500px Photo ID: 107393487 - Closeup of colorful toucan bird somewhere in Mexico

Maciej Czekajewski / 500px

Parque Zoológico Nacional Simón Bolívar

San José

It may seem ironic to visit a zoo in one of the most biologically rich countries in the world, but this is a popular spot with local families who pour in on weekends to peek at the animals. It’s rough around the edges – the cages are cramped and a few travelers have complained of the animals’ filthy living spaces – but for small children it can serve as a basic primer on the area's wildlife.

If you have time for a day trip, a much better option is Zoo Ave outside Alajuela.

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