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Escazú and Santa Ana have few traditional tourism attractions, but both offer easy access to the attractions and activities offered up in San José and elsewhere around the Central Valley.

One of the exceptions to the above rule is the Refugio Herpetologico ★ ((tel) 2282-4614; http://refugioherpetologico.com), a family-run reptile and wildlife exhibition. In addition to a couple of dozen snakes, both venomous and nonvenomous, the center has a few other rehabilitating animals, including a crocodile, iguanas, and a spider monkey. It’s open from 9am to 4pm, Tuesday to Sunday, and admission is $14 for adults; $11 for students, and $7 for seniors and children 3 through 12.

If you are in downtown Santa Ana, do take a few minutes to visit the town’s main cathedral, a lovely old stone church, with thick wooden beams, colorful stained-glass windows, and a red-clay tile roof.

Oxcart Derby

This area’s agricultural heritage shines each year on El Día del Boyero (Oxcart Drivers’ Day), which is celebrated on the second Sunday of March. The small town of San Antonio de Escazú is the center of the celebrations, with a street fair, and a large collection of colorfully painted ox-drawn carts parading through the streets.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.