Simón Bolívar National Zoo/National Botanic Garden

In the northern reaches of downtown, this expansive green space includes wetlands, 17 animal species, and a wonderful selection of domestic flora

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Simón Bolívar National Zoo/National Botanic Garden

A place to find many of Costa Rica's key fauna and flora in one place

Granted, ecotourism superpower Costa Rica is of course full of places where you can see wildlife. But to see it all in one place (especially if you're travelling with kids), head toward the northern reaches of downtown to the huge green complex, founded in 1921, that also includes the National Botanic Garden and the Lagoon of Bolívar Park. Some of the exotic species include all manner of reptiles, fish, amphibians, as well as a good number of mammals. The Botanic Garden goes out of its way to curate Costa Rica's rich variety of flora, while the lagoon is one of the few protected wetlands in the San José area. More info:

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