If you are staying in Atlántico, visiting the Barranquilla Zoo is the perfect plan whether you are traveling with children or if you are an animal lover. The incredible biodiversity on display will have both kids and adults marveling at the beauty of the Colombian nature and wildlife.
The zoo opened its doors to the public in 1956 with only a few species of animals donated by local citizens. Today, it covers an area of 20,000 meters and features more than 500 animals from approximately 140 different species, representing mostly the Caribbean region of Colombia and also species from the African, Asian, and American continents.
What to see and do
When visiting the zoo, walk through the small jungle paths to admire a range of native and exotic animals, kept in environments designed to replicate their natural habitats. Among the wonderful collection of animals, you will see flamingos, crocodiles, snakes, monkeys, and all kinds of reptiles and amphibians.
Some of the monkey species you will discover are the Barbary macaques of Gibraltar and the brown woolly monkeys native from Colombia. A big attraction is one of the few remaining white tigers in the world, a truly rare and magnificent sight for everyone.
You can feed the colorful and bright Australian parrots, as well as the cockatoos. Make sure that you attend the "Museo Vivo" show to learn more about the animals. There are four performances every day, and children can get very close to the animals.
Preserving Colombia's wildlife
The main aim of the zoo is to preserve Colombia's wildlife. Here, you find a lot of local animal species that are endangered, such as the spectacled bear, the manatee, flamingos, otters, and eagles. Witnessing the spectacled bear is a unique experience, as it is the only surviving species of bear that is native to South America. They are currently in conservation with vulnerable status, as during the recent years they have lost their natural habitats, which limits their chance of survival. The Barranquilla Zoo is one of the few zoos containing this species and working towards the conservation of it.
If you are staying in Atlántico during the summer months, plan your visit to the zoo in the morning. Although the animals have plenty of trees providing shade from the summer heat of the sun, it might get too hot for visitors during the afternoon.
Touring the whole zoo will take you approximately two hours.