Exploring Costa Rica’s Top 10 Zoos and Wildlife Sites for Unleashing Your Inner Child

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Situated on the balmy waters of the Pacific Ocean, Costa Rica is truly a jewel for nature enthusiasts. Home to some of the most exquisite plant and animal life, Costa Rica never fails to astonish its visitors with the vibrant wildlife creatures and picturesque landscapes. With its distinctive terrain and way of life, Costa Rica is a place where existence offers a distinct flavor and unseen magnificence that you probably have never witnessed.

Speaking of its wildlife, it would be accurate to state that the country possesses a diverse range of wildlife. This is the reason why numerous zoos have been established there. You might be taken aback by the quantity, but it is advisable to visit the finest ones. So, if you have a genuine appreciation for nature and wildlife, a trip to Costa Rica will undoubtedly become a memorable occasion for you as the zoos in Costa Rica, as well as other wildlife sanctuaries, are homes to numerous wildlife creatures and stunning landscapes.

10 Premier Zoos in Costa Rica

Here is a compilation of the top zoos in Costa Rica and other wildlife nature reserves and conservation facilities in the country where you can witness the allure of wildlife at its finest.

Arenal Eco Zoo

1. Zoo Ave

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Established in the late 80s, the primary aim of Zoo Ave was to rehabilitate and care for injured and wild animals that were unable to survive on their own. However, one distinct aspect of Zoo Ave is that they do not acquire any of the animals under their care through purchase; all of these creatures were either donated by the Government of Costa Rica or rescued from various forests or poachers. If you possess a greater affinity for wildlife than the average person, then visiting this zoo is an absolute necessity.

Location: 2.3 km to the East of Manolo’s Crossroad, Route 3, Towards San José Neighborhood., Alajuela Province, Alajuela, Costa RicaOperating Hours: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Daily)Admission Fee: $15 for adults, $13 for students, $4 for children

Essential Reading: 16 Finest Experiences in Costa Rica That Will Set Your Heart Racing Instantly!

Santa Ana Conservation Centre

2. Arenal Eco Zoo

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The Arenal Eco Zoo in Costa Rica is widely known among wildlife enthusiasts as it possesses one of the finest collections of amphibians and reptiles in the entire Costa Rica. Besides this, the Arenal Eco Zoo also possesses a good collection of various species of butterflies and insects. Established in the year of 2008 by wildlife enthusiast identified as Victor Hugo Quesada, Arenal Eco zoo was previously recognized as El Serpentario Zoologico del Castillo. Due to his intense passion and affection for snakes and other reptiles, Victor Hugo Quesada inaugurated this zoo to display various species of snakes to the children and other kids.

Location: Calle Real el Castillo, Alajuela Province, El Castillo, Costa RicaTimings: 8am–7pm (Daily)Entry Fee: $16 Adults & $10 Children

Las Pumas Rescue Centre

3. Santa Ana Conservation Centre

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Covering an approximate area of 140 acres, Centro de conservación de Santa Ana or Santa Ana conservation center is a biological reserve, situated in a district of the Southwest Costa Rica, recognized as Santa Ana. The conservation center is positioned at an elevation of 900 m from the sea level and is encircled by the river Uruca to its east. A distinctive aspect about the conservation center is that it is one of the last remaining reserves to contain the remains of the tropical rainforests of Costa Rica. Aside from this, it also features an agricultural museum, picnic areas, soccer fields, a broad range of wild as well as domestic creatures, and a thrilling nursery for flowers and other flora.

Location: San José Province, Río Oro, Costa RicaTimings: 10am – 4pm (Daily)Entry Fee: $12 for adults, $ 9 for children, and $9 for senior citizens

Suggested Read: 7 Places To Visit In Costa Rica To Encounter The Best Of Nature & Culture

Parque Zoológico Nacional SimónBolívar

4. Las Pumas Rescue Centre

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Similar to most of the rescue centers in Costa Rica, Las Pumas Rescue Centre also operates as a rehabilitation facility for the wild creatures who have been injured or orphaned in the wilderness. Positioned along the Inter American highway in the city of Cañas, Las Pumas Rescue Centre has become a great exemplar for most of the rescue centers in Costa Rica.

Location: Guanacaste Province, Costa RicaOperating Hours: 8am-4pm (Everyday)Admission Fee: $12 for adults and $8 for children

Recommended Reading: 10 Essential Costa Rica Travel Tips for First-Time Visitors

5. National Simon Bolivar Zoo Park

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National Simon Bolivar Zoo Park is an urban wildlife sanctuary situated in the primary urban locality of San Jose in Costa Rica. Regarded as one of the oldest wildlife sanctuaries and botanical zoos in Costa Rica, the entire establishment spans across an area of approximately 14 hectares. Established by Sir Simon Bolivar, the botanical garden and zoo collaborate with a non-profit organization that works towards the benefit of injured and distressed wildlife that cannot survive on their own in the depths of the forests.

Location: Calle 13, San José, Costa RicaOperating Hours: 9am–4:30pm (Everyday)Admission Fee: $5 for adults and $3.7 for children

Recommended Reading: 8 Superb Costa Rica Resorts Where Nature Meets Luxurious Comfort

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