A Rio Tarcoles Experience
...plus a GIANT Costa Rica Crocodile!


How would you like to see, a GIANT Costa Rica crocodile!?

En route to Jaco Beach, coming in from San Jose... a stop at the bridge crossing the Tarcoles, and you can see all sorts of these enormous lizards, basking in the sun along the river bank...

Costa Rica Crocodile
Up Close and Personal with Giant Crocs of the Tarcoles

...some pushing upwards of 15 feet in length!

And it's not just the crocodiles...

Costa Rica Crocodile Tour
With Emanuel Chacon and Victor Otarola

A safari by boat - venturing to the river's mouth - where it meets the Pacific Ocean...

...and you're in for a real treat - especially if you're a birder.

Part of Carrara National Park, Tarcoles is home to an incredibly diverse array of birds - scarlet macaws, spoonbills, kingfishers, ospreys...

...and even the unique anhinga - also known as the 'snakebird'.

Sounding pretty neat, right?

And yes - here on this page at ThisisCostaRica.com, I'd like to share with you - a collaboration of two separate adventures at Tarcoles...

Lead by Emanuel Chacon (easily one of the most experienced guides in the area), once with a good friend, Victor Otarola... the other with my parents - during a two-week visit to the Rich Coast...

Costa Rica Crocodile Emanuel and Parents
Rollin' with Emanuel Chacon - Tarcoles, Costa Rica

Please - do come along for the read!








This is Rio Tarcoles

So it began - on two separate occasions... more exciting adventures, here on the Rich Coast!

Costa Rica Crocodile Riding
Emanuel, Riding a Costa Rica Crocodile

And one of the best parts of all - was having Emanuel Chacon for a guide.

Touring the river by boat...

....out to the Pacific Ocean, and then right up under the bridge - where some of the larger crocodiles can be seen...

...he's not only very knowledgeable about the various kinds of wildlife in the area - but also...

...pretty funny!

Costa Rica Crocodile Teaching
Birds of the Tarcoles: 101

It was easy to see, just how much fun my parents had...

...a great way to cap off their two-week stay, here on the Rich Coast.

And yes, Emanuel with his 10 years experience, getting to intimately know some of these giant crocs over time...

...it was especially neat - that he was able to make a private tour for us, one that involved getting unusually close to the animals.

Well, on to the tour itself now - here's a glimpse, at *just a few* of the many different sights along the way...

Like for example, this pink Roseate Spoonbill - making its way along the water's edge...

Costa Rica Crocodile Roseate Spoonbill
My Dad Took this Great Photo, of a Pink Spoonbill

Or a flock of cattle egrets - making their way down river, perhaps in search of their next meal...

Costa Rica Crocodile Cattle Egrets
A Flock of Cattle Egrets

...one they'll most likely find - on yes...

Cattle.

Interesting birds, you'll often see them, perched near - or right on top of, a cow.

A symbiotic relationship - one where two organisms mutually benefit...

Egrets feast on ticks, that have lodged themselves into a cow's skin.

And that's not all. A similar relationship exists with the crocodiles. Egrets will land near a croc's wide-open mouth... picking away at its teeth - a natural form of dental floss, if you will.

But yes, back to those cows for second - we saw lots, grazing and drinking by the water's edge...

Costa Rica Crocodile Cows
Cattle, Grazing and Drinking Along the Edge of the Tarcoles

It kind of makes you wonder...

The odd one might disappear every now and again - with so many crocodiles roaming about!

And yes, more birds spotted along the way...

Take this gorgeous osprey for example - perched way up in a tree...

Costa Rica Crocodile Osprey
Ospreys - Such Beautiful Birds

And also - as mentioned at the very beginning of this page - there were a couple anhingas along the way.

Costa Rica Crocodile Snakebird
The Anhinga, or 'Snakebird'

Funny, the one to the left - posing so elegantly, wings spread and all...

Only took on this stance - right as we were passing by...

Perhaps to say hello?

Interestingly...

The word anhinga - coming from the Brazilian Tupi language... actually means "devil bird" or as it is also often referred to...

Snakebird.

Cormorant-like, it spends lots of time in the water.

And when swimming - with only its head and neck visible along the surface... just as its nickname suggests...

It resembles a slithering snake.

Pretty neat!

Costa Rica Crocodile Scarlet Macaws
High Overhead, Paired Scarlet Macaws

But yes, so many different kinds of birds.

Pelicans, storks, kingfishers and more...

And even upriver - making our way to the bridge to see the crocodiles...

A pair of scarlet macaws swooped in from overhead.

What a sight to see!

...

Well very soon enough, we'd arrived at a point on the river - where the bridge could be seen in the distance.

And below it...

Giant Costa Rica crocodiles!




A GIANT Costa Rica Crocodile!

What an incredible trip - spotting so many different species of birds like that... it was something straight out of National Geographic.

But then, just when we'd thought we had seen it all...

Costa Rica Crocodile Bridge
The Tarcoles Bridge

The Tarcoles River Bridge, appeared.

And very soon enough - pulling up closer, almost directly underneath...

Costa Rica Crocodile Surrounded
Costa Rica Crocodile - Relaxing on the Tarcoles River

...our boat was surrounded by crocodiles!

Costa Rica Crocodile Lunch
Costa Rica Crocodile Food

...

Around to the other side of the bridge, next - Emanuel climbed off the boat...

...fresh fish in hand.

Then, smacking the crocodile's food against the surface of the water...

It didn't take long before George (as Emanuel called him) - easily one of the biggest crocodiles in the area...

Came cruising onto the scene - stealth mode...

Costa Rica Crocodile Head
George the Costa Rica Crocodile... Stealth Mode.

And what an amazing creature.

The whole time - you're completely in awe... being so close - to such a large and powerful Costa Rica crocodile like this...

Especially one - that if it wanted to, could gobble you up - seconds flat!

Luring George to the water's edge, as well as a few other crocs in the process - each one, eager to grab a free meal...

Costa Rica Crocodile Feeding
George, Climbing Up - and Out of the Water...

Emanuel brought him to the shallows - right up, and out of the water.

And standing there right next to them - camera in hand, just inches away to capture the whole thing...

Costa Rica Crocodile Feeding 2
...and Then, *Snapping* Up His Lunch!

...surreal - is the only way to describe it!

Costa Rica Crocodile Mom and Dad
*This Close* to a Costa Rica Crocodile.

One of the best parts by far - was that *SNAPPING* sound George made...

...each time he took one of the fish, that Emanuel presented.

Piercing loud.

And yes, on both occasions - visiting the crocodiles here at Tarcoles...

No doubt, everyone there enjoyed it.

My parents just couldn't believe it.

Franstino helping them out -- you can see just how taken back they are - seeing crocodiles on the Discovery Channel for so long...

...and now - out in the wild...

Being right next to one.

And Victor too...

Costa Rica Crocodile Victor Otarola
Victor and George

Right after the experience, he got a pretty neat-looking tattoo - something to forever connect that moment, there in the water - with a giant crocodile of the Tarcoles.

...

Well, too soon enough - It was time to get going...

Costa Rica Crocodile Jorge Head
Goodbye for Now, George...

Back in the boat, a final farewell to George, the other crocodiles - and also, to a series of onlookers - peering down from the bridge above...

Costa Rica Crocodile Sunset
A Fitting End to an Afternoon on the Tarcoles...

...we were back down the Rio Tarcoles...

Timed to a perfect setting sun.




And there you have it...

Recount of yet another - incredible adventure, here in Costa Rica.

Next trip - don't miss out on an experience to Rio Tarcoles with Emanuel Chacon. Give him a shout at 011 506 8621-6933, tell him Jeff sent you - and also... be sure to ask for a private tour - the one where he takes you up close and personal, to a Costa Rica crocodile.

Well thank you very much for reading.

And do stay connected -- so much more to come, here at ThisisCostaRica.com. :-)

Pura Vida!








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