Talking about our tours: Crocodile Safari Tour on the Central Pacific

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There is a certain magic in watching a live wild animal approaching to you when you are in a safe environment of course.

When you are in the Central Pacific area, one of the most popular tours among participants is actually, the Crocodile Safari.

The Crocodile Safari starts by taking you to a rustic, yet comfortable pier at the very edge of the Tarcoles River. This river, carrying a big percentage of the water coming from the Central Valley and the cities around it, is not the cleanest river of the country. However it can certainly be one of the most interesting.

It happens to be that right at its estuary in the Central Pacific, lives the biggest community of American Crocodiles of Costa Rica. Such a concentration of reptiles happen because of the abundance of food available in this area. Croc’s diet, in despite of their carnivore reputation, is 80% fish. They are much better swimmers than walkers, and they rely on the marine life that comes into the mangroves on high tide for their survival.

The tour is made on a comfortable and safe boat and it takes you to the areas where crocodiles and birds are commonly seen. The birds in the area are also atonishing and incredibly diverse: From Roseatte Spoonbills to Little Blue Herons, passing by Caracaras, all sorts of egrets, colorful tanagers and the incredibly beautiful Turquoise Browed Motmot.

As you go down the river your naturalist tour guide will be pointing the birds and their natural history as well as, whenever a crocodile is visible, the boat will glide directly to it, so participants can be able to watch it, enjoy it and take as many photographs as possible.

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If the tide permits it, the boat will also get into the surreal landscape of the mangroves. This amazing life system created to block hurricanes and tropical storms and to start with the food chain are fantastic to watch and to learn from.

In the area there are four types of mangroves with different shapes and ecologies. Some of them, are the known trees with aerial roots, but some are so usual that you cannot thell they are mangroves. However, our naturalist guide will show you the different adaptations that these trees have created in order to survive in brackish waters and salty environments.

The other noticeable thing in this area is a tranquility that is hard to describe.Mangroves are not the usual rainforests, they don’t have as much food up on the trees, and their life richness is concentrated on the ground, starting with thousands of rainbow crabs that live in the mud, therefore there is an unfathomable silence, a radical peace that you feel as you enter in this magical realm.

But in the bottom of the mangrove this silence is simply covering nature at its best: In this area as well is where croc mamas make their nests therefore in certain times of the year you will be able to watch the little ones on the edges of the trees and river.

As well, in this part of the Central Pacific is where Scarlet Macaws nest. Protected by the very little food there is in the aerial part of the mangroves, the gracious and noisy birds make their nests up on the trees and fly back and forth to the nearby Carara where their food is guaranteed. Luckily you will see them flying around reminding everyone how beautiful they look when they are free.

Depending on the time of year you may also see some of the usual migratory birds such as the Ospreys and woodstorks that rest here while is winter on the North.

As soon as you finish the boat part of this tour you will have some time to shop in the souvenir store at the pier and enjoy some delicious fruits and juices served for the participants delight.

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