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March 31, 2024

Meet the world’s most famous crocodile at Parque Reptilandia, a southern Costa Rica gem


One of the most popular reptile and amphibian parks in Central America just got even better! 

Parque Reptilandia sits on more than an acre of land just east of Dominical. The park features a diverse collection of reptiles, including snakes, lizards, frogs, turtles and dozens of other creepy-crawlies found in local jungles and beyond.

The reptile refuge underwent a stunning renovation last year and reopened in January 2024 to enthusiasts eager to meet the scaly-skinned residents. With new immersive and natural habitats, walking trails and even a picnic area, both the residents and visitors have been thrilled with all the improvements. 

Reptilandia Park Hours:

Open seven days per week from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Reptilandia is an excellent place for an educational family outing. There are terrarium-style enclosures at the facility where kids–and even dear ole’ Dad–can poke their noses into the glass and check out some colorful creatures, many of which are native to Costa Rica. Plus, no reservation is necessary! 

Who You’ll Meet:

Highlights from a trip to Reptilandia include a visit to the renovated crocodile enclosure, where you’ll get to meet Coquita, “the world’s most famous crocodile”! No autographs allowed, but be sure to snap a photo. Why is she so special you ask? Check out her feature on CNN here.  

Coquita, the world’s most famous crocodile

Langka the Komodo dragon is another fan fave at Reptilandia. Not to be outdone by Coquita, she draws her own crowd to her new, more spacious and stimulating environment. With extra spaces to roam and explore, visitors get a better view into Langka’s preferred activities… swimming, eating, swimming some more. Take a tip from Langka and do the same at one of our stunning vacation homes in Southern Costa Rica.

Langka, The Komodo Dragon

For the bravest visitors, an up-close-and-personal glance at the region’s most venomous snake, the fer-de-lance, is a must. Also known as a Terciopelo in Spanish, this member of the viper family is marked by its menacing series of black-edge diamonds. 

The Varanus Mertensi

The Varanus Mertensi, a native to Australia, will blow your socks off (actually, you’ll probably be wearing sandals). Unfortunately this Aussie just made the list under the Endangered category of threatened species in 2023, which makes this encounter even more special. The water lizard’s proclivity to dine on poisonous cane toads is the main factor causing its population reduction Down Under. 

The Varanus Mertensi, a native to Australia

And we can’t forget the giant African turtle that’ll walk right up to you and stare you in the eyeballs before meandering off to enjoy some relaxing time in the shade. 

While the larger reptiles tend to get the most visitors, don’t underestimate the wow factor of the tiny dart frogs at Reptilandia. The blue jeans poison dart frog, aka strawberry dart frog, measure just 0.75 to 1 inch long as adults and are as colorful as a sunset. 

The Blue Jeans Poison Dart-Frog

Some slithering serpents are as bright as orange sherbet. Others camouflage so well you’ll THINK the enclosure might be empty. If you notice an “empty” enclosure, there’s no need to check the ground around you. Reptilandia is a safe place to visit. All of the animals are enclosed, so there’s no danger for guests walking the grounds. 

A visit to Reptilandia:

Entry costs 7,500 colones (~$15) for adults and 3,500 colones (~$7) for kids 12 and under. There’s no need to go online and pre-purchase tickets. Simply arrive at the facility and you can pay the entry fee at the front gate. Guided tours are not available, but you can have your questions answered by the English-speaking manager of the grounds. If you’re prone to getting hot, pack some water and even an umbrella to fend off the sun. Be sure to pack a camera because there are some wonderful photo opportunities to be had. 

Reptilandia is located 7 kilometers east of Dominical, on the paved two-way road that runs toward San Isidro. From Dominical, there’s a large “Parque Reptilandia” sign on the left side of the road just before the entrance. The facility can be reached at (506) 8712 5192 or via email at [email protected]. Visit their website at or click here for their Facebook page.


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