The Simón Bolívar National Zoological Park and Botanical Garden of Costa Rica

    A “must visit” when your in San José

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    The Simón Bolívar National Zoological Park and Botanical Garden (ZNSB) beautifies our capital since 1916, opening for public enjoyment on July 24, 1921. Its administration is mixed through a foundation with a specific purpose.

    In 1884, Henry Pittier Promond founded the Garden of Plants and Animals as an Institution attached to the Costa Rican Geographical Institute, near the Liceo de Costa Rica, but since the neighbors complained about the noise of the animals, it was necessary to relocate it in the sector northwest of the capital, in the vicinity of Barrio Otoya.

    By Executive Decree # 3 of July 5, 1916, the Simón Bolívar National Zoo and Botanical Garden was founded. The name of the Park is a tribute to the Liberator Simón Bolívar and in recognition of his great efforts in the work of the independence of Latin America.

    In mid-1921, to celebrate the birth of the hero and the political emancipation of Spain, and since the Park was practically finished and ready to be opened to the public, it was decided to inaugurate it on July 24, 1921, by Executive Agreement # 138 of the July 23 of the same year; the purpose was to conserve endangered species and serve as an educational tool by promoting scientific research.


    Total area: The Zoo covers a total of 2 hectares

    Distribution: The Zoo It has a main visitation path, along which the different enclosures for the animals are distributed, harmonized by native plants throughout the route. We can differentiate the following spaces:

    Environmental education section and workshops


    Children’s self-discovery area

    Veterinary clinic

    Administrative office

    Food preparation area


    Animal enclosures

    Inside the zoo, in addition to the animal enclosures, you can find a self-discovery area with exhibits and relevant data about the environment. The visitation circuit can be visited by all types of public.

    Zoo projection

    Services: It has a store, a place for the public to rest, various educational packages, workshops on topics related to the work carried out in the zoo and environmental conservation, support for the rescue of wildlife, reforestation actions and habitat rehabilitation within of the zoo grounds.


    Currently the zoo has a representation of Costa Rican biodiversity and exotic species. Along with this, the lagoon of the Simón Bolívar National Zoo and Botanical Garden represents one of the few wetlands that are found with some degree of protection in San José.

    Public attention

    It is open to the public from Monday to Friday, from 9:00 am to 2:30 pm; Saturdays and Sundays temporarily closed due to the COVID emergency. The cost of entry is 3500 colones for adults, 2700 colones for seniors and children from 3 to 12 years old, children under 3 years old enter free.

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