There are 137 Species of Snakes in Costa Rica. There are 22 Venomous Species in Costa Rica, mostly from the Viper family with a few Coral Snakes and the Sea Snake from the Elapid family. 92% of the Snakes in Costa Rica exist between sea level and 4,900 feet (1,500 meters) in altitude, primarily in the Tropical and Subtropical Forests. Only 8% of Snakes in Costa Rica exist above 4,900 feet (about 1,500 meters) in altitude. The altitude of Waterfall Gardens ranges from 4,200 to 5,225 feet (1,300 to 1,600 meters).
There are 15 Species of Venomous Snakes on the Pacific side of the country and only 9 Species of Venomous Snakes on the Caribbean side. For 25 Species of Snakes in Costa Rica, this is the southern limit of their existence. For 30 Species of Snakes in Costa Rica, this is the northern limit of their existence. With 55 Species having their northern and southern limits in Costa Rica, it gives testament to Costa Rica being the “Landbridge of the Americas” where Species from North and South America meet. There are 13 Species found only in Costa Rica (and its close neighbors).
Although the Neotropical Rattlesnake and the Bushmaster have more powerful Venom, the most dangerous Snake in Costa Rica is the Terciopelo or Fer de Lance Pit Viper. They are more dangerous because they live in areas closer to human habitation and reproduce in enormous quantities (Litters with up to 90 offspring!) Terciopelos are located in all areas of Costa Rica except the very high mountains.
Sea Snakes live in the waters off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica (not along the beaches). Although feared for their extremely potent neurotoxic venom, the Sea Snake has very limited ability to bite a human because of its small mouth and rear fangs. Even if one did manage to bite you, there is an 80% chance that this would be a “Dry” bite with no venom introduced.