Being Aware in the Tropics
If you decide to live in Puerto Vallarta or anywhere in the tropics, there are a few things of which you need to be aware. We have touched on the subject of crocodiles many times on these pages and are chagrined that certain persons didn’t have the chance to be forewarned. There are, however, signs on beaches, in estuaries, golf courses, and other areas they are known to inhabit. The old argument of they were here before us is just that…old. It still falls on deaf ears. A crocodile was recently spotted lounging on the sand at the beach. Authorities said it was tired from swimming around in the seawater currents and sought refuge in the tourist area. It was removed and taken upriver, after being checked out and tagged at animal control headquarters. Unfortunately this type of judgment hasn’t been applied with other sightings. Death by crocodile is not common; in the past year alone, one human has been lost to crocodile attack, whereas humans have horribly killed seven.
Compare that to the annual 60,000 reported scorpion stings in a combined area of Nayarit and Jalisco, and you can see the lack of balance and logic. Caution isn’t reserved for walking dark streets of Puerto Vallarta late at night after leaving the club. It’s meant for daylight hours, as well, and whether on land, sea, mountain, beach, jungle, or your own back yard, be aware of nature and what she has in store.
When and if you see six-legged (spider), eight-legged (scorpion) or arthropods (many-legged) insects, don’t step on them, especially if you’re wearing sandals or flip flops. The brave will use the jar-and-sturdy-piece-of-cardboard method, trap and release. Another remedy is a broom and open door. In all our years in Puerto Vallarta, we have relied on fumigation. Exterminating twice a year works very well for us; we never see these animals. There are many exterminators in Puerto Vallarta with very competitive prices, including non-toxic processes.
If you spot a crocodile around Puerto Vallarta on land, the best thing to do is back away slowly. Don’t make sudden movements and broadcast your existence. A crocodile won’t likely attack but they will be ready to defend. Make eye contact and don’t take your eyes off them until you’re safe. If you’re in the water, stay as calm as possible. We already KNOW to never swim alone, so whomever you are with should distract the animal so you can escape. If a crocodile does get a hold of you, hit him in the eye; it is the most vulnerable area of his body.
Snakes are the same; remain calm. Though most snakes in Puerto Vallarta are not dangerous, your best bet is to build distance between you and him. Chances are he will flee once he is aware of you but best to not take any foolish risks.
Above all, be aware and alert.
Que es cómo es.