The zoo in Puerto Vallarta is often overlooked because there are SO many incredible things to explore in the bay. However, if you're looking to do something a bit different, the zoo is a great option! It is also a lot different from other zoos because it is situated deep in the mountains! Here are a few details to help make your trip to the zoo a great one.
♦ 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 this route, you need to get off at the Barcelo Hotel in Mismaloya. 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! Also, you can tell him you would like off at Mismaloya and he will be sure to stop there.
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 (and you will feel like you're heading into the middle of nowhere!)
There are also taxis and Ubers in town that can take you directly to the front entrance of the zoo so there's no extra walking involved. The taxi rates in 2016 were 120 pesos to get from downtown to the zoo and 180 to get back into Puerto Vallarta. The Uber fare from downtown Puerto Vallarta is about 140 pesos as of August 2019.
Another option is to stay in Mismaloya (the town the zoo is located, about 15-20 minutes south of Vallarta). Mismaloya has a cute, quaint little town and also a beautiful beach! Here are a few great options to stay in Mismaloya.
♦ Once You're There-- On the zoo's official website, the price is listed as $10USD for a ticket for age 2+. When we were there, 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. Again, all the more reason to have pesos to pay. Make sure to 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 so 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! Looking for a place to stay in Mismaloya? Here are a few great AirBnb options!
Wide variety in animals
You can get really close to them!
Concrete walking path
Plenty of rest rooms
Cafe and things to eat/drink
Fun for the whole family
Potentially difficult to find
The pigs smell!
Potentially some mosquitos in rainy season
Animals are in small spaces
Let us know if you have any other questions about the Puerto Vallarta zoo at firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next time, Have Less. Do More. Be More.