Costa Rica Snakes

The Costa Rica snakes include a number of species. In fact, more than 130 snake species have been documented within the country’s borders. Most species prefer the lowland areas where steamy jungles prevail, though there are some that have taken quite well to mountain cloud forest areas.

The rather high prevalence of snakes throughout the country doesn’t mean that people who are afraid of the oft-maligned creatures should cancel their Costa Rica vacations. Many tourists never see one single snake during their visit to the country, and while there are some lethal species, the majority of the species that are found in Central America in general are harmless.

Some of the world’s most exotic snakes can be found in Costa Rica, and it should be noted that there are some rather dangerous species to consider. Out of the approximately 135 snake species in Costa Rica, seventeen are of the venomous variety. The species that is feared the most is the fer-de-lance. It is the most lethal snake in Central America after all and has been known to strike without much provocation. That being said, the majority of fer-de-lance bite victims are agricultural workers, and fatalities only tend to occur in very remote regions. It is helpful to note that most Costa Rica hospitals are well-supplied with antivenin. In the event of a snake bite, tourists who aren't sure of the species are encouraged to kill the snake in question, or at least take a photo for identification purposes. While in route to the hospital, the victim should try to remain as calm as possible, as this can help to lessen the effects of the venom in the case of a lethal strike.

Coral snakes, bushmasters and boa constrictors are among the other numerous snake species that can be found in Costa Rica, so it is easy to understand why some prospective visitors find themselves getting a little squeamish when planning their trips. Boa constrictors are relatively benign, thankfully, and the casual tourist doesn’t usually encounter the other two species. As for those tourists who want to be sure that they see some snakes during their Costa Rica visit, the town of Santa Elena is home to an excellent serpentarium. There’s also World of Snakes, which is a snake zoo of sorts that can be found near the town of Grecia.

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