Ocelot and the Margay in the same tour, you will note how similar their markings are. Its weight between 3 to 4 kg and adult males reach a maximum length of around 1.2 metres, including the tail. Most notably the margay is a very skilful climber and it is sometimes called the tree ocelot because of this ability. Whereas the ocelot mostly pursues prey on the ground, the margay may spend its entire life in the trees, leaping after and chasing birds and monkeys through the treetops of the forest.

Because the margay is mostly nocturnal and is naturally rare in its environment, most dietary studies have been based on stomach contents and faecal analysis. This cat hunts small mammals, including monkeys, and birds, eggs, lizards and tree frogs. It also appears to eat grass, fruit and other vegetation; which is most probably to aid digestion.

Margays are very vocal during mating as the females attract nearby males with long moans and the males respond with yelps and a side to side rapid head action, which is not observed in other cat species. The female will carry her young for around 90 days and then in nearly all cases just give birth to one kitten, which will stay with its mum for up to 18 months – almost similar to a big cat species like a Jaguar!

Specialist Rainforest Photography Tour in Costa Rica

A specialist Costa Rica photography tours designed with careful consideration to the wildlife lodges and the quality of their facilities to enable the best photographic opportunities for our clients. The lodges have specialist hides and equipment which allows us to get up close and photograph species like bats, and King Vultures.

Style - Bespoke Wildlife
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 16
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£3830
Sloths and Monkeys

Experts on Costa Rica rainforests and ecosystems all acknowledge that mammal viewing in this species rich country is far from easy and many of the original Costa Rica eco lodges were set up more for birding groups, than mammal enthusiasts. Therefore a tour focused on viewing sloths, monkeys and other mammals species in Costa Rica needs to be carefully planned and include longer stays at the key habitat locations for primates and other mammals. With our ‘Sloths and Monkeys’ tour we have consulted wildlife photographers, our own trips and that of our clients to bring together all the elements required for some great mammal viewing.

Style - Bespoke Wildlife
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 13
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£3550
Quetzals, Humpbacks & Tapir

Our quest for not only a good location in Costa Rica to see Tapir, but also how to organise the day by day activities, has been a long but enjoyable one for Wildlife Trails. There are many companies who talk about ‘the chance’ to see Tapir, but 90% of the time you are going to be disappointed. We realised that the Osa Peninusula was one of the best places to see Tapir in Costa Rica, but without our clients pre-booking specific wildlife trails with expert guides, their chances would still be quite low. So, this tour not only gives you the best chance to see Tapir when visiting Costa Rica, but also includes some amazing Humpbacj, Dolphin and Quetzal action enroute. Enjoy the ride!

Style - Bespoke Wildlife
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 13
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£3490
Cloud Forest, Margays & Turtles

The timing of this Costa Rica wildlife holiday is crucial if you have a strong desire to see turtles. Tortuguero is one of the most important sites on the Western Hemisphere for the nesting of sea turtles. Four out of the seven sea turtle world species come to Tortuguero to nest, but because three of these species are highly endangered, there are only tours permitted to see the Green Turtles and these are managed by the park authorities. July to October is the best time to see the Green Tutles nesting, so this provides the window for our tour. As well as turtles, we visit the ‘real’ higher altitude cloud forests for sloth, monkeys and endemic birds like Orange-bellied Trogon. Here at Wildlife Trails we love to see what the animals are doing at night, so there are some very cool night walks for Costa Rica wildlife which comes alive in the dark.

Style - Bespoke Wildlife
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 12
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£2250