• Animal Sanctuaries

    No zoos, only animal sanctuaries


    Costa Ricais home of 4% of all the species in the world, making the country a megabiodiverse one. The tourism industries focuses on this quality to sell the country and invited visitors to enjot its natural wonders. In 2013, the government expressed its intention of eliminating zoos in Costa Rica or transforming them into cage-less bio parks. Still, in 2016 the legal process continues. The Simon Bolivar Zoo in San Jose is just taking care of the animals that live there without breeding or buying any other new animal.

    Costa Rica is also the first country to ban sport hunting, leaving only sport fishing available during some seasons and under special restrictions. With this, Costa Rica expect to make a statement about its position on animal rights. It has a lot to do since the law to protect animals in Costa Rica is still being discussed.

    There are several natural sanctuaries in Costa Rica.Since 2016 Costa Rica no longer supports zoos, however there are refuges for animals that are found outside their natural environment. This animal rescue centers give lost animals a second chance. Some could get reintroduced on their environment and some others cannot and stay in the shelter for the rest of their lives.

    According with National Geographic, the main difference between zoos and animal sanctuaries, is that zoos will buy, sell, trade, borrow, loan out, and breed animals, to have an economic gain. Meanwhile, animal sanctuaries promises to take care of animals that have been neglected, abandoned or abused.

    Normally when the visitor arrives there is an entry fee that is use to sustain the place. Most species are there because they cannot reenter their natural environment because of several reasons. It is a good option for zoos that make the living of the animal an economic activity getting them out of their ecological system.

    One of the most famous animal sanctuary is the Sloth Sanctuary in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca on the Caribbean side. There are other like the Jaguar Rescue Center also in the Limon Province, Toucan Rescue Ranch, Zooave and Danaus Eco Center, among others.

    Besides the wildlife refuges, there is also a sanctuary for dogs. Territorio de Zaguates is a place where more than 800 stray dogs live and stay safe.


    Some interesting animal sanctuaries that need your help are:

    • Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary (Dominical)
    • Lobalu Animal Rescue Center (Montezuma)
    • Costa Rica Animal Rescue Center - CRARC (San Miguel, Alajula)
    • Jaguar Rescue Center (Limon)
    • Toucan Rescue Ranch (San Jose)
    • ZooAve (Alajuela)
    • Danaus Eco Center (La Fortuna)
    • Rainsong Wildlife Rescue Center (Nicoya Peninsula)
    • Territorio de Zaguates (Alajuela) - Dog rescue center
    • SIBU Sanctuary (Nosara) - This centers works rescuing, rehabilitaiting and liberating animals back to their natural environment.
    • Osa Wildlife Sanctuary (Osa)


    All of these places offer volunteer work to people who really want to learn and help.

    Banana Adventure Tour can help you plan your vacation in the country and add some educational or/and volunteer tours so that you get the complete experience abroad. Please write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

     Territorio de Zaguates - Sanctuary

    Animal sanctuary

    patas de tigre

  • Bird Watching

  • Turtle Nesting

  • Whales

    Time to see the whales jump


    During the main seson for whales in Costa Rica some of the whales that can be seen at the Pacific waters are: the blue whale, fin whales, the Sei whales (endangered) and the sperm whale. There are other incredible creatures, such as the Orca could also be seen in Costa Rican waters, even though they prefer colder waters.  Also, the biggest dolphins at the sea: the pilot whales, are seen in the Pacific waters.

    Normally, the whale watching tours leave from the Marino Ballena National Park. It is located in the Pacific coast and it is a beautiful place where on the right season visitors could watch dolphins, stingrays jumping out of the water, sea turtles, hammerhead shark and humpback whales. The season for humpback whales is from the end of December to April, and from July to September.

    Most tours include a time at the beach, boat ride on open sea and some time to do snorkeling. The snorkeling is mostly done on the rocky coasts of the Pacific, where it is easy to see natural caves.

    Going in a boat ride out in the see for 4 or 5 hours your chances to see whales and dolphins is great. Dont miss the opportunity to see them jump out of the water and move their tail in the superfice.


    Banana Adventure Tour can help you plan your vacation in the country and add a whale watching tour, so that you get the complete experience abroad. Please write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

     Whale season in Costa Rica