Crocodile farm in Cuba

Criadero De Cocodrilos
CubaNo price limitUnder EUR 10Under EUR 25Under EUR 5

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Have you ever touched a crocodile? Would you like to hold baby croc in your arms? Do you want to feed this reptile? Or maybe you would rather eat juicy crocodile meat? Did you know that crocs sleep with their mouths open? Would you dare to look inside? All these attractions wait for you at Criadero de Cocodrilos – crocodile farm in Cuba.

Wondering what to see in Cuba? Discover the best attractions of the largest Caribbean island!

Criadero de Cocodrilos – crocodile farm in Cuba

The Criadero de Cocodrilos crocodile farm is a large sanctuary where you can see real Cuban crocodiles. The entire facility resembles an quaint park or atmospheric zoo. For tourists there are nice paths along which exotic plants grow. The bars and gift shop are small huts covered with reeds. At first glance, this is a really charming place.

crocodile farm Cuba

Crocodiles, for their own safety, are segregated here by age. The smallest ones are only a few weeks old. They are enclosed in small houses, which tourists can look into through nets replacing windows. There you will see mostly baby crocs.

small crocodile

You have to admit that these are really cute reptiles! They are completely ‘incompatible’ with the conditions in which they are kept. The crocodile boxes seem really neglected. Of course, no one cleans the natural habitats of animals either, but if someone creates a tourist crocodile farm, it would be good if its four-legged inhabitants had comfortable, elegant living conditions. But that’s just our personal opinion. Slightly disgusted, we walk further. Straight to look into the mouth of a crocodile!

crocodile mouth

Seeing these reptiles up close is truly amazing. Some of them have wide open mouths, from which bloodthirsty teeth protrude. Some sleep, others lie in wait for an opportunity to catch food. All of them, however, have a massive tail and hard, thick, dinosaur armor.

crocodile farm bay of pigs

Live, and in a herd, crocodiles seem much more dangerous than in the picture below. We guarantee that if one of them fixes your piercing gaze on you, you will feel a little uncomfortable. Although they are separated from tourists by a metal mesh, no one seems to feel 100% safe here.

croc farm playa larga

One of the attractions at the Criadero de Cocodrilos is the opportunity to feed the crocodile. For a symbolic fee you will get a makeshift fishing rod, at the end of which there will be a reptilian treat – a fish head. When you wave it for a moment over the mouths of crocodiles, you will see how they hunt. At first, they will all stare at the treat without batting an eyelid and without changing their position at all. Suddenly, one of them will jump dynamically and catch a fish rarity from the rod. You will see that they have surprisingly good reflexes.

crocodile feeding

At the crocodile farm you will also see other animals – water turtles swim in small pools, and a Cuban hutia on a tree. It is a large-sized rodent, called the tree rat by the locals. Try to find it in the picture below

cuban hutia

In Criadero de Cocodrilos you will have the opportunity to try crocodile meat. We are vegetarians, so we didn’t check that. There is an opinion that reptilian steak tastes a bit like fish, but its consistency is a bit more compact. How is it really? You’d have to try it yourself. However, we definitely recommend watching live crocodiles roaming around the farm rather than those sliced ​​up on a plate.

crocodile meat

Finally, the most controversial attraction for us: taking pictures with a small crocodile. It sounds innocent, but in practice it isn’t. Why? Near the entrance to the farm, Old Cuban Man stands with an adorable baby croc. For one dollar or one euro you can take a picture with little cutie. The problem begins when the Cuban gives you an animal in your hands and you see that the small reptile has a mouth tied with a string. The fact is, most crocodiles have closed mouths most of the time, but this one is not even able to open his. When you think you’ve touched a crocodile and that’s the end of the attractions, the Cuban throws it around your neck and puts hats on your head. And also on the animal’s head! What for? Nobody knows that. Maybe for tourists to have nicer photos on IG. While the crocodile may not really care if it’s on your hands or in the box, closing its mouth and wearing a hat is strange and horrible. We are not proud that we took part in this ‘practice’.

baby croc

Crocodile farm in Cuba – tickets

  • The visit to the crocodile farm was part of an optional trip that we bought from our operator, the Rainbow (Polish travel agency). The whole trip, which also included sunbathing in the Bay of Pigs with lunch and an open bar cost +/- 65 euros in 2023 (in 2024 the price increased to 80 euros) .
  • If you would like to visit the crocodile farm on your own, you will pay only 5 CUC for the ticket, which is less than 5 euros.

The crocodile farm is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

crocodile farm tickets

Criadero de Cocodrilos – how to get?

  • Plane. In our opinion, it will be most advantageous for you to fly from Poland to Havana or Varadero. We chose the second option.
  • Car/coach. The journey from both Havana and Varadero will take you about 2 hours.

crocodile farm prices

Crocodile farm – tips

  • The crocodile sanctuary in Cuba is really huge, tourists don’t have access to its entire area. In total, as many as 4.5 thousand animals live on the farm.
  • Where did the idea to found Criadero de Cocodrilos come from? This was due to several factors, including one political. Cubans from the poor province of Matanzas hunted many crocodiles to earn money. This significantly reduced the population of the Cuban variety of this reptile. Fidel Castro couldn’t afford it. Especially that it could mean the imminent dominance of the American crocodile over the Cuban one. So Castro offered the poachers that he would do everything in his power to improve their living conditions. Instead, they were to return the caught animals to the sanctuary. So that the species survives and, equally important, doesn’t mix with the American crocodile. Thanks to Fidel, the purity of the race was preserved, and people access to electricity, education and health care.
  • By the way: Cuba is said to be “crocodile island” because its shape resembles this armored reptile. What do you think?
  • In turn, ‘Zapata’ (the peninsula where the Criadero de Cocodrilos is located) means ‘shoe’ in Spanish. It owes its name to its unusual shape. Although it is a different type of footwear than the one that resembles Italy, the resemblance of the land to the autumn boot is clearly visible here.
  • On the peninsula is the Cienaga de Zapata National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Even if you are adventurous and seasoned in travel, it is better to explore it with an experienced guide. Apparently it’s very easy to get lost here.

Criadero de Cocodrilos

Criadero de Cocodrilos – reviews

  • Patrix – 6/10. The place looks really amazing. Walking through the crocodile farm in Cuba, I felt like in a beautiful botanical garden. The place is really charming. Here you will see crocodiles in various stages of development – from a baby to a huge beast. And it’s very cool! However, it seems quite strange to me that in the reserve (yes, it is a reserve with a protected species of Cuban crocodile) you can eat… crocodile meat. The second strange thing was being able to hold a small crocodile with a bandaged mouth on his hands. We did it to show you what it looks like, but I felt a bit uncomfortable at the time. Mr. Cuban convinced us that baby croc is a happy crocodile and it doesn’t bother him. Indeed – the little crocodile didn’t behave aggressively in any way, nor did it snatch. But you know how it is – I had mixed feelings. And no one can promise you as much as a ‘Cuban seller’.
  • Wiolczix – 3/10. I like the idea of ​​creating sanctuaries to prevent the extinction of a species. In addition, it is a great opportunity for tourists to see dangerous reptiles from a really short distance. The farm itself is nicely and climatically designed, but the boxes where the animals live are dirty and neglected. It looks bad visually. Does this dirt really bother animals or reduce their quality of life? I don’t know, but a clean apartment seems to make life better for every creature. Negligence significantly lowers my rating of this place. And finally, the worst thing, which is the attraction of holding a small crocodile with its mouth tied with a rubber band. Inhuman to me. We checked on our own skin that the toddler is probably already used to passing from hands and is not afraid of human contact (or at least doesn’t show stress on the outside). But we shouldn’t treat animals, especially those wild by nature, as mascots, wrap them around our necks or dress them up in hats so that they look good in photos.

Criadero de Cocodrilos Cuba

Crocodile farm in Cuba – map

Criadero de Cocodrilos is located next to Playa Larga, on the Zapata Peninsula, near the Bay of Pigs.

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