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Dangerous bites in Costa Rica

Dangerous bites in Costa Rica

In a tropical country where you can find around 4% of the world’s animal species and plants, you are sure to see some predators. In Costa Rica there are many and very striking. 


For this article, we can’t really rank the animals because they are dangerous in their own styles but we will name some of the most common of them that you might encounter while being in Costa Rica. 

  • Mosquitos. We cannot say this enough: you need to use bug spray and mosquito repellent in Costa Rica because some of the mosquitos in Costa Rica transmit diseases that can produce very high fevers and other aches. Every day before going out, especially if you’re in nature, you need to protect yourself. 

  • Jaguar. They live in humid areas of the country and are nocturnal. 

  • Puma. They live in beaches and tropical valleys.

  • Snakes. In Costa Rica there are between 130 and 150 snake varieties, 18 are venomous. The recommendation is to keep away from all of them. Be very careful while hiking because they can be in the walking trails. Sometimes they get inside the houses and you need to call the firemen for them to pick them up safely. The velvet snake is considered the most dangerous and aggressive in Central America and the Boa Constrictor is the biggest, reaching up to 4.5 meters long.

  • Bullet Ants. There are a lot of kinds of ants in this country but this single species is recognized because if one bites you, you will have almost unbearable pain compared to being shot and can even cause an anaphylactic shock.  

  • Bull Shark. Sharks in Costa Rica are a problem because some of them are very near the people at the beaches, bull sharks included. 

  • Black Widow. With a well-earned name, this spider gets a place in this list because a bite in humans can cause from pain to death. 

  • Crocodiles. On the highest part of the food chain, these impressive animals keep low the amount of plagues in natural environments. You can find a huge colony of crocodiles in Tarcoles river and watch them from a bridge with establishments of souvenirs and restaurants.

  • Scorpions. Be prepared to find scorpions in your hotel bed because even if it doesn’t happen every day, it might. Scorpions in Costa Rica are mostly not venomous but their bite is very painful. 

  • Red and blue frog. Most of them are located in the humid parts of the country, with gorgeous colors, there are some species of frogs that can be dangerous and the red and blue frog is the most recognizable one. This animal won’t bite people because they feed from insects but their skin has chemicals that make them poisonous to contact. 


With this list we don’t pretend to scare you but to prepare you. It is better if you get an experienced guide to take you in hikes because they are normally trained and ready for emergencies and to deal with the animals in the best way possible.  


Karen Ebanks

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