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Tarcoles River

Tarcoles River

Quick Facts

  • Location : Northern border of Carara National Park

More than 2,000 American crocodiles swim in the murky waters of the Tarcoles River making it one of the most dangerous (and exciting) rivers in all of Costa Rica. Safari boats tours leave from the river's delta, between the Pacific Ocean and the northern border of Carara National park, to show off the scaled-monsters, pulling alongside the river giants and feeding them. The river is so laden with crocs that there are 63 per square mile on average.

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Besides boasting one of the planet's largest populations of river crocodiles, the Tarcoles River is a unique and rich ecosystem with more than 58 species of birds living on its shores including ospreys, kingfishers, herons, egrets, motmots and even the endangered roseate spoonbill. Mangroves, sand bars, and riverbanks are just some of the habitats that line brackish waters of the river's delta.

If traveling from San Jose or Puntarenas, be sure to stop at the Tarcoles River bridge along Route 34, for a free look at groups of 20 or more crocodiles often sun themselves on the river's edge.

Tarcoles River in Pictures

Experiences in Tarcoles River