Costa Rica, the popular tropical vacation destination, is home to a variety of slithering snakes and roaming reptiles. Ever wanted to get up close and personal with a python or a poisonous Bushmaster? At the newly opened Refugio Herpetológico de Costa Rica, located in Santa Ana just outside of San Jose, withness these incredible animals without worrying for your safety.
Rodolfo Vargas, a biologist whose specialty is herpetology (the study of snakes and reptiles), opened the refuge as a place to care for, and eventually release, injured snakes and reptiles in Costa Rica. It should be noted that the Refuge is not a zoo—about 60% of the animals taken in by the refuge are cared for and released back into the wild again. For the other 40%, they will live out their lives happily cared for, since they cannot survive on their own.
Because the refuge receives no funding from the government of Costa Rica, Vargas hopes to support the refuge’s rising costs by charging admission and inviting visitors to take a look at the amazing snakes and reptiles of Costa Rica. Among the variety of animals at the refuge are: boa constrictors, coral snakes, tiger snakes, bushmasters, and even rattle snakes. Other permanent residents of the center include a rescued iguana named Cesar, a crocodile that has had its front claws removed, a rescued spider monkey, and a rescued squirrel monkey.
The Herpetological Refuge of Costa Rica also boasts a fantastic gift shop filled with fascinating goodies sure to entertain your kids on your family vacation in Costa Rica. The Refuge truly is the perfect stop for snake and reptile-lovers visiting Costa Rica.