Photograph Crocodiles under the Tarcoles River Crocodile Bridge

Tarcoles Crocodile Bridge - Search Nearby - 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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We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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Drive By

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

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