Paca, Pavones, Costa RicaI photographed this paca on my second visit to Costa Rica back in 2007. I’ve now been three times to Costa Rica and twice to Panama but this is the only paca that I’ve been able to photograph. Apparently they are good eating to the Central American locals so I can see why they’d be a bit weary of my presence. They are also sometimes called gibnuts (great name) or royal rats (not so good). They are large members of the rodent family and have characteristic stripes and dots on the sides of their bodies. Pacas also happen to be pretty stealth — they are great swimmers and can dive underwater for fifteen minutes at a time when threatened. They can also jump more than three feet off the ground and, if need be, they can remain perfectly still for 45 minutes. This one wasn’t far from the lodge I was staying at in Pavones, Costa Rica. I was on a solo night hike so not exactly easy to get the shot, but perhaps the paca was a bit more relaxed because I was alone.
Nikon D200 with Nikkor 70-200mm lens (at 200mm) ISO 400, f/5.6 at 1/60th of a second

This entry was posted in Costa Rica.


  1. Raf July 31, 2017 at 12:03 am #

    What an amazing encounter! Great find Sean

  2. michael huber July 31, 2017 at 12:44 am #

    great pic. dont look good eating to me. ) it looks like good roadm kill for other aminals to eat .)

  3. Peter Butterfield July 31, 2017 at 7:59 am #

    —– Flag of jungle eve
    —– I nor herb find safety here
    —– Stripes and dots declare.

  4. Rachel Bellenoit July 31, 2017 at 5:24 pm #

    You’re brave to go on a solo night hike in this area! Great capture!