Zoo Ave

Summary:  Overall rating of 4.2 stars.  Today we ventured into the town of La Garita to check out Zoo Ave (Ah-ve) Rescate Animal (Animal Rescue). As a rule, I don’t do zoos because I believe they are inhumane. This place is different. In fact, this is one of the places I plan on getting my wildlife rehabilitation training from.  Zoo Ave is an absolute must-do stop for anyone visiting Costa Rica. It’s a short drive from the San Jose airport and a great way to enjoy a nice afternoon.

There are lots of things to do in the park like walking, birding, and even ziplining. There is an abundance of wildlife to observe in their own habitats, which have been meticulously recreated and maintained by the staff. The place offers wonderful shaded, well-marked trails to walk on. The surface is smooth enough to push a stroller or even a wheelchair. It also offers a great restaurant called Café David, which has a good selection of food. The best surprise was the strategically placed ice cream stands along the trails. The only negative is the mosquitos are very hungry, so come prepared.

History Lesson: Zoo Ave started out in the 1960’s with (like every other zoo) the sole purpose of profiting off of the exhibition of wildlife. In the 1990’s, a new administration took over with a new focus on conservation, animal welfare, and environmental education. The Rescue Center receives more than 2,000 wild animals each year. These animals are brought in by citizens, police officers, fire rescue personnel, park rangers, etc. Of the animals received, roughly 2% have conditions that prevent them from being fully rehabilitated. These animals become permanent residents of the park for us to enjoy.

One of the residents we saw was the world-famous toucan, Grecia, who became the first recipient of a prosthetic beak.

Attractions:  Zoo Ave Rescate Animal

Location: La Garita, CR

(Ratings based on the 5 Star System)

  • Appeal (i.e. natural beauty, wildlife, historical, etc) – 5/5
  • Tours (i.e. guided, self -guided, etc) – 4/5
  • Activities (i.e. hiking, biking, kayaking, etc) – 4/5
  • Comfort Services (i.e. bathrooms, gift shops, food courts, etc) – 4/5
  • Pricing (i.e. admission, parking, food, etc) – 4/5

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