Costa Rica Fish Species

Costa Rica fish. Both interesting and educational, here - let's learn about the many different species.

Venture by boat - more than five hundred kilometers south-west of Cabo Blanco - very tip of the Nicoyan Peninsula... and you've arrived!

These waters are home to an incredibly diverse array of aquatic life. Like no other place on earth - it could only be...

Cocos Island. You're surrounded. Fish!

Costa Rica Fish
Schooling Snapper at Cocos Island

Marlin, tuna, manta rays, sharks... even giant octopi.

For a many number of divers - Cocos Island is the "holy grail" of underwater exploration. No doubt - and still to this day... it's a place I dream of visiting.

Costa Rica Fish Divers
...Into the Depths Below!

And back to the "Rich Coasts" of the mainland - again, fish of all different shapes colors and sizes.

It's no wonder Costa Rica is such a popular tourist destination. Diving, snorkeling - angling as well - its waters are abundant with life.

Here, let's explore the many different kinds of Costa Rican fish. In vibrant photograph, as seen in their true native habitats - and coupled with interesting facts and information, let's learn about each one and every one!

To learn about a specific Costa Rican fish - click on any of the links below. You'll be taken further down the page to learn more...

Snapper   |   Snook   |   Add a Fish!


Of the family Lutjanidae - various kinds of "snapper", inhabit the salty waters of the Rich Coast.

Costa Rica Fish Snapper
The White Ones are the Red Ones!

Pictured to the left - schooling snapper among the reefs of Cocos Island.

One of the more well-known varieties of the fish, is the "red snapper".

This Costa Rica fish can grow to almost a meter in length - and also weight in at more than forty pounds... huge!

Interestingly - at greater depths, the red snapper - as seen with the human eye... is white! - and not red.


Familiar with freshwater Canadian fish species, the "snook" - of the family Centropomidae - to me - resembles a cross between a smallmouth bass (the body), and a walleye (its head).

Costa Rica Fish Snook
Predator and Prey

Here in Costa Rica, there are seven varieties of snook.

Anadromous fish - they can inhabit both salt and fresh water.

And interestingly... some snook will spend their entire lives up freshwater rivers, if they find the environment suitable. Pictured in the photo here, a snook is seen resting in freshwater - and among one of its favorite foods. I think it must be full!

Something else - these fish are highly sought after by anglers. One of the hardest fighting (the tarpon especially!) they jump like crazy when hooked. Extremely tricky to catch, they often escape during the fight.