driving to the South Pacific coast (Jaco, Manuel Antonio,…), don’t miss the
crocodile bridge that is crossing the large Tarcoles River.
Here you can
see many large American crocodiles swimming in the river below the bridge in
It’s a popular
tourist stop for those heading to the South Pacific and there are few restaurants
and other stores just at the bridge.
Except the 1-2
USD tipping the people that arrange the parking, the bridge access is completely
free to visit.
Expect to spend
in this stop 15-30 min.
Other Costa Rica Blogs I wrote:
Located on Costanera
Sur Highway, Route 34. The crocodile bridge is in the small town of Tarcoles. Located
75 km southwest of San Jose (1.5 hours’ drive without traffic issues) and about
a 30-minute drive north of Jaco city.
April is the dry season at Costa Rica and I recommend visiting the state when
there is less chance for rain.
It’s also the
most popular time to visit, so expect more tourists and crowds. Book things you
know like hotel, park entries, rental car as far ahead as you can.
to Costa Rica you should always be prepared for some showers no matter what
time of year you are visiting.
Due note 1: Obviously it
is unsafe place to swim 😊, also,
Tarcoles River is considered to be the most polluted river in Costa Rica.
Fun 30 minutes stop
on our way south.
You can see the
large American crocodiles swimming just below the bridge.
driving, approaching the bridge from the north, you can park just before the
bride on either side of the road where there is plenty of spaces to park.
Pay the people
that arrange the parking (~1 USD).
attendant will also help to reduce the risk of car damage; in any case we never
leave your car with luggage or other belonging alone.
If you are
traveling with your luggage, take turns walking onto the bridge so that someone
stays with the car, this is what we did.
There are many souvenir
stores, restaurants, ice cream shops and bathrooms right at the bridge north
your car, walk onto the bridge that is crossing the wide river.
protected pedestrian paths running the full length of the bridge. Be careful when
crossing the busy road since cars drive very fast on the bridge.
move around, and you can see them from the bridge straight down below you, near
the banks, or resting in the sun on sandy sections. There are almost always
crocodiles there to see.
The adult crocodiles
may reach sizes of 20 feet long (6 meters) and weigh up to 2,000 pounds (907
This river is
considered to have the highest population of American crocodiles in the world.
In the past the
crocodiles where fed by locals for tourist viewing but I do not think this is
happening any longer (I read somewhere this is now illegal?).
We learned that
there are many farming areas nearby that growing watermelons and when animals
are crossing the river to reach the farms the crocodiles hunt them.
boat tours are available in the nearby town of Tarcoles, 10 minutes away from
the south side of the bridge.
We did not have
the time to do this activity so I can’t recommend, we did river boat tour in a
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