We normally have some mixed feelings about zoos, since it's actually way nicer to spot wildlife where it belongs: in the wild! The good thing about Zoo Ave is that it's actually an animal rescue centre, so the animals that are exposed to the public can't go back to the wild due to permanent injuries or because they are in the rehabilitation process to be released back into the wild again. That gave us a much better feeling about paying a visit to Zoo Ave.
It's nice to be able to see some of the animals that are very hard to spot in the wild from a small distance. Other things we liked about Zoo Ave:
Zoo Ave doesn't only exhibit wildlife. At the same time it's a botanical garden with beautiful plants and flowers! It's a delight to walk around in the green environment.
There are signs all over the place with valuable and understandable explanation about all the species they exhibit. They also explain why wild animals aren't pets, how the rehabilitation process works, etc.
The paths are completely wheelchair friendly!
There are plenty enough playgrounds and other opportunities for kids to enjoy themselves.
They sell some very yummy artisanal ice-creams.
Zoo Ave is located in an area of Alajuela where you can find a lot of garden centres. You can consider to visit one of them before or after your visit to Zoo Ave. If you have your own car, you could stop at 'Vivero Central la Garita', this is one of the biggest ones.
Some people find Zoo Ave a bit expensive, and yes it's not cheap. Considering that the money will be well spend on animal conservation and rehabilitation, makes it worth the visit.
How to get to Zoo Ave?
The easiest way is to get there by car. It's less than a 30 minute drive from our doorstep. If you want to get there by public transport, you have to take a bus to Alajuela. This bus takes off at this bus station in Grecia. Once at the main bus station in Alajuela, ask for the bus to 'La Garita'. The bus to 'La Garita' stops right in front of Zoo Ave. Locals or bus drivers can point you the way to the right bus stop.
These pics give you a small impression of what you can expect at Zoo Ave. We went on a rainy day and still enjoyed a lot!