Costa Rica’s Most Dangerous River
Crocs, The Reason to Stop
The Tárcoles River or the Río Grande de Tárcoles, is a river in Costa Rica best known as a mid-way point on the route from the central valley to Jaco beach. There is nothing too great about the unassuming, dirty brown river, unless you like to see American Crocodiles in the “wild”. I put wild in quotes because the crocs congregate around the bridge for a reason – they get fed.
There are boat tours that take people down the river where you can get up and personal with the crocs. I crocodile wrangler then gets out on shore and does a dance with a croc and pays the animal in chicken for his troubles. The crocs also get fed routinely by shop owners who tourist trade depends, just a bit, on the crocodiles being visible.
No Shit? No, Shit.
The crocodiles are not the only reason not to get in the water. According to Wikipedia:
“The river is the most contaminated river in Costa Rica, carrying much of the sewage from the central towns and cities. The river’s watershed drains approximately 67% of Costa Rica’s untreated organic and industrial waste and is considered the most contaminated river basin in the country.”
Regardless of the dangers of the river, it is a must see on your way to Jaco, and since you are 20 feet or more above the river, standing on a bridge, you are quite safe. Just don’t drop your camera or the new trinket you just bought.
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I write about my experiences at CostaRicaCurious.com and have written a book of tips about living here:
Living in and Visiting Costa Rica - 100 Tips, Tricks, Traps, and Facts