Fascinating 'Croc Bridge' on the Tarcoles River - A place in Costa Rica to always find dozens of Crocodiles in natural habitat on the way to Jaco from San Jose

Costa Rica, Crocodile Bridge, Croc Bridge, San Jose, Jaco, Tarcoles River, American Crocodile, Nature, Wildlife,Wildlife Photography,


During our stay in Costa Rica, we planned an impromptu trip to Jaco beach with our Cab Driver. He had described the town of Jaco really beautifully and we believed we had a good deal for a half day trip. The town of Jaco turned out to be slightly drab and hot, but the beaches around were quite beautiful. But this post is not about Jaco. It is about a rather unexpected stop that we made en route from San Jose to Jaco - the Croc bridge over the river Tarcoles.
Costa Rica, Crocodile Bridge, Croc Bridge, San Jose, Jaco, Tarcoles River, American Crocodile, Nature, Wildlife,Wildlife Photography,


It is indeed a strange name for a Bridge, but has been named so because of a very good reason. Our Guide dropped us just before the bridge and asked us to meet him on the other side. He instructed us to look down at the river from the Bridge.  

Costa Rica, Crocodile Bridge, Croc Bridge, San Jose, Jaco, Tarcoles River, American Crocodile, Nature, Wildlife,Wildlife Photography,


And we did exactly that. In the river below and on the shore were several American Crocodiles sunning themselves, lounging around, and peacefully sleeping. If you have never seen an American Crocodile, you will probably not be able to appreciate the sight. A male full-grown American Crocodile can reach 20 ft in length. And there were about 40 such animals in plain sight. 

Costa Rica, Crocodile Bridge, Croc Bridge, San Jose, Jaco, Tarcoles River, American Crocodile, Nature, Wildlife, Wildlife Photography,


The sight was fascinating as well as scary. The railing suddenly felt too low and the traffic too close. The sidewalk was narrow and traffic was moving really fast. We suddenly felt very vulnerable. And yet, all we wanted to do was to stay and keep looking at these majestic creatures. 

Costa Rica, Crocodile Bridge, Croc Bridge, San Jose, Jaco, Tarcoles River, American Crocodile, Nature, Wildlife, Wildlife Photography,



There were many other tourists on the bridge and everyone was busy with photography. The bridge is not built for pedestrians - the sidewalk is really narrow - and I feel this unplanned and unlikely tourist spot will probably be a huge problem for safety of tourists as well as the other traffic crossing the bridge. 

Also, the crocodiles lying on the shore may look lethargic and almost dead. But don't be fooled by all that. These are dangerous creatures and quite agile for their weight as well. In fact there have been incidents where drunk, inebriated people have gone too close to these crocs and been torn to pieces. Read this report for example - Man Torn Apart by Costa Rica Crocs

The safety concerns aside, these crocs make for a very impressive sight and the stop was a complete surprise and definitely worth it. Here are some videos from the site that we saw on youtube. Please do not try these anywhere. It is important to maintain a safe distance from all wildlife, especially the ones that can take you down with one flip of their tails.  

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