We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Fer-de-lance

Which Puerto Jimenez hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Harrisburg...
2 posts
1 review
Save Topic
Fer-de-lance

My fiance and I will be heading to either Bosque or Lapas for our honeymoon (decisions, decisions!!). I was curious---have any past vistors to either of these establishments had encountered a fer-de-lance pit viper?

My future wife and i are very much used to being in nature, as we are avid hikers. We both are aware of where snakes like to hang out and how to avoid any unwanted interactions, but in my experience I have not been in an area that housed a snake that is so aggresive (as compared to the copperheads and timber rattlers of our area which are not so 'strike happy').

Do they bask on the trails? Is this something that you must watch for while hiking? Does anybody have a "I came this close to stepping on one" story?

We would be very interested in hearing your input. Thanks!!

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
1,282 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: Fer-de-lance

Well, my girlfriend had her left leg chewed off while hiking in Matapalo, but ... NO NO NO, just kidding!

Look, the fer-de-lance (locally known as terciopelo) is there, and something like a couple hundred people are bit each year by venemous snakes in CR (with about 10 a year dying), but most of the people bit are agricultural workers and most of the deaths are due to not getting to a medical facility with antivenin. You probably won't even see one unless a guide points one out. Wear closed shoes, watch where you are walking, use a flashlight at night, and stay on clear paths instead of trekking through brush where you can't see the ground and you'll go a long way to protect yourself against these and other venomous creatures out there.

In sum, don't worry. They'll keep you safe down there.

Owen Sound, Canada
Level Contributor
628 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: Fer-de-lance

Good advice above.

We've spent about seven weeks in CR, mostly birding, hiking, enjoying nature, and have seen only two fer-de-lance. One of these was pointed out to us by a guide, while the other was trailside on the grounds of a lodge. Both of these sightings happened to be in the Sarapiqui area but they are country-wide.

Watch where you walk etc and you should be fine. Actually I 've never considered them to be that agressive.....

Costa Rica is wonderful. You will enjoy your visit !

cheers

Jerry

Owen Sound, Canada
Level Contributor
628 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: Fer-de-lance

Good advice above.

We've spent about seven weeks in CR, mostly birding, hiking, enjoying nature, and have seen only two fer-de-lance. One of these was pointed out to us by a guide, while the other was trailside on the grounds of a lodge. Both of these sightings happened to be in the Sarapiqui area but they are country-wide.

Watch where you walk etc and you should be fine. Actually I 've never considered them to be that agressive.....

Costa Rica is wonderful. You will enjoy your visit !

cheers

Jerry

sonoma california
4 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Fer-de-lance

A friend of mine got bitten by a fleur de lance a few years ago while visiting the osa peninsula. she was walking on the path from their cabin to the restaurant at dusk and was bitten. She survived but was lucky because of the remoteness of the place. She was wearing sandals so that would be my advice, to wear closed toed shoes no matter where you are on the trails. We are coming to costa rica in december with our three kids so you can see that it didn't deter us but we will be careful with footwear. Have fun

Harrisburg...
2 posts
1 review
Save Reply
5. Re: Fer-de-lance

Thanks everybody for your insight. We are looking foward to visiting "the Osa".

Whitby, ON Canada
Level Contributor
260 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Fer-de-lance

From what I gather, the vast majority of tourists will only ever encounter snakes in one of the many 'serpentoriums' around CR. We never saw one anywhere in two weeks, but....

You'll see many things basking in the few sunny spots along/beside most trails, (mainly lizards, iguanas, tree frogs, etc., so do look for those). The best rule of thumb though, which most guides we had cautioned about (even on the busier trail tours like Manuel Antonio, Carrera and Monteverde), is 'stay on the trail'. Fer-de-lances (and probably many others) like to hide under leaves, fallen logs, etc. and could only be a few feet away. But again, as stated earlier, the majority of snake bite vicitims are farm workers and not tourists.

Will you be using guided tours? The more experienced guides have an amazing knack for spotting things long before most of us ever would! Yes, wear closed shoes for hiking not just for snakes but also biting ants, dirt and water. If you're planning any serious back-country, off-the-beaten-path type hikes, though, where there aren't tons of people around scaring off the snake's usually prey, I'd be looking to invest in calf-high snake boots!

Some people also advise to check your shoes each morning for scorpions, etc., but most people don't encounter such creep-crawlies in their hotel room either.

7. Re: Fer-de-lance

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 18 August 2009, 11:18