Territorio de Zaguates is an extraordinary dog shelter located in the mountains above Heredia Costa Rica about an hour from downtown San José (see where is Land of the Strays). It achieved fame with a viral video showing one of their weekend “dog hikes” where hundreds of abandoned canines rescued from the city streets roam mountain trails alongside human visitors.
The famous walks with the pack are free and open to the public. You may bring your own dog and walkers of all ages are welcome. The outings are a time for the dogs to enjoy some attention and for prospective adopters to get to know the dogs.
Please consider contributing money or time at the dog rescue (see below) or one of the other excellent opportunities to volunteer with animals and wildlife in Costa Rica.
Visit Territorio de Zaguates
The rescue is closed to the public except during the scheduled dog walks. If you just show up you will find the gates to the farm locked.
It’s impossible for the staff to care for the dogs while dealing with drop-in visits. They ask that you respect this and do not attempt to visit when they are closed. You will not be allowed in. Please do not hop the fence!
The walks are scheduled somewhat arbitrarily but (so far) always on weekends and about twice a month. (see schedule)
Walks cover approximately 3 km (1.9 miles) starting at 9:00 a.m. and finish about 12:30 p.m.
There’s limited space for parking and no way to get out of the parking area until everyone else leaves as well so if you drive your car will be locked in to the parking area until the walk concludes.
NOTE: an official looking Google Plus page states that Territorio de Zaguates is open to the public every morning – this is a fake page and the information is wrong Territorio management is attempting to have the Google page deleted but for now you just have to ignore it.
Currently Scheduled Walks at Territorio de Zaguates in 2017
Territorio has limited hours of operation. Walks start at 9:00 a.m. one or two weekends each month. These are tentative dates as announced on the official facebook page. Please confirm dates by contacting Territorio directly before traveling.
April – Saturday 29 and Sunday 30
May – Saturday 13, Sunday 14, Saturday 20 and Sunday 21
June – Saturday 3, Sunday 4, Saturday 17 and Sunday 18
remainder of 2017 schedule re-confirmed July 1
July – Saturday 1, Sunday 2, Saturday 15 and Sunday 16
August – Saturday 5, Sunday 6, Saturday 19 and Sunday 20
September – Saturday 2, Sunday 3, Saturday 16, Sunday 17 and Saturday 30
October – Sunday 1, Saturday 21 and Sunday 22
November – Saturday 4, Sunday 5, Saturday 18 and Sunday 19
December – Saturday 2, Sunday 3, Saturday 9, Sunday 10, Saturday 16 and Sunday 17
NOTE: In the past walks have been cancelled with as little as two weeks notice. Please confirm dates by contacting Territorio directly before heading to the farm.
Where is the Land of the Strays?
Driving directions and maps are below but it may be considerably less stressful to take the shuttle provided by the shelter for each scheduled walk.
The shuttle departs from the Plaza Real on the south east corner of Alajuela (see Google map – Google incorrectly states that Territorio has closed – ignore it) at 8:00 a.m. on walk days and returns to the same parking lot around 2:00 p.m. The cost is ¢3,000 per person ($6) round trip which must be paid in advance (see instructions on the facebook page).
Land of the strays is 1.5 km outside Carrizal where route 126 (from Heredia, 16 km south) and route 125 (from Alajuela, 13 km south) intersect. It’s 30 km from Downtown San José and takes about an hour from there without traffic. Since the walks are on the weekend mornings traffic is typically not to bad.
This Google map shows the location of the shuttle parking as well as both routes to the Land of the Strays.
How to Help Territorio de Zaguates Feed and Shelter the Dogs
The ultimate goal is to find every dog a loving home. It’s not that difficult to bring one home to the U.S. so if that’s the only thing stopping you there are hundreds to chose from.
If trying to learn “come”, “sit”, “stay” and “drop my slipper” in Spanish sounds like more than you want to take on then consider making a monetary contribution. It’s extremely expensive to shelter, feed, and provide veterinary care for all the dogs and the Land of the Strays is non-profit and no-kill.
Contact Information Territorio de Zaguates
Please donate here
The best method of contact is via the official facebook page
e-mail and phone contacts are provided below if you would like to
- Donate, foster, volunteer, adopt or sponsor
- Request a Donation Box to put in your business or place of work
- Purchase t-shirts, cups, calendars or other souvenirs of Territorio de Zaguates
Please do NOT request private tours or policy changes.
Alvaro – 8815-2514
Marcela – email@example.com, 8883-9337
Lya – firstname.lastname@example.org, 8387-5130