Puerto Rico is one of the top travel destinations on the Caribbean Island. The island is known for its tranquil environment, white sandy beaches, pristine beaches as well as calm and friendly people. The gorgeous landscapes from the misty waterfalls, mountain tops, and green El Yunque park are just a few of the most outstanding features of the island.

Due to this, you can see the diverse wild creatures including some dangerous animals in this ecosystem. When you visit this region, you are guaranteed that you will get the best experience. If you are planning for a vacation in the Caribbean, then Puerto Rico should be one of the places that you should consider because you will get the value for your money and the experience will be memorable.

Although Puerto Rico is not known to have many dangerous animals there are a few species that you should be careful of when you are visiting the island. When you know what to expect you will have a good time on the island because there is so much that you should explore when visiting.

Puerto Rico enjoys a tropical climate and this is an ideal environment for different animal species to thrive.

You will find different kinds of snakes, centipedes, sharks, lionfish, and jellyfish among others in the oceans and surrounding land. Some of the animals do not necessarily pose a very great danger, however, others are very dangerous and they can cause severe injuries and in some cases even death when not handled properly.

If you are visiting the island and you do not know the places that you are going to explore then you should go with a guide who knows this environment properly.

Why visit Puerto Rico?

San Juan Antiguo, San Juan, Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is a rich island that has so many things that you can see and activities that you can do as well.

El Yunque national forest is one of the places that you should not miss visiting when you are exploring the island.

This place guarantees you the best sites as well as some of the most unique creatures that you will only find on the island.

You will visit some of the most majestic waterfalls in Puerto Rico, and pristine white sandy beaches, and swim in turquoise blue waters. The uninterrupted surrounding guarantees you a perfect place where you can relax and unwind.

The views are out of this world and you can take as many pictures as you can because the island gives you the best views that you will not find elsewhere.

When you think of the best island to visit for your holiday, think about Puerto Rico because this is the right place for you (read more in Jamaica or Puerto Rico). You will encounter some of the best views because the volcanic island is shaped by unique structures and amazing sculptures that are photogenic.

In the waters, you will find a wide array of fish species and since it is a volcanic island, the solidification of magma created lagoons and beautiful places for different fish species to thrive.

If you are a snorkeling enthusiast, then Puerto Rico is the right location for you.

Top Dangerous Creatures in Puerto Rico

Sand fleas

These sand fleas are more common in some areas than others and when you are moving from one beach to another then you should take care.

Always ensure that you are using a repellant to allow you to avoid the bites from the sand fleas. They are more common in the evening and morning.

Further reading: Most dangerous animals in Hawaii



There are people who suffer from arachnophobia and this can be quite a challenge if you are visiting some parts of Puerto Rico because there are spiders.

The eight-legged arachnid is very dangerous and they are venomous as well you should be careful when exploring the different locations on these parts of the globe. The most dangerous spider species that you might find in Puerto Rico is the brown recluse.

The brown recluse has very long legs and a brown torso. The bites from this spider can be very lethal, especially to young children and even adults in the case that the concentration is higher.  

However, you should be afraid because these spiders like the caves and other hidden areas, and they are afraid of people.

There are very few people that are attacked by this spider. The common side effect of a sting includes swelling, numbness, difficulty breathing, hallucinations, and loss of muscle function. When stung by a spider you should seek immediate medical attention.

There are other spiders as well that you need to be careful of when exploring Puerto Rico and these include banana spiders, tent cobweb weavers, and tarantula among others.


There are over ten snake species in native Puerto Rico. Most of these snakes are not venomous and it is integral that you should avoid the areas where these snakes usually thrive. The Puerto Rican racer is a known dangerous snake and you should avoid it at all costs.

This snake is known to grow up to 3 feet and it is usually brown with a neck wood that is of the same features as that of the cobra. The snakes usually thrive in the forests and the venom from this snake is known to cause swelling, numbness, and lysis of tissues hence organ failure.

 It is imperative to understand that when you are going to explore the nature of the island then you should put on long trousers and solid boots which will help you avoid such bites.

However, if you are in a situation where the snake bites you then you should seek immediate medical attention.

More to read: Dangerous animals in Barbados



Just like any other tropical island Puerto Rico is one of those places where scorpions thrive very well.

When you are in this location, you should be very careful because they are all over and you do not want to be stung by these scorpions.

There are over six species of scorpions and these tiny creatures are very dangerous because they often sting and they deliver a very critical venom that will cause severe pain to different organs and tissues.

It is critical to note that the Puerto Rican scorpion is not as lethal as those of South America and Asia and you should be careful as well in as much as they may not cause death when they sting you.

The sting usually causes very sharp pain, swelling, numbness, difficulty breathing, and shortness of breath. It is important that if the scorpions sting you then you should visit a healthcare center immediately.

They usually like to hide in dark areas and when looking for accommodation you should ensure that they have swept the area clean to ensure that there is none in your room.


When visiting the island of Puerto Rico one of the fun activities that you are looking to do is swim in the ocean. The water is turquoise blue and you can enjoy a swim in this pristine environment.

However, when swimming it is important that you should be wary of sharks.

Different shark species are in Puerto Rican waters. You must ensure that you are well equipped to enjoy your time in the region and avoid attacks from the sharks.

The best way that you can avoid shark attacks is by knowing the time that they like visiting the area.

Fatal shark attacks are rare because the guides can give your insight into the best locations that you can go to and enjoy your swim without fearing these sharks.

Further reading: Sharks in Puerto Rico

The most common sharks in the area are the great white shark and this one is very aggressive you should avoid the area that they frequent especially when they are nursing their young babies because they can become very volatile.

The sharks are very dangerous creatures and you should avoid their waters by all means. Swim in designated areas to avoid a shark attack. However, if a shark attacks you seek immediate medical attention.



The Puerto Rican caiman is one of the most dangerous species that you can find on the island. It is important that when you are visiting the island you always take care of it.

There is a large number of caimans on the island and they grow up to 8 feet long. Many of these creatures were brought to the island as pets before their population exploded and were released into the environment.

Commonly, you will find these creatures in the freshwater, especially in lakes, mangroves, and rivers. The caimans are not aggressive, however, do not go poking them because they can be very dangerous.

Whenever these creatures feel threatened they will attack you. In a situation where the caimans bite you then you should visit your nearest clinic.


This is one of the most common marine creatures that you will encounter in the ocean in Puerto Rico. You also can see this dangerous animal in Dominican Republic which is near Puerto Rico.

It is imperative that when you are in the ocean and you see the lionfish then you should avoid such places because they can sting you.

The lionfish are characterized by spiky, venomous fins and the most common species that you will find in Puerto Rico is the red lionfish which is a very invasive species.

When it feels that you are encountering its area it is likely to sting you.

This fish is known to grow up to 47 centimeters long and it can exist for over a decade.

There are very unique spines on the body of the fish and these are used to spike the victim.

The sting is extremely painful and some of the side effects include difficulty breathing, headache, vomiting, and loss of consciousness. A high dosage of the venom can prove fatal hence the need to avoid it at all costs.

Giant centipede

This is one of the creepiest creatures that you can encounter on your trip to Puerto Rico.

These spiders are known to crawl in different parts of Puerto Rico and you can find them around the island.

When you are booking your accommodation, you must inquire about these centipedes because in forested areas they are common.

The centipede usually has a very sharp claw at the back where it stings and delivers venom to the victim. It is imperative to understand that venom is known to cause cell lysis and organ failure in severe cases.

The giant centipede is ranked as one of the most dangerous creatures in Puerto Rico because of the venomous bites and you should be wary if you are going to visit the forested areas of the island.

The bite of the giant centipede is agonizing and it could make you very sick. If you are traveling with children, then the venom will have more of an impact on the young ones. However, you should not be limited to the urban areas only you can explore the different parts of the country.

Box Jellyfish

Box jellyfish

The box jellyfish is one of the jellyfish populations that you will find in the Caribbean Sea. There are there in large numbers in Puerto Rico and you should avoid these creatures at all costs. They have a very deadly sting.

Whenever they sting you, you will feel numbness, experience blurred vision, back pains, loss of muscle control, and difficulty breathing. In larger doses, the venom can kill you.

The box jellyfish is very hard to notice hence many people often realize it after the fish has stung them.

They have very long tentacles and these are the main carriers of the venom when they sting you will feel a very sharp and irresistible pain in the sting area.

There are so many in the Caribbean Sea and if you are into snorkeling and deep-water diving then it is critical that you avoid the areas where these fishes thrive.



Since Puerto Rico is a tropical island you are bound to encounter a huge number of mosquitoes hence the need you should carry a mosquito repellant. The tropical climate and wet areas encourage the multiplication of mosquitoes.

The female anopheles’ mosquito is known to cause malaria. Other mosquito species are known to carry other viral and protozoan diseases such as yellow fever, dengue fever, and zika virus.

The mosquitoes usually have very sharp and itchy bites and when they bite you, you will feel a very sharp pain and swelling. Some of the viral diseases such as chikungunya and zika require immediate medical attention hence ensuring that you protect yourself to prevent the chances of you contracting the dangerous disease.

Always carry your mosquito repellant and ensure you are vaccinated against yellow fever.

In conclusion, Puerto Rico is a perfect destination that you should explore when checking out the different locations.

Ensure that you are aware of your environment to ensure that you have the best experience in the region.


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.