Reptiles in Costa Rica

In the realm of fangs and nasty looks.

Many connect reptiles with crocodiles, and yes, these exist in Costa Rica but lizards, snakes and turtles also belong to the genus of reptiles. It is a special moment for every visitor to witness how the sea turtles lay their eggs and when the little sea turtles hatch. 

Reptiles belong to the vertebrate class but are not considered to be a natural group according to recent views as they do not share a common ancestor. “Reptile” is therefore a collective term for land vertebrates with similar morphology and physiology. As of today, we can distinguish a total of 10,272 different reptile species worldwide.

All reptile species have in common a dry and mucusless skin consisting of horny scales which are constantly renewed. Most reptiles move on four legs and have a long tail. Some deviate from this like snakes and various species of lizards. All reptiles breathe through the lungs and do not form gills like amphibians. Many of them lay eggs and only a few are viviparous or give birth to developed animals. 

Reptiles are exothermic and cold-blooded animals that can control their own body temperature by sunbathing for example. Around 220 different species of reptiles live in Costa Rica, including 137 species of snakes. 

If you are interested in a specific reptile while traveling through Costa Rica and would like to see it, we would be happy to help you discover where. Some snakes can actually only be found if you are traveling with a guide who knows their way around well. It is not common to come across rare snakes on your own.

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