With three days in San Jose, you can relax into the city’s natural rhythm, which blends the sounds of tropical birdsong, bustling markets, and salsa beats. You’ll have plenty of time to take in the key sights, including Costa Rica’s lush rain forest, volcanic peaks, and coffee farms. Here’s how.
Rescate Animal Zooave
2.3 km al este del cruce de Manolo's, ruta 3, hacia el B° San José
Run by a non-profit organization, this zoological park is home to over 125 species of birds, mammals, and reptiles, many of them native to Costa Rica. See the animals, which live in large, natural enclosures, get hands-on with miniature horses and barnyard animals at the petting zoo, then spend some time up in the trees with the site’s zip-line canopy tours.
Things to Know Before You Go
Rescate Animal Zooave is popular with families and others interested in animal conservation.
Pre-book mobile tickets online to save time.
There's a restaurant, an ice cream parlor, and a gift shop on site.
Visitors can bring their own picnics, but food can only be consumed in designated areas.
The park is wheelchair accessible, and wagons for kids to ride in are available to rent.
How to Get There
Rescate Animal Zooave is situated in La Garita de Alajuela, about a 15-minute drive from the airport and 45 minutes from downtown San José. There is an interurban train station in nearby Alajuela, but there is little public transportation from there to the zoo.
When to Get There
The zoo is open throughout the year from morning until early evening, including on weekends and public holidays (when it's at its busiest). Although it’s lovely throughout the year, the best time to visit is during the dry season, which runs from late November through April.
Rescate Animal Zooave runs a variety of animal conservation efforts, including a wildlife hospital that takes care of over 7,500 animals per year. They've also bred a number of species for reintroduction to the wild, including squirrel monkeys and scarlet macaws; they have even helped reintroduce a bird—the grey-headed chachalaca—that was previously extinct in this region.
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- Orosi River Valley (El Valle del Rio Orosi)
- La Sabana Park
- Poas Volcano National Park
- Costa Rican Art Museum (Museo de Arte Costarricense)
- Children's Museum (Museo de los Ninos)
- San Jose Central Market (Mercado Central)
- National Theater (Teatro Nacional)
- Plaza de la Cultura
- Gold Museum
- Jade Museum (Museo del Jade)
- Metallic Building (Ed)ificio Metálico)
- Yellow House (Casa Amarilla)
- Morazan Park