Costa Rica
Nicoya Peninsula

Peninsula de Nicoya Travel and Vacation Guide
Peninsula de Nicoya Travel and Vacation Guide

Animals in Costa Rica

Tajalin crab

Land Crabs (Tajalines)

These colorful crabs come up from their underground homes in droves at the beginning of rainy season. They travel from their inland burrows to the coast where they lay their eggs. They walk a straight line on their way to the beach, passing through bedrooms and kitchens and anything else in their way.

Land Crabs Costa Rica
Land Crabs are very important for tropical coastal forests


While only 10 years ago you saw plenty of Tajalines in the area of Santa Teresa and Mal Pais, the population has almost vanished by now. The booming development and heavy car traffic on the coastal road put a quick end to the land crabs in this region.

Land crabs exert a significant influence on tropical coastal forest ecosystems. They are among the major drivers of tree recruitment and they facilitate the development of coastal forests with activities as the excavation of burrows, creation of soil mounds, aeration of soils, removal of leaf litter into burrows and creation of carbon-rich soil microhabitats.

Hermit Crab
Hermit Crab

Hermit Crabs


Be careful when you pick up that beautiful shell on the beach: it may already have an owner!
Hermit crabs cling with their back to the inner threads of empty shells. As the crab grows bigger, it will need a bigger shell too, so they are constantly on the lookout for a bigger house.


There is a lot of small wildlife like crabs and clams living in the sand, so please:   don't drive on the beach