Snakes are often thought to be gross, slimy, dangerous animals that should be avoided, but in many instances, nothing could be further from the truth. Of Costa Rica’s 139 species of snake, only 22 are venomous, and even these pose little threat to humans.
Many snakes will only attack if they feel threatened, so keeping a safe distance away and not trying to touch them is an excellent way to prevent snake bites. Costa Rica’s snake population plays an important role in maintaining biodiversity in the ecosystem and controlling animal populations. All snakes are carnivores, and they will eat mice, frogs and even other snakes!
Snakes are found in all sorts of habitats, ranging from deserts to rainforests, and Mistico Forest is home to plenty of exciting snake species. If you take our guided Natural History Walk or Night Walk, our guides will point out the great biodiversity of snakes in our sanctuary, and you’ll be able to experience the beauty of these misunderstood creatures. Here are just some of the snakes you’re likely to see in our forest:
During your walks, you may encounter a number of coral snakes and their imitators. Coral snakes are brightly colored with bands of yellow, black and red. They are very reclusive and shy, and human encounters are quite rare. Milk snakes and false coral snakes may look a bit like coral snakes, but if you look closely their markings are very different from coral snake markings. You’re more likely to see milk snakes at night when they hunt for small animals, amphibians and even other coral snakes!
Another class of snakes that make the forest their homes is the viper family. The Eyelash Viper is a beautiful example of vipers, coming in a variety of colors. They have distinctive scales above their eyes that resemble eyelashes, making them some of the prettiest snakes in the forest.
Vine snakes are long, extremely thin snakes with triangular heads that spend a lot of their time in the trees, hunting small birds and lizards. They are awake and hunt during the day, so there’s a good chance you’ll encounter one during our guided walks
Our guided walks through the forest offer you a glimpse of nature that you won’t get in a zoo. You’ll see many other creatures apart from snakes and get an idea of how the entire ecosystem functions, as well as gain an appreciation of the biodiversity found in Costa Rica.
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