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Photograph Crocodiles under the Tarcoles River Crocodile Bridge

34, Costa Rica

based on 2 reviews


Added by Erin Armstrong

Get up close to these massive terrifying animals!

The Tarcolos River is probably the most polluted river in Costa Rica and ironically also one of the biggest tourist attractions. 

Despite the nearby national park and renewed focus on the environment it's 67% sewage and industrial waste. But with around 25 crocodiles per square kilometer you wouldn't be swimming here anyway!

There are hundreds of different cruise tours to see the huge crocodiles that call the river home and the small and quiet boats are the best way to get up close to these massive creatures. 

Besides crocodiles there are herons, egrets, iguanas and the lovely mangroves to see on the tours. 

You can see a video of my trip here.

If you want to skip the river cruise the bridge itself is a popular place to stop and just look over the river and spot crocs. There's not a hike or anything, just drive to the bridge and park at the shops nearby. A lot of the river tours have offices near there as well.

It's sad to see this river so polluted with trash, but the crocodiles are hardy and Costa Rica has taken steps to clean the river, mostly because of the influx of tourist. I've been on several tours through this area to see the wildlife and in just two years there has been a massive improvement. 

Eco-tourism in the country is booming and it's nice to feel like being a tourist is having a positive effect on the local environment. 

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Photograph Crocodiles under the Tarcoles River Crocodile Bridge Reviews

Location The bridge is a convenient stop on the way to destinations like Jaco, Manuel Antonio, Dominical, and Uvita on Route 34. Form the San Jose Airport the drive to the bridge is 1 hour depending on the traffic. Parking at the Crocodile When arriving at the Tarcoles River crocodile bridge (from the north going south), you’ll see a cluster of souvenir shops and small restaurants just before the bridge. This is where you will park. we recommend taking turns walking onto the bridge so that someone stays with the car, just to be safe. In the past, car break-ins were very common here. The situation has improved but it could still happen. The Crocodiles Most of the crocodiles can be seen from the middle part of the bridge on either side. They are down below in the river, about 30-40 feet (9-12 meters) away. A Closer Look If gazing at the crocodiles from up on the bridge isn’t enough and you want a closer view, there is a way. The Crocodile Bridge Boat tour is available. If you would would like to more information on this tour, to reach our reservation specialist or contact us. https://crocodile-bridge.business.site/?hl=en

If your driving down to jaco or something it is worth stopping here, but not worth the trip in itself

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