Snakes are a big part of Costa Rica's fauna, and visitors can see and learn more about them at this pair of San José institutes

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Usually unjustifiably, snakes are for many among the scariest critters out there, and there are a lot of them in Costa Rica. in fact, San José has not one but two institutions dedicated to studying them, and of them, the Serpentario on the second floor of the Radamida Building (Avenida 1 between Calle 9 and Calle 11) is the better known. With exhibits not just about the country's various serpent species but also other reptiles and a few amphibians, this is an excellent choice to check out before heading out to the rain forests, to be able to identify the snakes you may spot (including distinguishing poisonous from harmless). The other, the Clodomiro Picado Institute in the outlying town of Dulce Nombre de Coronado, investigates and produces anti-venom serums, but also welcomes the public on Friday afternoons for a look at its reptiles.

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