What Are The Most Dangerous Animals In Panama ?

Panama is one of the most unique central American nations, the country is located in the Central America region and is bordered by Colombia to the southeast, Costa Rica to the west, the Caribbean Sea to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the south. This country is unique because of the different climatic conditions that are in the country. Since it is located in an area that connects the Caribbean Sea with the Atlantic Ocean, it has become one of the most important places on the planet. The shipping lines usually pass via this location and without it, trade could be difficult, especially between the Americas and Europe. When planning to go on a vacation then you should choose Panama because it is an outstanding location with amazing coastlines both in the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. At the same time, you should check out Panamanian geography because it is the central spine which has hills, valleys, and mountains among other features that form continental divides. Therefore, there is some time you might encounter some dangerous animals in Panama that you should take precaution for your safety. There are other places in the country that you are going to explore different features which make it different from the other Central American nations.  

The mountains and highlands near the border with Colombia are often characterized by the Andean system and climate. On the other part, there is a divide that is highly eroded and the mountain range is usually a portion where the canal was constructed. The highest point in Panama is Volcan Baru and it is at 3475 meters above sea level. Panama wildlife is the most diverse in the world because it is home to South American and North American species as well. With the unique climatic systems in this region, you encounter different fauna and flora and there are over five hundred rivers which are all in the Panamanian landscape. The rivers cannot be navigated hence they are full of pristine fauna and flora. The rivers that empty to the pacific are slower and longer when compared to those emptying the Caribbean Sea. The country enjoys a tropical climate and therefore supports a myriad of forests. These are interrupted by scrub, grasslands, and crops. There are mangrove forests on the coast and this is where other waterborne creatures thrive.

Why visit Panama

San Blas, Panama

Panama is a location that is bursting with unique diversity and there are numerous islands that you are going to see in the region which makes it exceptional. The Panama Canal, the local people, local cuisine, Panama City, and the tropical rainforests are some of the key highlights of your trip to Panama. You are visiting a region that is giving you access to the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Panama has a mega diversity since it is mostly covered by rainforests and there are tiny islands as well on the Caribbean and Pacific coasts. However, here are some of the most dangerous animals and creatures that you should check out.


Sharks in Panama

Panama is bordered by the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea and this is a perfect environment for a wide array of marine life. Some of the most dangerous creatures that you are likely to encounter during your trip are sharks. The deep waters of the Pacific Ocean create a perfect environment for the sharks to thrive. The reef sharks and tiger sharks among other species are usually traversing these waters and it is a perfect time for you to explore what the country has to offer.

If you are into watersports then you should ensure that you keep safe because this way you will avoid bites from the dangerous sharks. Sharks are usually territorial and ferocious. When they feel that their habitat is affected then they are likely to attack you immediately. They have very strong teeth and muscles and it is a perfect place where you can see them. Keep distance from places that are inhabited by the sharks.

Further reading:


Panama enjoys a humid tropical climate and this is one of the climates that the mosquitoes usually thrive in hence you should know the place that you are visiting. When exploring the country then you should always carry insect repellant with you because it will help you prevent the bites from the mosquitoes.

It is also critical that you sleep under a mosquito net to ensure that you do not contract infections that are carried by the mosquitoes. The mosquitoes have been known to be carriers of viruses and protozoan diseases in turn cause filariasis, chikungunya, zika virus, and Nile fever among other diseases.

Coral snakes

The coral snakes that you are going to see in Panama will vary depending on the location where you found them as well as the kind of prevailing climate conditions. This animal is also very popular in Puerto Vallartar (see Dangerous animals in Puerto Vallartar )The colors that you are likely to see on the corals include red, yellow, and black. They usually have their yellow and black stripes and you should know how these creatures are thriving in the region by color. They vary in color depending on the location that you are going to find.

The coral snakes are known to be venomous and they usually carry venom that even though it may not cause fatality at first can be very dangerous in the end if it is not attended to immediately. You must seek immediate medical attention if you are bitten by this snake.

Bullet Ant

Many people tend to underestimate the effects of the bullet ants because of their size; however, these creatures are very dangerous and you should avoid the areas that they are inhabiting because you will experience some of the most excruciating pain if you are bitten by them. The bullet ants have very sharp claws and when they bite, they cut the flesh and any tissue around. Since they are bigger and usually attack in swarms then they are likely to cause havoc because of the numbers.

The pain that you are going to experience when you are bitten by the bullet ants is beyond this planet because you will feel like someone has heated nails to red hot and pierced them on your skin. Some of the symptoms that you are going to experience when you are bitten by the ants include loss of consciousness, blurred vision, excruciating pain, and muscle problems among others. You must avoid the areas that are highly infested by these creatures. Seek medical attention if the problem persists.

Neotropical Rattlesnake

The rattlesnakes are very dangerous creatures that are known to be very dangerous and you should be wary during your exploration of the country. They are species that are found in the grasslands and the thick vegetation in the country. The rattlesnakes usually deliver venom which is dangerous as it is known to cause necrosis, death of cells, and eventually organs. When organ failure occurs then the animal or creature is going to die.

According to studies that have been done, most cases of rattlesnakes have resulted in the amputation of the affected organs and you must avoid them as much as possible. They are usually not aggressive but they will bite back immediately when they are startled.

Vampire Bat

The vampire bats are some of the creatures that you are going to find in the forests of Panama. The bats usually like dark places and since they love the dense forests (see more about this creature in Dangerous animals in Belize) then you are likely to find them moving around the country. These bats do not attack humans; however, they have been known to be carriers of some of the most dangerous diseases that you can find on the planet. Recent studies have shown that bats were the main cause of SARs and the coronavirus. The bats are carriers of dangerous bacteria, pathogens, and viruses.

Just sitting close to the bat or being in one room is enough to cause severe infections because they are flying creatures and they will flap their wings releasing some of the pathogens. You must ensure that the place that is accommodating you is free of bats and in case you encounter them then it is better to seek immediate medical attention.

Eyelash Viper

The eyelash viper is the main snake that you will find in most parts of Panama. The rainforests in the country create one of the most iconic environments where these creatures can thrive and you should be careful when exploring different parts of the country. They are usually characterized by bright colors and when visiting the country then you should look out for the area that you are traversing because you might step onto a viper and they attack you. The eyelash viper uses infrared vision and this means that their precision is so high that they can strike in millimeters precisions.

Their response time is also impeccable and you will not have time to flee because they would have already delivered the venom to your system. You are likely to find these snakes in the vegetation across the country. It is important to understand that they are usually not aggressive, however, when they are provoked, they are going to attack you immediately. The venom from this snake is hemotoxic which means that it passes the bloodstream before causing cardiac and respiratory failure.

Further reading: Dangerous animals in Costa Rica

Mayan coral snake

The Mayan coral snakes inhabit most parts of Mexico, Belize, and Panama. They have been around these countries for years now and they have a very high level of toxins. You must seek immediate medical attention if you are bitten by this snake because otherwise, it could cause severe infections and diseases. During your exploration of the country, you might run into some of the most dangerous creatures and it is at times better to have a guide who will help you move from one location to another.

These coral snakes are usually very good at hiding and you will see them in different parts of Panama. You should ensure that you are aware of the locations that these coral snakes inhabit and avoid them. If you have found yourself on the wrong side and you are bitten then you should seek immediate medical attention to avoid severe side effects or even fatalities. Venom usually works by affecting the central nervous system, cardiac system, and respiratory system which means that if it is not dealt with immediately it could lead to fatalities.

Black Widow Spider

The black widow is one of the most dangerous creatures that you are going to encounter during your trip to Panama. The spider is known to be venomous in that as much as it is not fatal, it can cause permanent organ damage. The spiders are known to love dark places and you will find them in crevices, under rocks, under or inside boxes, and in hidden areas in the room. The black widow spider usually thrives in the woodland and the dense forests as well hence during your exploration of the country, you should watch out for this creature because it is known to be quite dangerous.

Since Panama is mostly a low-lying area these spiders are always moving around the country and you should look out for them when on your hike. If you are highly allergic to spiders, then you must seek immediate medical attention if you are bitten by them. Some of the side effects that you are going to experience when you are bitten by the spider include necrosis, severe swelling, difficulty breathing, loss of muscle function, and eventually fatality if the organs fail.

Brown Recluse

The brown recluse spider is one of the most common spiders that you are going to encounter in central and south America. They are dangerous because they are elusive and they will always hide in dark areas. However, these spiders are very dangerous because when they are startled then they are going to attack. You might not realize that you have not been bitten until you feel the area swelling, and excruciating pain. The toxin from the spider works by killing the cells before eventually killing the entire organ. This is a very delicate process and it could result in fatalities. You must seek immediate medical advice in case you are bitten by the spider.

In conclusion, Panama is a perfect environment where you can explore the Caribbean and Central America in one location. You should always keep safe during your travels and always seek advice in places that you do not understand.


Aurimas Bio

Hi there! I’m Aurimas, a man behind Go Look Explore. I’m passionate about hiking, exploring off-the-beaten-path destinations, and everything outdoors related. Let’s connect.