Costa Rica

What: “Pura Vida!” 
(pure life) is the greeting you’ll receive all over Costa Rica, reflecting how much locals value their biodiversity. Rainforests are alive with the most vibrantly coloured frogs you’ve ever seen.


What: The lush and untouched rainforest of Iwokrama  provided the setting for Conan Doyle’s 
Lost World. Look out for eagles, monkeys and the elusive jaguar, then spot giant river otters on a boat ride. 


What: The orangutan is Borneo’s star attraction, found in rehabilitation centres or in the jungle wilds of Sukau, where you’ll also discover hornbills, egrets, macaques, proboscis monkeys, elephants and sea eagles.


What: You’ll be goggle-eyed here in the world’s fourth largest island as more than 
80 per cent of the wildlife cannot be found anywhere 
else in the world. Montagne d’Ambre is home to some of the oddest-looking creatures on our planet. Expect to see chameleons, geckos and lemurs, but make sure you 
stay well protected against 
the mozzies.

The Amazon, Brazil

What: The world’s biggest jungle is a haven for river rats and adventure travellers, boasting cute creatures like otters and pink dolphins, as well as less-cute tarantulas, piranhas and caiman. Head to the city of Manaus to arrange an excursion into the rainforest, where you can expect to sleep in hammocks, go piranha fishing and wildlife spotting in boats and on foot.

– Janine Kelso