Where to avoid snakes in Panama?
November 16, 2007 3:06 PM   Subscribe

I'm thinking about going to Panama for one week in the spring. I want to go hiking, but I'm also deathly afraid of creepy crawlies aka snakes--even typing this out is giving me the creeps. Anyone been there--how likely am I to encounter one of these there while hiking there?

My itinerary hasn't been planned. Most likely, I'll go to the southwestern where the volcano is. I want to see the birds and animals, but is that possible while avoiding seeing these other things?

If not, where can I go to avoid these things? The northern island coast? The canal region?

I guess I want the nature, but edited...
posted by beautiful to Travel & Transportation around Panama (8 answers total)
you should probably attempt to remember that snakes want to avoid you as much as you want to avoid them. i know phobias are not subject to logic, tho.

also note that there are no snakes in hawaii.
posted by gnutron at 3:12 PM on November 16, 2007

No quicksand either
posted by Flashman at 3:21 PM on November 16, 2007

I didn't see a single snake the entire time I was in Panamá, and I spent a day in the woods near some waterfalls. I wouldn't worry about it at all.
posted by TheNewWazoo at 3:33 PM on November 16, 2007

I've been in the wilds in Panama, Costa Rica (what's left), Nicaragua and Guatemala and I've never seen a snake. Some nasty spiders, but no snakes. Seen them in Mexico, though.
posted by conifer at 3:52 PM on November 16, 2007

I never see snakes, though I wouldn't mind seeing them now and again. I've noticed that people who hate snakes tend to see them all the time. Could you work on the hatin' snakes part, rather than the not seeing snakes part? If you don't hate 'em, you won't see them, and even if you do see them, you won't care. You have 'til spring--this seems do-able. I remember back when I was but a cub and they dragged me to "nature camp" and I had to sit indian style in a circle of other ten-year-olds and the ranger came around to each of us and allowed us to see if we could touch a red rat snake he held. After several false starts I found that I could. By the end of the week, I could hold the snake and let it crawl on me. They're not grody, as it turns out. But you'd never find that out unless you ran up on a good, patient ranger at some point and many people do not.
posted by Don Pepino at 4:00 PM on November 16, 2007

While we were in Costa Rica we saw several snakes, but only because our guide pointed them out. It's probably best not to use open shoes or sandals if you're hiking jungle trails. On pavemented paths you will not find snakes, other places you're unlikely to see them.

Fwiw I wore Tevas all the time, but there were places (e.g. nighttime hikes in the Monteverde cloud forest) where I was told emphatically not to step off the trail; if I'd worn light hiking boots I wouldn't have been.
posted by anadem at 4:02 PM on November 16, 2007

If you're heading into the forest it should be inexpensive to get a guide that knows the area. The fer-de-lance is hard for the untrained eye to spot and quite deadly.
posted by dereisbaer at 5:01 PM on November 16, 2007

Conifer: Costa Rica (what's left)..

Just curious.. what's that mean? I thought CR had more protected land and untouched forest than the rest of countries you mentioned.
posted by TravellingDen at 6:25 AM on November 17, 2007

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