The Crocodile Bridge
As you are driving toward the Costa Rica Central Pacific, make sure to stop by the Tarcoles River and look at some gigantic Costa Rica crocodiles! The Tarcoles River is a famous river in Costa Rica. because as you drive over the Tarcoles Bridge, you can look down and see at least a dozen impressive crocodiles sunbathing below. The river is situated running toward the Pacific coast. It spans 111 kilometers before reaching the final destination.
The Tarcoles Wildlife
The Tarcoles River is teaming with Crocodiles some reaching sizes of three to four meters long or (12 feet). These beasts are not to be messed with! But visiting the bridge is a great way to see them safely. Other animals in the river include a variety of bird species, Caiman, Basilisk and large iguanas. Close by in the Carara Biological Reserve you will find a much larger amount of wildlife. Some examples include Monkeys, Sloths, Scarlet Macaws, and more.
Tarcoles Boat Tour
Seeing the crocodiles from the bridge is nice, but if you want to get in on the action, it is worthwhile taking a boat tour. There are a few tour operators available, including the Crocodile Man Tour. Be careful to keep your hands and feet inside the boat at all times (which we hope is self-explanatory!) You might see some brave locals go up to the crocodiles and feed them, but it’s illegal! Never provoke a wild animal, especially a crocodiles. Instead, hire a professional tour guide and observe the animals from afar in their natural habitat.
Less than 30 minutes from the Tarcoles Bridge you’ll find Jaco, a popular surfing and nightlife destination in Costa Rica. Jaco is a popular beach town where you can find a variety of hotels, restaurants, bars and adventure tours. It’s also a popular Costa Rica nightlife hotspot.
Besides watching the crocodiles from the bridge or taking a tour, you can also explore the Carara Biological Reserve. Carara is a great place for birders. You will spot a large variety of different bird species. For example, Collared Aracari, American Egret, Great Tinamou, Keel-billed Toucans, Boat-billed Herons and more. It is also a great place for hiking and exploring the sights of a jungle. The park is very popular because of it’s proximity to San Jose and is recommended for morning or day trips.
The Central Pacific is full of incredible beaches to visit and you don’t want to miss any of them. Playa Hermosa and Playa Herradura are just minutes away from Jaco and the Tarcoles River. Try surfing, paddle boarding, parasailing, swimming and more!
How to Get There
Closest International Airport: Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO)
Only about an hour away from the capital city, San Jose, the Tarcoles Bridge is easy to get to. You take the popular highway 27 towards Jaco and Puntarenas and you’ll cross the bridge on your way. You can’t miss the crowds of Ticos and tourists peering over the top of the bridge. My Costa Rica can help you arrange the ideal transportation accommodations for you and your family. Arrive in private transfer or shared shuttle. You can also rent a car. Make sure to read about driving in Costa Rica before you decide to rent!
Where to Stay
Where to Stay
Because of the close proximity to San Jose and the Central Pacific, there are many different hotel options close to the Tarcoles River. Choose one of the many beachfront hotels in Jaco. Stay at the Croc’s Resort & Casino for an all inclusive vacation, or the Alma del Pacifico for a beachfront boutique experience. Also, if you’re looking for something closer to San Jose, there are awesome mountain lodges that offer hot springs, Yoga, and impressive birding options.