Crocodiles and Crocodile Sanctuaries in Puerto Vallarta

River Crocodile Estero El Salado Puerto Vallarta

Watching the daily news and seeing how we are damaging the world, global warming, plastics flooding the oceans, it is clear that the coexistence between human beings and nature is not an easy matter and almost always results in a confrontation that puts the environmental balance in check, usually ending with the disappearance of many species, the deterioration of the local flora and fauna and our own future in jeopardy.

However, there are also heroes that intervene to protect these victims without a voice and work to create protected areas, seeking a healthy coexistence and educating the general public regarding the importance of the many local species and how to protect them.

Puerto Vallarta is a great tropical paradise, but it's a city in constant growth and expansion, so cases of destructive and dangerous encounters between humans and local fauna are increasingly common and there is no greater danger in the region than the river crocodile (Crocodylus acutus), a local specimen that is frequently found in recreational spaces in foreign areas such as clubs, golf courses, and spas.

Faced with this reality, Puerto Vallarta has created and maintains several environmental protection initiatives that rescue and relocate the river crocodile, also making them a potential tourist attraction and a tool that can be used to educate and raise awareness in favor of environmental protection and conscience.


Estero El Salado

Estero El Salado (The Salty Estuary), is an urban protection area of approx. 168 hectares of a natural reserve, consists mainly of mangrove vegetation and two remnants of medium forest bordered by aquatic and underwater vegetation and thorny forest. Despite these characteristics it is considered an urban estuary, considering that it is surrounded by the urban harbor area. It has a connection to the ocean through a small channel and is a favorable habitat for migratory birds, mammals, and reptiles, including the river crocodile.

Estero El Salado offers tours and guided tours through the area, without an age limit and even for school groups, in which visitors can safely learn about the local natural environment and its growing population of river crocodiles, most born in the estuary itself and some brought from other nearby areas.

These reptiles are one of the biggest attractions in the region and if you are a wildlife lover we can recommend visiting this refuge and getting to know the fascinating world of aquatic reptiles up close. These tours require a reservation so please contact the Estero by phone (322) 201-7361.

Santuario de Cocodrilos de El Cora

Another wildlife sanctuary and perhaps the most popular in the region is the El Cora Crocodile Sanctuary, located between the El Quelele, La Cortada and La Vejiga lagoons, next to the Flamingos Golf Club, a natural area that offers new experiences and attractions, where the main star is the river crocodile, with feeding routines and educational workshops to entertain and educate the visitor regarding these fascinating reptiles.

This refuge organizes tours through its facilities with prior reservation, offers food and refreshments along the regular tour and also offers the "Night of Legends" tour, where visitors can learn more about the nocturnal behavior of the animals and even camp there in the refuge, an experience that includes a buffet dinner, live music, this tour is only available the last Saturday of each month.

If you want an exciting experience, El Cora Crocodile Sanctuary is located near Bucerias, a small town just 30 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta and is open all week, except on Wednesdays, from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. For more information or reservations, please call (322) 206-9314 or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


In Puerto Vallarta, the struggle for a healthy integration of both human development and the environment gives way to all kinds of activities and initiatives in which local and tourist can be a part of, either as a volunteer or as a visitor, the door is open for those who want to participate, educate and help in the rescue of nature and the environment while living an unforgettable experience.

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