Situated on the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean, Costa Rica is truly a gem for the nature lovers. Home to some of the most beautiful flora and fauna, Costa Rica never fails to surprise its visitors with the dazzling wildlife creatures and colorful landscapes. With its peculiar landscape and way of life, Costa Rica is a place where life offers a different flavour and unseen beauty which you unlikely have ever been observed.
Talking about its wildlife, then it won’t be wrong to state that the country has a rich wildlife. This is the reason that a lot of zoos are established there. You may be surprised by the number, but however, it is better to visit the best ones. So, if you are a true admirer of the nature and the wildlife, a trip to Costa Rica will surely become a memorable event for you as the zoos in Costa Rica, and other wildlife sanctuaries are home to a lot of wildlife creatures and beautiful landscapes.
10 Top Zoos In Costa Rica
Here’s a list of the best zoos in Costa Rica and other wildlife bio-reserves and conservation homes in the country where you can witness the charm of the wildlife at its best.
1. Zoo Ave
Established in the late 80s, the primary motive of Zoo Ave was to rehabilitate and take care of the injured and wild animals who were not able to survive on their own. However, one thing which is unique about Zoo Ave is that they do not purchase any of the animals in their supervision and all of those creatures were donated by either the Government of Costa Rica or were rescued from various forests or poachers. If you are into wildlife more than the normal people, then visiting this zoo is a must.
Location: 2.3 km al Este del Cruce de Manolo’s, Ruta 3, Hacia el B° San José., Provincia de Alajuela, Alajuela, Costa Rica
Timings: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Daily)
Entry Fee: $15 adults, $13 students, $4 children
2. Arenal Eco Zoo
The Arenal Eco Zoo in Costa Rica is quite famous among wildlife enthusiasts as it boasts one of the finest collections of amphibians and reptiles in the entire Costa Rica. Apart from this, the Arenal Eco Zoo also has a good collection of various species of butterflies and insects.
Established in the year of 2008 by wildlife enthusiast known as Victor Hugo Quesada, Arenal Eco zoo was earlier known as El Serpentario Zoologico del Castillo. Due to his extreme passion and love for snakes and other reptiles, Victor Hugo Quesada opened up this zoo to show various species of snakes to the children and other kids.
Location: Calle Real el Castillo, Alajuela Province, El Castillo, Costa Rica
Timings: 8am–7pm (Daily)
Entry Fee: $16 Adults & $10 Children
3. Santa Ana Conservation Centre
Spread over an approximate area of 140 acres, Centro de conservación de Santa Ana or Santa Ana conservation center is a biological reserve, which is located in a district of the Southwest Costa Rica, known as Santa Ana. The conservation center is located at the height of 900 m from the sea level and is surrounded by the river Uruca to its east. A unique thing about the conservation center is that it is one of the last remaining reserves to have the remnants of the tropical rainforests of Costa Rica. Apart from this, it also has an agricultural museum, picnic spots, football fields, a wide variety of wild as well as domestic creatures and an exciting nursery for flowers and other flora.
Location: San José Province, Río Oro, Costa Rica
Timings: 10am – 4pm (Daily)
Entry Fee: $12 for adults, $ 9 for children and $9 for senior citizens
4. Las Pumas Rescue Centre
Like most of the rescue centers in Costa Rica, Las Pumas Rescue Centre also functions as a rehabilitation center for the wild creatures who have been injured or orphaned in the wilderness. Located along the Inter American highway in the city of Cañas, Las Pumas Rescue Centre has become a great example for most of the rescue centers in Costa Rica.
Location: Guanacaste Province, Costa Rica
Timings: 8am-4pm (Daily)
Entry Fee: $12 for adults and $8 for children
Suggested Read: 10 Costa Rica Travel Tips That All First-Timers Must Follow
5. Parque Zoológico Nacional SimónBolívar
ParqueZoológico Nacional Simón Bolívaris is an urban wildlife reserve, which is located in the main urban locality of San Jose in Costa Rica. Considered as one of the oldest wildlife reserves and botanical zoos in Costa Rica, the entire facility is spread across an area of approximately 14 hectares. Founded by Sir Simon Bolivar, the botanical garden and zoo work with a nonprofit organization which is working for the ill and injured wildlife creatures who cannot dwell on their own in the wilderness of the forests.
Location: Calle 13, San José, Costa Rica
Timings: 9am–4:30pm (Daily)
Entry Fee: $5 for adults and $3.7 for children
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6.The Ara Project
The primary objective of establishing the Ara project was to preserve the two endangered species of Macau in Costa Rica, which included the Scarlet Macaw and the Green Macaw. The Ara project is, perhaps, the only bird sanctuary which has been dedicated to the welfare and enhancement of the numbers of Macaws in the nation. As a result, it was claimed that in the year 2011, the number of Green Macau and the Scarlet Macaws went up by 60%.
Location: Alajuela Province, Alajuela, Costa Rica
Timings: 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM (Daily)
Entry Fee: NA
7. La Marina Wildlife Rescue Centre
La Marina Wildlife Rescue Centre, which is also known as the La Marina zoo is, perhaps, one of the most famous Zoos in Costa Rica. Situated about 8.5 km in the northeast direction of San Jose, the La Marina zoo is located between the areas of Palmera and Aguas Zarcas. Similar to other rehabilitation centers, the La Marina Rescue Centre also focuses on the well being of the injured and orphaned wild animals for their proper rehabilitation and treatment.
Location: Alajuela Province, San Carlos, Costa Rica
Timings: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM (Daily)
Entry Fee: $256
8. Osa Wildlife Sanctuary
Located in the Osa Peninsula of southwestern Costa Rica, the Osa Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the best animal rescue centers in entire Costa Rica. Surrounded by the Piedras Blancas National Park, one can reach the Osa wildlife sanctuary with the help of a boat only. Dedicated for the proper well being and treatment of the injured and orphaned wild animals, the Osa wildlife sanctuary is a part of the Corcovado National Park.
Location: Puntarenas Province, Costa Rica
Timings: 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM (Daily)
Entry Fee: $25
Suggested Read: Honeymoon In Costa Rica: Your Gateway To Paradise!
9. Africa Safari Adventure Park
Located in the city of Liberia in Costa Rica, the Africa Safari Adventure Park is spread on an area of approximately 100 hectares. It is a privately owned wildlife sanctuary where people can get an experience of the African safaris and apart from the wildlife tour; visitors can also enjoy various sports, such as zip lines, kayaking, rainforest trekking as well as swimming under a waterfall.
Location: Guanacaste Province, Costa Rica
Timings: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Daily)
Entry Fee: $38
10. Selvatura Adventure Park
The Selvatura Adventure Park is a famous habitat for the birds such as Hummingbird and butterfly gardens. Located in the North Western province of Puntarenas in Costa Rica, it is situated about 2 kilometers south of Santa Elena. With a rich number of beautiful butterflies and birds, this adventure park also has great varieties of insects and other majestic species such as tarantulas, caterpillars, rhinoceros, and giant beetles.
Location: Puntarenas Province, Monteverde, Costa Rica
Timings: 7:00 AM – 4:00 PM (Daily)
Entry Fee: $50
Further Read: 10 Best Honeymoon Destinations In Costa Rica
Although the first thing which comes to our minds about Costa Rica is that of white sand beaches and warm blue oceans, yet, it surprises all and has a great and rich collection of flora and fauna. Covered with 8 percent of the world’s entire biodiversity, Costa Rica is a place to cherish for the wildlife enthusiasts. So, don’t think much and plan your international trip with TravelTriangle right away, and head out on an adventure like never before!
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Frequently Asked Questions About Zoos In Costa Rica
Which is the best zoo in Costa Rica?
The most famous zoo in Costa Rica is the Zoo ave in La Garita, in the canton of Alajuela, Costa Rica.
How many zoos are there in Costa Rica?
There are about 5 important zoos in Costa Rica which are: 1. Zoo Ave 2. Arenal Eco Zoo 3. Santa Ana Conservation Centre 4. Las Pumas Rescue Centre 5. Parque Zoológico Nacional SimónBolívar
Which is the oldest zoo in Costa Rica?
The oldest zoo in Costa Rica is the Parque Zoológico Nacional SimónBolívar that spreads over 14 hectares of land.
Which is the national animal of Costa Rica?
The national animal of Costa Rica is the white-tailed deer, scientifically termed as Odocoileus virginianus.
What are the most poisonous animals that are found in Costa Rica?
The deadliest creatures of Costa Rica are as follows:
1. Fer-de-Lance Snake (found in Corcovado national park)
2. Eye-lash Viper Snake
3. Coral Snake
4. American Crocodile
7. Bull Shark
What are the native creatures of Costa Rica?
White-faced capuchin, coati, ocelot, rhinoceros beetle, three-toed sloth, red-eyed tree frog, scarlet macaw, and resplendent Quetzal are some of the native creatures of Costa Rica.
Do the zoos of Costa Rica have snakes?
About 22 species of venomous snakes can be found in the zoos of Costa Rica. By far the deadliest snake of Costa Rica is the fer-de-lance ( Bothrops asper).
Where can the Quetzal be seen in Costa Rica?
The Zoo Ave is the only place where the resplendent Quetzal can be spotted. The magnificent bird with its colourful body and long feathers from the zoo’s main attraction.
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