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“A terrific, hands-on reptile museum! Great for kids!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Arenal Eco Zoo

Arenal Eco Zoo
El Castillo, El Castillo, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica
00-506-2479-1058
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
Attraction details
Peoria, Illinois
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
“A terrific, hands-on reptile museum! Great for kids!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2012

I am not sure how my wife found out about this place, but I'm glad she did. Our kids love reptiles, so we knew we had to try it out.

Once you get off the main road, it's a pretty rough ride so be careful. A 4x4 could be necessary in the rainy season. Do not be discouraged if it seems to take awhile to get there.

It's kind of tricky to find so pay attention to the signs. Once you cross a small, one-lane bridge, look for a turn-off to the left...the sign is either gone or we could not find it. You'll climb a hill about 200 yards after you turn and the place will be on your right.

It does not look like much on the outside. Don't worry. Once you get inside, there is plenty so see.

We had a tour guide walk us through the entire place. He was very well-versed on the critters inside and let us hold everything that wouldn't kill us! The guides truly love reptiles. They are not just $5/day rent-a-guides. They are usually studying zoology, biology or ecology or something like that and they really want to learn, too.

The first part of the tour is snakes. Then lizards. Then frogs. Then butterflies. We did not have to rush at all. We had the guide to ourselves and there were only a few other people behind us. We were there in July which is not the busiest time of the year. I am not sure how crowded it gets during the busier seasons.

The kids really enjoyed holding the snakes. They LOVED the huge python they got to pet and hug on.

I'm sorry I don't remember the price, but it was worth it. The website advertises a restaurant, but as of July, 2012, it was closed and did not look like it was re-opening. Maybe during the busier season.

All-in-all, this was a worthwhile trip!

Visited July 2012
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English first
El Castillo, Costa Rica
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
19 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Always a Pleasure”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

I have visited this Snake zoo many times over the years and it is always a wonderful and educational experience. We took friends visiting from the USA this time and they loved taking photos and holding the snakes! I even held a Tarantula this time.

Visited October 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
kayaknbabe
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Make Sure to Visit Arenal EcoZoo!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2012

We thoroughly enjoyed our Arenal EcoZoo visit, and can't wait to go back! Victor Jr. and Victor Sr. have created a fantastic zoo, dedicated to education and conservation. We learned about snakes, how anti-venom is made, and held a tarantula! There is a butterfly enclosure with Blue Morpho and many other butterflies, and amphibian habitats. We were given a number of interesting snakes to hold, and our favorites were the Spaghetti Snakes and a Rainbow Boa. This place is a photographer's dream! They will open a some of the habitats so you can take clear photos. You can also arrange a special photo session with Victor Sr., who will set up natural scenes to shoot a variety of snakes and frogs in. There is a restaurant with excellent food, and a hotel as well. We stayed in their large and comfortable "casita" complete with kitchen, dinning room, laundry room, and a large lounge with a stunning view of Arenal Volcano. They also have dorm rooms. If you have the time, stop by for a night tour where you walk their property with flashlights, spotting creatures that live on the grounds. You'll love it as much as we did!

Visited August 2012
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winters ca.
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“great people,fantastic zoo”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2012

This is a reptile ,amphibian,and insect zoo.We went there late afternoon,We were greeted by Victor(jr) and Victor senior,great folks.My wife and granddaughter took a tour with the latter. I stayed back and was entertained by Vic jr. for about a hour ,they came back excited and happy,they had held snakes ,frogs ,and a tarantella.We ate there and the food was great,at their open restaurant and watched parrots(4) in a near by tree.We came back to eat the next day because our other activities were near ,again Delicious,all in all a must stop,thanks so much Victor's.

Visited October 2012
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Belgium, Wisconsin
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Wide Eyed with the Red Eyed!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2012

This was a wonderful little zoo tucked away in the little town, El Castillo. If personal attention is what you are looking for then this is the place. It was just my family and our guide, Juan – a gentle soul – who was great with the kids. We all had the opportunity to hold snakes and frogs. The most fascinating was the Red Eyed Tree (Leaf) Frog. What a beautiful creature!

If you are in the Arenal area don't hesitate to make a stop at the Eco Zoo.

Visited June 2012
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