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 Animal (tel. 2282-4614), a family-run animal rescue and wildlife exhibition. In addition to a few dozen snakes, both venomous and nonvenomous, the center has a few animals, including a crocodile, iguanas, and a spider monkey. It’s open from 9am to 4:30pm, Tuesday to Sunday, and admission is $30 for adults; $15 for children 3 through 12; and $25 for seniors and students with valid ID.

Another worthy local site is Butterfly Kingdom (tel. 2288-6667), a butterfly farm that does short educational tours and also exports butterfly pupae. It’s open daily from 9am-3pm, and admission is C3,500 for adults, C2,500 for children 3 to 12.

If you are in downtown Santa Ana, do take a few minutes to visit the town’s main cathedral (see above) 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.