Crocodile bridge

During one of my first roadtrips in Costa Rica, which was from Arenas del Mar to the capital San Jose, we stopped off for a coffee and tortilla at a roadside café. We had quite a way to go but for some reason Piero (the Sustainability Coordinator at the hotel) wanted to take a walk across the nearby bridge over the River Tàrcoles. At first I thought he was trying to wind me up (the footpath was pretty narrow and there were huge lorries hurtling across the bridge every couple of minutes) but after a bit of convincing I decided to follow his lead. After a few metres I peered over the side of the bridge and  was really surprised to see this guy hanging out:

Costa Rican croc

And then a little further across the bridge I came across some more:

Close up crocs

But it wasn’t until we crossed to the other side of the road that I realised just how many of these huge reptiles there were in the river:

Tarcoles bridge crocs

Tarcoles bridge crocs

Piero told me that the river is home to a huge amount of American crocodiles (in fact, the river is reputed to have the largest amount per square km in the world) and they can grow up to 6m in length, although 4-5m is more common. It was fantastic to see these amazing animals in their natural habitat, although I was sad to hear that the crocodile population is being threatened by the high levels of pollution in the river.

Tarcoles bridge crocs

As we got back into the car and headed for the city I found it hard to believe what I’d just seen. I knew one thing for certain though – I wasn’t going to be swimming in any Costa Rican rivers any time soon!

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