Top ten reptiles to see in Costa Rica

Costa Rica has abundant biodiversity. It is home to a wide variety of reptiles ranging from snakes, crocodiles, iguanas, lizards, and turtles. Here are ten of them.

1. Fer-de-lance Snakes

Costa Rica is home to a wide variety of snakes. The Fer-de-lance is the most vicious among them. They are aggressive, erratic, and unpredictable. These snakes have broad, flattened heads and can be up to eight feet long. Tropical lowlands are their habitats. You can spot them in Carara National Park, Corcovado National Park, Chirripo National Park, and Tortuguero National Park.

2. Coral Snakes

Coral snakes are beautifully colored.  They have yellow, red, and black rings on their body. These snakes love to live in humid tropical forests in places that are up to 1500 meter high. They are distributed on the Pacific and Atlantic sides of Costa Rica. One can also spot them in the Arenal Volcano National Park.

3. Eyelash vipers

Eyelash vipers are one of the most venomous snakes found in Costa Rica. They are so named because of the scales resembling human eyelashes protruding over their head. These snakes come in a variety of vibrant yellow, red, and green colors and they are about a meter long from their tip to the tail. They love to live in humid tropical forests. You can spot these largely nocturnal snakes in Cerro de la Muerte and Manuel Antonio National Park.

4. Rattle Snakes

The Latin name of Rattle snakes is Crotalus simus. They belong to pit viper species and have venomous bites.  Rattlesnakes prefer to live in the dry forests and the semi-dry tropical lowland forests in Costa Rica. You can find them in Guanacaste province and the northern side of Puntarenas. They are easily spotted in the forest edges and unperturbed areas.

5. Central American Bushmasters

Despite being not lethal as the Fer-de-lance, Central American Bushmaster Snakes are also to be avoided. They can be about 10 feet or more in length. These snakes sit in coils for several weeks waiting for ambushing prey. Tree bases, fallen tree limbs, and dead leaf piles are their favorite hiding place. You can find them in the Corcovado National Park and the Piedras Blancas National Park.

6. Crocodiles and Caimans

Costa boasts a wide variety of crocodiles and caimans. They frequent river beds and lay still in the sun for hours to warm up their body. Crocodiles can be from 13 to 16 feet and weigh from 800 to 1200 pounds. The Caimans range from 4 to 8 feet in length. Tortuguero is one of the most popular places to see Crocodiles and Caimans. The crocodile bridge on the Tarcoles River is the best spot to watch crocodiles.

7. Green Iguanas

Green Iguanas can grow to about 1.5 meters (4.9 feet) or over from head to tail. They can also weigh about 9.1 kilograms (20 pounds). They are often found near water bodies and can swim well and can stay submerged for around 30 minutes. They lose their tails as a part of their defense mechanism. One can find Green Iguanas along the Pacific and Caribbean Coasts of Costa Rica. They can also be spotted near Arenal, Tortuguero, Manuel Antonio, Osa Peninsula, and Guanacaste.

8. Spiny-tailed Iguana

The adult Spiny-tailed Iguana males can be as long as 1.5 meters. The females generally grow up to 1 meter. Spiny-tailed Iguanas can weigh from 9 to 11 pounds. These reptiles also have black, keeled scales on their tails. They also lose their tails when in danger. They eat leaves. You can find them throughout Costa Rica and also in the national parks of the country.

9. Basilisk lizards

Jesus Christ lizard is another name for this type of lizard. They are so agile that they seem to run on water. The adult lizard range from 1 to 3 feet in length and can weigh up to over one pound. You can find them in the tropical rainforests of Costa Rica. They live by eating insects, fish, etc., and for that, they live near water. One can spot them in the Corcovado National Park, Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge, Piedras Blancas National Park, and Terraba Sierpe National Wetlands.

10. Turtles

Costa Rica boasts several types of ground turtles and marine turtles. Green, Hawksbill, leatherback, and Olive Ridley marine turtles are found in Costa Rica. They mostly visit the Costa Rica coasts and lowlands.  One can sight them in The Tortuguero National Park, Santa Rosa National Park, and the Ostional Wildlife Refuge. The Blackwood, brown wood, narrow-bridge mud, etc are the Costa Rican ground and freshwater turtles. They are common in Tortuguero and Sarapiqúi areas.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *