Reptiles are intriguing creatures that most commonly inhabit the ground, however some of them are avid climbers and swimmers. While a lot of them are harmless to us, some do attack humans, although those attacks are most frequently caused due to us messing with them. Venomous snakes are among the most feared creatures, since they can lurk in the dark and bite without warning; their poison may be able to kill within hours or even minutes. Crocodiles also inspire fear, but due to the incredibly powerful bite that they possess. But even if dangerous to us, they do not stop being fascinating.

The species below are organized according to the families in the Reptiles of Costa Rica: A Field Guide book by Twan Leenders, an essential tool to identify each photograph to a species. I have made an effort to base my species description on my own observations and words, but undoubtedly have included details from the book itself where relevant. I claim no exclusive rights to those details and encourage visitors with an interest in species identification to purchase the guide. For the more serious reptile lover, look at Jay Savage’s The Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica: A Herpetofauna between Two Continents, between Two Seas. This is a comprehensive 934 pages book with everything between Costa Rica history, identification keys, photographs and full description accounts for each known species. It was published in 2005 so some species and classifications have changed since, but as a reference book it is a wonder. A copy of this book is found at Yatama Ecolodge.

Alligators and Caimans

Spectacled Caiman
Spectacled Caiman

Geckos

Trump-tail Gecko
Trump-tail Gecko

Casque-headed Lizards

Green Basilisk
Green Basilisk
Striped Basilisk
Striped Basilisk

Anoles

Green Tree Anole
Green Tree Anole
Pug-nosed Anole

Iguanas

Green Iguana
Green Iguana

Boid Snakes

Mesoamerican Boa Constrictor
Mesoamerican Boa Constrictor
Annulated Tree Boa
Annulated Tree Boa

Dipsadid Snakes

Red Coffee Snake
Red Coffee Snake
Mottled Snail-eater
Mottled Snail-eater

Vipers and Pitvipers

Picado's Jumping Pitviper
Picado’s Jumping Pitviper
Fer-de-lance
Fer-de-lance
Side-striped Palm-Pitviper
Side-striped Palm-Pitviper
Middle American Rattlesnake
Middle American Rattlesnake
Eyelash Palm-Pitviper
Eyelash Palm-Pitviper
Hognosed Pitviper
Hognosed Pitviper