PLACES: Barranquilla’s Zoo

Zoo is located on Calle 77 No. 68-40.

Referred to by many as one of Barranquilla’s most beloved treasures, the Zoo (operated by La Fundación Botánica y Zoológica de Barranquilla) is home to hundreds of creatures. It has more than 500 animals of 140 species, representing the wildlife of the African, Asian and American continents.

Visitors can view Colombian flora and fauna and also, the zoo is aimed at the conservation of native species in danger of extinction like the manatee (Trichechus), the spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus), otters (Lutrinae), flamingos, eagles and a variety of primates. You’ll have the opportunity to see the exciting world of reptiles and amphibians in the Herpetario, you can delve into the mysterious nocturnal habitat and also explore 15,000 square meters of natural wealth. The zoo also often hosts social events such as birthday parties, where kids can enjoy a Living Museum Show or feed the animals.

Travelers and residents are especially fond of the zoo’s president, a White Tiger (Panthera tigris) who was elected by kids during the last electoral race in October. If you’re traveling with youngsters, head over to the Farm-in-the-Zoo, where the little ones can meet some barnyard favorites. Or check out the Conservation Station, which features hands-on demonstrations about the animals found in the zoo.

The Zoo is very well located in an urban area; it’s very easy to get there.  The address is Calle 77 No. 68-40. Unfortunately, there’s very little parking; the zoo parking lot is quite small.  A better option would be to take Transmetro: Route A8-2 from the Joe Arroyo Station to the bus stop in front of the zoo entrance.

Wear comfortable clothes, a cap, carry a water bottle and apply sunscreen as you will be out in the open a lot. Because of the walls and the vegetation, the air in the zoo can get very still and hot so if you can, pick a cooler day to go.  It is also a good idea to pack a poncho if it looks like rain. Don’t forget your camera, as there will be many photo opportunities. Also, there’s free Wi-Fi available in the admissions area and food court if you want to share some of your pics with the world.

Finally, don’t forget to explain the zoo rules to your children to help keep them and the animals safe. In particular, remind them not to feed the animals anything other than approved zoo food, don’t touch the animals and definitely, don’t climb into their enclosures.

The Zoológico de Barranquilla is open every day of the year from about 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit the Zoo’s website.