Lizards, snakes, caiman and crocodiles are among some of the many different kinds of reptiles that populate Costa Rica’s forests, shores, estuaries, lakes and rivers.
Boa Constrictors and the Fer-de-Lance are two of the more feared snakes that can be found in the forests of Costa Rica. The American Crocodile and the Spectacled Caiman inhabit the rivers and swamps of the Terraba Sierpe National Wetlands and the Tortuguero National Park. Then there’s the numerous lizards such as the Jesus Lizards, the Black Ctenosaur Iguanas and the Spiny Green Lizards.
Although these reptiles are quite interesting species in their own right, the ones that often steal the show are the nesting sea turtles that come to lay their progeny on the Pacific and Caribbean Coasts. The Hawksbill Sea Turtles are known for their prodigious synchronized nestings, and the Leatherback Sea Turtles are the largest turtles on the planet. Special parks and wildlife refuges have been created to preserve their habitat, and to try to aid in their removal from the endangered species lists.
The land and water based reptiles of Costa Rica add to the color of the national scenery in the very vivid green and yellow hues of their pelts. They can be apex predators like the American Crocodile that is both feared and respected for their violent natures. They can also be impressive escape artists such as the Common Basilisk which runs on water to escape predation.
The serpents of the jungles are also abundant, and great examples of why you should take caution when trouncing about the forest. Many are not venomous, and some have so little venom that they are not considered dangerous. Others are quite deadly, and must be given their space. There are 139 different species of snakes that can be found in Costa Rica.
If you want to see nesting sea turtles, or watch feeding crocs, you can find it here in Costa Rica with the various reptiles that make their way to the beaches and forests.