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Safety question in Corcovado National Park (snakes,etc.)

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Safety question in Corcovado National Park (snakes,etc.)

Hi,

We are a couple and would like to go do a 2D/1N tour in Corcovado National park, in December 2019 ( in: La Leona hike, out: boat to Drake). We all know that Corcovado is one of the most bio-diverse parks in the world, however based on different posts I read lately this also means that there are a variety of snake species inside the park, among them the notorious FER-DE-LANCE.

I have two questions here, if some of you have more information it will be greatly appreciated:

a. What are the risks involved to even get close to such a snake during the 18km trail? Of course, considering that we will follow all the guide's advice and will not go outside the trails.

b. Do you know of any case of a tourist getting bitten , even while being on the original trail? In case yes, do you know if there are any emergency evacuation procedures outside the park? (plane, helicopter, etc.). Although unlikely to happen, but I have to consider that in case such a thing will happen, I won t be doomed from the start and at least you have a chance.

Overall I do not want to overly exaggerate, since I read several posts of families doing this tour together with their kids. But if the answer to second question would be, "yes there have been cases , because well..hmm "nature". And no, there isn't a standard procedure out of the park in case of an emergency and can even take 5h+ to reach a hospital", then with all the respect for those families with kids but their are highly irresponsible.

11 replies to this topic
Brooklyn, New York
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for Sarapiqui
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1. Re: Safety question in Corcovado National Park (snakes,etc.)

We have never seen a Terciopelo during the day (have seen two at night on Caribbean slope).

You are unlikely to see one on the trail--it will feel your footsteps from a long ways away and move away.

Let the guide walk in front. Don't put your hands or feet where you can't see them (even when stepping over fallen tree branches). Stay on the trail.

If you do see one, give it plenty of space and respect and everyone will be okay.

There is still some small risk, but a deadly accident your boat/plane/car rides will be a greater risk.

Texas
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for Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos
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2. Re: Safety question in Corcovado National Park (snakes,etc.)

We've seen one during the day just coiled up next to the trail. Our guide just said to give it a wide path, and we did. Not sure about any rescue procedures.

Chicago, Illinois
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for Costa Rica
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3. Re: Safety question in Corcovado National Park (snakes,etc.)

We’ve seen them in multiple locations including a beach resort in Guanacaste so don’t they’re only an issue in deep rainforest. Yes potentially you could be in a bad spot if bitten on the trail far from clinics, but there are flights into & out of the Sirena ranger station at Sirena, if there’s a medical emergency.

Paris, Canada
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4. Re: Safety question in Corcovado National Park (snakes,etc.)

We did the three day trek to Sirena and did not see one. The guide will indeed walk in front. Should families with kids not travel at all then? There are many other risks we all take when we travel and some more likely than a snake bite.

Ontario, Canada
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5. Re: Safety question in Corcovado National Park (snakes,etc.)

Re the last sentence in the OP post -

Since you appear to be judging the other travellers who shared their experiences of family trips to CR, incl. to Osa, it made me wonder: Is it also irresponsible to be allowing kids to go outside, anywhere, where there are cars? Or to ride in cars? Or to be on a sidewalk next to passing cars? To fly on planes? To walk? To swim? To zipline? To pass by a neighbor 's dog on a leash, being taken for a walk? The cars can hit, there are accidents, planes crash, there are waves, rip tides, stingrays, lion fish, eels, and sharks, even friendly-looking dogs can snap and bite... There are hurricanes, mud slides, lightning strikes.... We had a fellow traveller ziplining with us on the same zipline in CR, who incurred serious injuries during that ziplining trip and was wheeled away in an ambulance, yet thousands of ppl still zipline now...with their kids... I think in order to assess real risks, we need to have data re % of snake bite victims vs % of injuries in car and other accidents, for ex... Which one would be greater?... I do not have the data re the snake bites % vs the total # of visitors in that National Park.

I just wish my parents, when I was a kid, had taken me on trips to Costa Rica and other places to see more nature and animals....I would have been one very very happy kid... lol

But of course we are all different, only you can decide what you consider good or too risky for you and your family...If you are worried, there are always other options and places.

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6. Re: Safety question in Corcovado National Park (snakes,etc.)

I APPRECIATE your answers thank you

Texas
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for Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos
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7. Re: Safety question in Corcovado National Park (snakes,etc.)

Our guide made a joke not to be the third person on the trail - the first one wakes it up, the second one pisses it off, and the third one gets the bite. Didn't seem that funny at the time!

auckland
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8. Re: Safety question in Corcovado National Park (snakes,etc.)

Wow.... welcome to the forum.....Yes I must admit Claudiu 1 I also am a little taken aback by the judgement iincluded with your questions..... and yes like Subjectivelyobjectiv I can think of numerous other situations and scenarios which could be deemed as highly irresponsible ( I am pretty certain Claudiu I could give you heart palpatations just by listing places and activities my beloved granddaughter and I often partake in......) it really comes down to doing one’s own due diligence.... do the research( get the correct info from most relevant and appropriate sources), weigh up potential risks, have a back up plan if necessary and then decide if it is going to be the stop or go button.... very much like what you are doing except without then making that judgement for others. Whilst I will not swear by these figures I believe there are about 300 snake bites a year in CR, the majority of which occur in rural areas as people go about their day to day jobs ( there are I believe over the 400 mark for motor accident fatalities most of these involving motorbikes.) CR has one of the very best snake venom research facilities in the world.... it is called the Instituto Clodomiro Picardo. I suggest if you are that concerned your questions might be best directed to them. A footnote.....Yes I have seen a fer de lance in CR....... a stunningly beautiful animal.... It was on a branch right beside and I mean right beside the pathway..... I didnt bother it, it didn’t bother me. The granddaughter on the other hand was absolutely distraught that she hadn’t been with me to see it. Next time, I have promised her.

Brooklyn, New York
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9. Re: Safety question in Corcovado National Park (snakes,etc.)

It has been proven that, in 100% of cases, being alive leads to death.

auckland
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10. Re: Safety question in Corcovado National Park (snakes,etc.)

...... and ‘living life’ ....... love it!

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