Zoo Ave: Bird Watching at its Best


Quetzals, macaws, peacocks, toucans, parrots, owls, you name it–Zoo Ave has it. Known as one of the two zoos in the entire world which displays the Resplendent Quetzals, Zoo Ave (“bird” in Spanish) is also home to over 100 species of native birds, 400 birds received from the public and 95 more from the Wildlife Foundation. Because of that, this bird and wildlife sanctuary was declared as an official “Wildlife Rescue Center” by Costa Rica in 1995.

It is a place where birds fly freely, nest on trees and hover above tourists as these flying beauties show off their majestic wings and vibrant colors.

The Zoo Ave is a non-profit organization that is not only home to birds but also a good number of animal species as well.


The Goals of Zoo Ave

  • The zoo aims to educate the world about environmental issues especially those that are primary threats to the Costa Rican wildlife. They use the power of media (TV, & radio) as well as didactic materials to broadcast their environmental advocacy.
  • Zoo Ave vies to take care of sick, wounded, maltreated and orphaned wild animals and release them back into the wild once they are back in full health.
  • It takes care of endangered species to give these animals a shot at surviving and hopefully, reproduce.

The Birds of Zoo Ave

The following are just a few of the many birds found in the Zoo Ave:

Buffon’s Macaw- This bird is known to be one of the rarest and endangered birds of Costa Rica. Thanks to Zoo Ave, they have a place to stay. They inhabit the lowland forests of Costa Rica but because of the increasing rate of deforestation, they slowly lose their habitats. Thanks to Zoo Ave, they have a second home.

Hybrid Macaw- This unique macaw is a crossbreed between the Scarlet and Great Green Macaw in the 1980’s.

Scarlet Macaw- This species of bird used to roam both dry and rain forests all over Costa Rica. About 2,000 of these birds are now in Osa Peninsula.

Blue-headed Pionus Parrot- This bird lives in the humid forests of South America all the way to the north of Costa Rica.

Spectacled Owl- This owl is known to hunt both during night and day and lives in the dense forests of Costa Rica.

Aztec Conure- This fast-flying bird lives in the Caribbean slope of Costa Rica. It’s commonly found in wooded areas along river banks. It nests in old termite nearly nests and lay about 3 eggs during the dry and early rain season.

Chestnut Mandibled Toucan- Known as the largest toucan in Costa Rica, they are commonly seen atop canopies and Caribbean lowland areas.


More than Just Birds

The Zoo Ave has a diverse wildlife apart from its main attraction–the birds. All the four species of monkeys can be found in the area as well as deer, turtles, pumas, crocodiles, sloths to name a few.


The Zoo Ave is definitely a must-see in Costa Rica and another advantage is that it’s mostly visited by locals themselves so you’ll definitely feel the Costa Rican love and vibe once you’re here.


Getiing There 

Zoo Ave is located in La Garita in the  Alajuela province Simply head west past the cemetery, turn left once you see the stone church in Barrio San José and follow the signs from there. Another option is to take the Pan-American Highway to Atenas exit, then turn right to Alajuela all the way to the zoo.



Places to Stay Near Zoo Ave 

Norma’s Villas

Hotel La Rosa de America

Hotel 1492

Hotel Martino


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