Tarcoles, Costa Rica: Town, Bridge and Crocodiles


tarcoles river costa rica

Tarcoles is a fascinating area, a small town, and a river located in Puntarenas province, but don’t let its small size fool you, most of the time it’s a quick stop on the way to Jaco or Manuel Antonio. Today we’re going to be talking about Tarcoles Bridge in Costa Rica and the world’s largest crocodiles, they’re technically not the world’s largest crocodiles. They are the Northern Hemisphere’s largest crocodiles.

Tarcoles, Costa Rica

When you arrive, when you get to Costa Rica and you head towards the Southern Puntarenas region, you will be going from the airport towards Jaco and in between there, this is the main road. There is a world-famous area called Tarcoles. It’s a river that for some reason has these immense, humongous crocodiles. And you could stop at Tarcoles Bridge and you can’t miss it.

Related Read: Best Things to Do in Costa Rica


There are restaurants and stores at both ends of the bridge. It’s not like Disney is crazy. But you definitely know that something’s up and you can leave your car there. And there are a lot of places where you can leave it for free. You don’t necessarily have to go and get lunch or buy souvenirs; there are places where you could.

How to See Crocodiles in Tarcoles?

Just stop your car and walk on the bridge. The bridge is always a little bit windy and then when you’re looking down it could get a little bit frightening simply because you’re pretty high up. And then there’s this immense croc. We’re talking like twelve to 18ft crocodiles right there.

The majority of the time they are literally under the bridge. Obviously, they do float around and do their thing in the river, but the chances of you seeing even one are very high, close to 95%. And the chances of you seeing several is probably 75% and more.

It’s a free thing to see if you’re going to be driving on your own. As I said, it’s super easy to leave your car. And if you’re going to be taking a shuttle, they usually stop there. You could certainly ask them to stop. And if you have a private driver, 100% they will stop there for you to check it out. To walk along with the bridge and take a look down. It’s a really cool experience and it kind of gives you the feel of Costa Rica with the wildlife being so accessible.

So if you have a chance to do that, it takes no more than ten to 15 minutes, but it’s a really cool memory.

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Last Updated on September 29, 2023

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