A Review of the Puerto Vallarta Zoo

Yesterday we checked out the Puerto Vallarta zoo. We have driven past it once or twice and it was on our “list” of things to do while we are living in Puerto Vallarta. With overcast weather and lots of rain the past few days, the beach was out, and the zoo was in!

Overall Rating: 

9/10

We highly recommend visitors coming to Puerto Vallarta to check out the zoo!

How to Get There 

You can get to the zoo by taking the orange bus at the corner of Basilio Badillo and Constitucion. If you choose to get to the zoo this way, you need to get off at the Barcelo Hotel. You will see it on your right hand side a few minutes after passing close by Los Arcos (the big rocks jutting out of the water). NOTE: You will have to tell/yell at your bus driver to get him to stop. There is a little red button at the back of the bus that you can push to notify the driver that you would like to get off!

After getting off the bus you will cross the street and follow the road on the right hand side. Follow the signs. It is a 10-15 minute walk from the bus stop to the zoo entrance.

Although the bus is way cheaper than taking a taxi, we do not recommend taking the bus. Taxis will get you there much quicker, it will be less stressful, and they will drive you right up to the front entrance of the zoo.

We paid 120 pesos to get from downtown to the zoo and 180 to get back.

Once You’re There

We say online that the price was 10 USD per person to enter the zoo. After living here for all of 2 weeks, we thought it was strange to see pricing in USD. That almost never happens here! I told the cashier that I didn’t have any USD and that I only had pesos and he gave us a huge discount! He told us that they were running a special, but I have a feeling it had something to do with us paying in pesos and not dollars.

Make sure to bring pesos and ask the attendant if they are running any specials! We may have just been lucky, but it’s worth asking!:)

While you are paying, we definitely recommend buying the 5 dollar (5 pesos for us) bag of food. You will have the chance to get up close and personal with the animals and feeding them was a lot of fun for us!

Our Experience 

We had an absolute blast at the zoo! Unlike many of the zoos in the states, you are able to get so close to the animals. The downside to that is the animals are often in small cages. However, the animals seemed well cared for and there are many staff members attending to their needs.

You will find that the zoo is quiet and peaceful compared to the beaches on the weekends! However, you should watch out for the geese that want your food!

It takes about an hour to an hour and a half to get through the zoo. When you reach the cafe, you are a little more than half way.

We have been to the Chicago zoo, Fort Worth Zoo, Dallas Zoo, an animal sanctuary in Austin, the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, and the Puerto Vallarta Zoo was unlike all of them! We loved each of those zoos, but the zoo here in Puerto Vallarta is truly unique!

One really neat aspect of the Puerto Vallarta Zoo is that it is built in the jungle. Not only do you get to see all of the zoo animals, but you also get to experience the wild vegetation of the Sierra Madre Mountain range!

With that said, don’t wear flip flops to the zoo. You will walk for over an hour on varying terrain so comfortable walking/running shoes is a must!

PROS: 

  • Wide variety in animals
  • You can get really close to them!
  • Concrete walking path
  • Plenty of rest rooms
  • Cafe and things to eat/drink
  • Inexpensive
  • Fun for the whole family
  • Not crowded!

CONS:

  • Potentially difficult to find
  • The pigs smell!
  • Potentially some mosquitos in rainy season
  • Animals are in small spaces

One thing we always talk about whenever we are mentally reviewing a restaurant or excursion is whether we would A) do it again or B) recommend it to our family and friends. The Puerto Vallarta Zoo is a YES on both accounts!

We are looking forward to taking some of our family and friends to the Puerto Vallarta Zoo when they come to visit us!

Keep it Kinetic,

Greg and Hillary

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