Costa Rica’s untouched beaches, perfect and playful surf and Pura Vida ideals already make it a holy grail for tropical travelers.
But we’ve just discovered one more reason Costa Rica is absolutely worth a spot on your bucket list: it’s home to a dog lover’s paradise.
This incredible, pup-filled pasture is known as Territorio de Zaguates, or in English — the Land of the Strays.
While it may look like a heaven on Earth for wild dogs, it’s actually a volunteer-run, stray dog sanctuary nestled in the mountains of Santa Bárbara in Costa Rica’s Heredia province.
The free-range sanctuary, which is home to over 900 rescued dogs, allows the dogs to roam through green hills during the day, according to a Facebook post shared by the organization, and volunteers provide beds and shelters for them at night.
The no-kill sanctuary (Costa Rica actually forbids euthanasia for animals) neuters the dogs it takes in to control the number of strays and runs an active adoption program.
The Land of the Strays is open to the public and visitors are invited to stop by to frolic, play and cuddle with the happy pups.
The best thing to do would be to call ahead to schedule a walking hike along with a herd of dogs. Pretty much guaranteed to be the happiest day of your life.
Hikes begin at 8:45am.
To get to Territorio de Zaguates, meet up with other hikers in Alajuela, at the Centro Comercial Plaza Real, and follow the shuttle bus and other cars to the shelter around 8:00am.
Hikes are free, but a donation towards the upkeep and care of these lucky pups is most welcome. While adoptions are encouraged, there is no pressure on visitors to adopt a four-legged resident, according to BarkPost.
There are over one million stray dogs in Costa Rica, according to The Costa Rica Star — and the sanctuary aims to rescue and re-home as many of these pups as they can.
With Santa Bárbara’s lush rolling hills, coffee plantations and the nearby Brauilio Carrillo National Park, a trip to the Land of the Stray Dogs can be a relaxing, all-day cuddle-filled affair.
If you can’t make it out there, you can do the next best thing and make a donation to help the sanctuary.
Official donation Facebook page:
Discover the full story @ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2016/03/30/costa-rica-land-of-the-stray-dogs_n_9609232.html