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“spiders and snakes and frogs - oh my!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Neo Fauna

Neo Fauna
Jaco, Costa Rica
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Ranked #4 of 39 things to do in Jaco
Attraction details
Eutawville, South Carolina
2 reviews
“spiders and snakes and frogs - oh my!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2014

a different kind of place - no bells, no whistles - just a nice collection of snakes, frogs, and butterflies. Very knowledgeable guide, Josemar is his name. Go for sure if you like this kind of thing.

Visited February 2014
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68 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Traveling the US
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Fantastic experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2014

Our tour was well over an hour an involved holding snakes and frogs. Tons of photo opportunities. We left early so we didn't get to play with the rescued monkey out of the cage, but we did get to interact with it quite a bit. Our guide was Josemar, who is fantastic. Lots of butterflies of all types, including blue morphos and owl butterflies.

Seems like the negative reviews must have been different guides or off days. I absolutely didn't feel like this was a tourist trap, though. I felt like we found a hidden gem.

Visited January 2014
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Gaithersburg, Maryland
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
40 attraction reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“Rescue league!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2014

Very informative - they have a butterfly garden, and various frogs, snakes, and such that they rescue or rehabilitate. Cesar is the resident monkey. Very information, less touristy -

Visited February 2014
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San Jose, Costa Rica
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Conservation project? Not really...”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2014

Since my sister was visiting, we were looking for some nice tours.
We saw the neo fauna signs every day when driving, and after reading a few good comments on trip advisor we decided to go. If you follow the signs you will easily get there.
When we got there we were immediately greeted by a man (don't remember his name).
He led us into an 'office' were a little white face monkey was jumping up and down his too small cage and screaming loudly. He explained the tour to us and told us the price, which was 10.000 colones/20 dollars per person. We found this a really high price, especially because it was low season (july 2013). But we thought maybe the tour would be worth it...
So after paying and spraying ourselves with bug spray we started the tour.
He led us to a sort of tent where all the small cages were containing the animals. There were frogs, toads, snakes, lizards and some spiders. His explanation was good and his english was ok. This place is supposed to be a sanitarium (as he explained) for injured animals. He was however always opening the cages or tapping on the glass loudly to disturb the animals so we could take 'better pictures'. We never asked for this and quite frankly found it sad for the animals.
When we were there, there was a snake with an infection in its mouth and therefore very aggressive. When he tapped the glass the snake would 'attack' the glass, he did this several times. He even opened the cage and was taking pictures with our camera while the snake was attacking the camera. When we asked how he would heal the snake he said they would feed him a mouse with antibiotics in it, but it seemed like a quick answer to get us to stop asking questions.
We personally think they just dump the animals that die or get too sick.

Then we went on to the butterfly garden. There were some beautiful butterflies, including the blue one (don't know the exact name). He captured a very big one (owl butterfly I think) so we could see the beautiful patterns on the wings. He also showed us the cocoons and when he touched one, it moved! The butterflies were nice, but after 10 minutes he was kind of pushing us toward the exit (I guess it was lunch time). So I didn't get to take a picture of the blue butterfly.

After reading a comment on this site, I was expecting some kind of nature walk where he would show us a plant that moved its leaves when you touched it, but I guess he was really hungry so the tour ended here for us.

I would not recommend going here, unless if it's to save the animals!
If you really are an animal lover, you don't keep them in small cages and disturb them for every visitor that comes by. We did get some amazing pictures though...

Visited July 2013
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Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Very fun Neo Fauna”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2014

I can't say enough about what a good time I had here with my kids and my mother. The "tour" is really just a short walk, but our guide Josymar was amazing. He let us handle many of the animals and he knew absolutely everything about all of them. His English was excellent so he was a lot of fun gently teasing my mom about her reptile fears. My kids are budding herpetologists so this was a highlight of our trip to Costa Rica. The butterfly garden was lovely and captivating with many many different species fluttering about. It is not up to American zoo standards but the animal scientist in me was pleasantly surprised at the natural habitats that had been set up. Our experience was wonderful. I would recommend this to other people who are especially very very interested in amphibians and reptiles.

Visited January 2014
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