Costa Rica is popular for its rich biodiversity and it is just like a paradise for the nature lovers as well as for the animal lovers. This country is home to a lot of different species of wild animals and birds. American Crocodile was once a threatened species but now fund in large numbers in many estuaries and lowland waterways. These crocodiles are usually found in large rivers, swamps, streams, lagoons or estuaries. As they can tolerate salt water, they might also often found in salt marshes, swamp forests, mangroves, river mouths and sometimes in the open ocean. In Costa Rica, crocodiles are mostly available in the national park such as Carara National Park, Corcovado National Park, Santa Rosa National Park, Taboga, Tortuguero, Cañas, and on the Pacific coast on the Tarcoles river. Here goes some of the places to see crocodiles:
Santa Rosa National Park:
Founded in 1971, Santa Rosa National Park was the first park established in all of Costa Rica. This park engulfs much of the Santa Elena Peninsula located in northwestern Guanacaste. You can also visit this park an get opportunity to watch American Crocodile.
Southern Nicoya Peninsula:
There are no official “tours” for crocodiles in the Southern Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica, but there are many mangrove areas where you can go to see them on your own. These are:
Rio Bongo – You can drive your car to the beach and go to see small crocodiles in the river. You can even fish there. This river is safe enough and as of this writing in 2016 there aren’t any huge dangerous crocs there. Probably that’s because the locals kill them when they get big enough to eat someone.
Curu Park – You can see them occasionally by walking on the trails to the mangroves area.
Paquera – Playa Organos has a mangrove area with crocs. You can hire a local boat to take you to look for them, and then head across the water to nearby Tortuga Island.
Tambor – There’s a beautiful mangrove area in Tambor Bay but I’ve heard that the locals killed all the crocodiles recently, so I’m not sure if there are any left to see here.
Southern Pacific Region:
Crocodile Night Safari Osa Peninsula:
During sunset or after dark, 70% of tropical wildlife activity happens and it is the perfect time for a wildlife tour. Adventure lovers can go to a mangrove swamp and enjoy watching nocturnal animals. In the Southern Pacifcic region, Terraba River one of the longest waterways of Costa Rica. Located 45 minutes drive from Dominical, this river has the largest area of mangroves in its river mouth. If you go for the crocodile night safari, you will board a long river boat and ride through the mangrove swamps. Your bilingual naturalist will tell you about the crocodiles and other nocturnal creatures such as sloths, bats, opossums, snakes, frogs and many more. More info: http://www.valledoradotours.cr/en/osa-peninsula-one-day-tours/184-crocodile-night-safari.html
Central Pacific Region:
Carara National Park:
Uniquely located between Amazonian and Mesoamerican habitats in a transition zone, this park include the noteworthy portion of primary rain forest in the Central Pacific region remaining intact in Costa Rica. It also cover the transition zone into the tropical dry forests of the northwest. This park got its name from the Huetar natives, means crocodile. Due to its close proximity to the capital city San Jose, this park is one of the most popular park of this country. Tarcoles River forms the northern boundary to the park which is inhabited by crocodile almost year round.
Crocodile Adventure Safari:
This adventure tour takes place in the Central Pacific Region of Costa Rica. This crocodile tour will take you up and down the Tárcoles River aboard a very safe and reliable boat. In this location you will enjoy watching American crocodiles up to four meters in length. Not only crocodiles, you will also observe a variety of species ranging from terrestrial birds to iguanas and basiliscos. More info: http://www.tukancostarica.com/tours-adventures-costarica-jaco-beach/item/371-tours-adventures-crocodile-adventure-safari-birdwatching-costa-rica-jaco-adventure
Crocodile Man Tours:
Located in the Central Pacific region of Costa Rica, Crocodile Man Tours is the only locally owned and operated crocodile tour company. With its 20 years of experience, this company is providing fun, safe and specifically designed to cruise in rivers and canals. These tours are suitable for all ages and fully accessible. This company offers Crocodile River Tour that takes place on the Tarcoles River in the Central Pacific Costa Rica. During this tour, you will enjoy watching all size of American crocodiles while cruise through the dense mangrove forest canals and you can also enjoy one of a kind crocodile feeding show. Website: http://crocodilemantour.com/
Jose’s Crocodile River Tour:
People who want to watch the crocodile from a close view, they will find this tour perfect. This tour tales place on the Tarcoles River in the Central Pacific Costa Rica. During this tour you can enjoy get up close with American crocodiles of all sizes. This tour includes 2 hour river boat tour and clod bottle of water. With the help of bilingual guide will help you to Cruise through a mangrove canal system. You will enjoy watching amazing rainforest view and spot jungle wildlife such as iguanas, lizards that run on water, mangrove crabs, monkeys, beautiful exotic birds and many more. You will see crocodiles of all sizes, from babies up to 17 feet long. Website: http://crocodilerivertour.com/
Jungle Crocodile Safari:
Founded on April, 1993, Jungle Crocodile Safari offers attractive tours that will allow you to the best observation experience of the wealth of the avifauna, and the fascinating views of the river. The crocodile tour lasts about two hours in which you will get the opportunity to explore the Rio Grande of Tarcoles from one of the safe and comfortable boats offered by the company. It also offers a half day tour to the Carara National Park. Just 15 minutes away you will find the Rio Grande Tarcoles where you will enjoy an amazing crocodile tour. This tour lasts for two hours when you will get the opportunity to see the crocodiles and also the amazing view of the river from one of the comfrtable and safe boats. Website: http://www.junglecrocodilesafari.com/