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Jungle Crocodile Safari Tour Review

boat launch tarcoles-jungle safari tour

Costa Rica is an amazing country for wildlife, adventure activities, and many beaches to explore.  If you like to see many birds and crocodiles this tour you should add to your list of must do’s.

The Jungle Safari tour is sure not to disappoint.  Located on the Tarcoles River.  It’s the 3rd largest river in the country.  The river starts in San Jose and follows all the way to the Pacific Ocean.  If you are staying in the central area it’s not to far from Playa Jaco or Herradura.

About the River

The river is very polluted so you may wonder how the crocodiles and birds still survive.  We’ve seen only one crocodile “Lady Gaga” who happens to have a tumor on her head.  Hopefully this will be a sign to help clean up the rivers in the country.

Along the river banks you will probably see horses or cows from the fields nearby.  Sometimes they will venture down into the shallow area.

Many birds live here on the river as well as migrate from other countries.  We always seem to see the Magnificent Frigatebird, Little Blue Heron, Great Blue Heron, Tiger Heron, Snowy Egret & Great Egret.

National Geographic has made a video in the past in this location.

Wonderful Wildlife

In the above photo is a view of the Carara National Park located close by.  Often you will see in the afternoon Scarlet Macaws flying from the park across this river.


Keep an eye out along the riverbank walls for holes.  These are where you might find the iguanas.  You might also see them sitting on rocks close to the dock or on top of logs along the river side.


The river hosts around 1500-2000 crocodiles.  Here you will see American Crocodiles ranging from a few feet to sixteen feet in length.  Crocodiles can live a long time and continue to keep growing in size.  Below is one of the largest crocs on the river.  Your guides will try to spot this one for you and get as close as possible so you can have a photo just like this.


More about crocodiles

Female crocodiles will lay about 60 eggs in a nest.  Of these sixty about 1 will survive.  Many are eaten by other crocs as well as the Tiger Heron.  The temperature of the nest will determine which sex will be born.  Higher temperatures will product females and low temperatures males.

Crocodiles have more of a U shaped snout and only canine teeth.  They can also hold their breath underwater for about 1-2 hours.  This is why the guides may not always be able to spot certain ones.  Since crocodiles are very territorial it does help to find their location.

To keep cool and regulate their body temperatures you will see them resting on the riverbanks with their mouths wide open because they have no sweat glands.  Crocodiles can live up to about 100 years or more depending on the environment.

The crew

The crew is what makes this tour special.  From the owner Claudia to the guides & drivers of the boat.  Everyone tries to offer the best experience possible for their guests.    You will certainly learn lots if you listen closely as I have over the last several years.  Hansel pictured above provides you will so much information about Costa Rica, the wildlife on the river and the crocodiles.

Memorable photos

sonvenir photos jungle safari

The Jungle Crocodile Safari is now offering photos done by a professional photographer in case you forgot your camera.  A sample is pictured above.

What we like about the tour

Claudia the owner is always making improvements to her building.  Just last October 2017 Costa Rica had Tropical Storm Nate ripe through parts of the country.  Claudia’s building was damage beyond repair.  The boats were safely store down river in the mangrove area until the river returned to normal.

Since this devastation a new building has been made, sidewalks to the riverboats are complete, and the building itself has nice washroom facilities.

Our favorite guides are Hansel and Wilky.  You will learn a lot about the river, Costa Rica, and the birds so make sure you listen up.  I’ve been on this tour many times and haven’t been disappointed once in fact I usually learn something new each time.

For travel ideas & tours to Costa Rica, please visit us at www.puravidavacations.com.

About the Author:

Laurie Johnson is travel writer, agent, and founder of Pura Vida Vacations. She finds her inspirations from travelling of the beaten path, meeting the locals, and sharing her travel stories, reviews, and tips with her readers.

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