Tenerife – A Rainy Visit To The Best Zoo in Europe
On the day we were scheduled to visit Loro Parque, we were woken by the sound of torrential showers and a compelling downpour of rain, and greeted by the lifeless, deluged streets that surrounded our hotel.
Although we had travelled from an English winter – this wasn’t the usual light drizzle of rain, and there wasn’t the slightest sign of it coming to an end. But since it was our last full day on the island, we knew we had to face it.
I definitely didn’t want to be trapped inside all day, and although I’m not a fan of zoos – we decided to visit the best one in Europe (and the second best in the world!)
If you’re staying in Tenerife, you would’ve certainly heard of Loro Parque (Parrot Park), one of the island’s most popular attractions, and with over 40 million visitors so far and housing a huge number of diverse animal species, it’s undoubtedly made a name for itself. In 2015, TripAdvisor declared the park as Europe’s number one zoo to visit – and measuring at 33 acres with countless exhibitions – exploring and discovering Loro Parque is truly an unforgettable experience, particularly to children and families.
The zoo is known for housing parrots, exotic fish, flamingos, pelicans, sea lions, dolphins, western gorillas, tigers, various sharks, orcas plus so much more. There’s also a huge variety of beautiful plant life.
|TABLE OF CONTENTS|
|1 - Getting To Loro Parque (Express Train, Bus or Car)|
|2 - Entrance Fees, Timetables & Exhibitions
|3 - Food & Drink|
|4 - The Wonderful Animals|
|5 - Overview|
Getting To Loro Parque
There’s plenty of ways to get to Loro Parque. You can use the express train, the bus or simply drive there yourself.
Free Express Train
If you’re staying in Puerto Del La Cruz, I would recommend using the free tourist train that departs from the centre of town, next to Hotel Las Vegas, all the way to the entrance of the park. This is a great, extremely ‘touristy’ experience which allows you to admire the city’s features and surrounding areas along the way.
Although the tourist train doesn’t have a roof, it’s certainly prepared for those rainy days and comes equipped with a protective shelter to stop you from getting wet (although you may still get pretty wet, like I did…)
The first train departs at 09:00 and then departs every 20 minutes, meaning you cannot miss it. This also means you can return free throughout the day until around 18:00, as the last train departs at 18:45. If you’re planning to leave at around 10:00-11:00, which is when we left – you’ll have plenty of time to explore and discover the exhibitions, enjoy some lunch and watch all of the shows.
Getting There By Bus
If you’re thinking of travelling by bus, then you’re in luck! Loro Parque run their very own bus service, which transports you from the south of the island directly to the park. They claim to be running the service 7 days a week, but this depends on where you’re travelling from.
If you want to find more information on bus times and departures, please click here.
Getting There By Car
This is probably the most sensible option when it comes to rainy days – so if you have a ride, follow the links below for directions from the southern and northern areas of the island.
Entrance Fees, Timetables & Exhibitions
Once you reach the park, you’ll need to purchase tickets. Loro Parque offers a range of different options, each having their own benefit and price. You can purchase them when you arrive, or book them prior to your visit. For more information on these tickets and booking through Loro Parque directly, please click here.
You can also book your tickets with third-party companies such as AttractionTix.co.uk. This website allows you to book tickets for some of the biggest and most popular attractions in the world, including both Loro Parque and Siam Park. This is also the company we booked with – getting an adult ticket plus a €5 voucher for just £28.
Please note that you will need to print your tickets beforehand, so ensure that you bring a paper copy along for each person. Upon arrival, simply present the printed ticket(s) to the staff and head straight into the park, beating the queues (although you’ll still need to queue for some time.) They’ll also hand you a €5 voucher at this time if you had booked with AttractionTix.
It’s also recommended that you arrive at the park before 10:00 – as it can start to get extremely busy around this time. Since we visited on a rainy day, it wasn’t too crowded. But if the sun is out, be sure to get there early to avoid the queues.
Timetables & Exhibitions
In terms of the park itself – it’s open daily from 08:30 – 18:45. This includes Monday to Sunday, and even in the worst of rain you’ll still be able to visit the park and have a fantastic time.
However, if you’re hoping to see everything the park has to offer, you’ll want to consider the daily timetable for each show and exhibition. See below for a list of the exhibitions and shows, as well as the daily timetable for each – you can click here.
If you plan around these timetables you’ll be sure to see every show and visit every part of the park, allowing you to experience Loro Parque to the fullest. But even if you don’t plan your day, you’re still likely to see most of the shows and visit the majority of the park. Personally – we didn’t plan around these times, but we were still able to watch the Sea Lion show, Dolphin show and Orca show without any problems at all.
Food & Drink
In regards to the food and drink at Loro Parque, I honestly don’t know much at all. Since it was raining all day, we decided to head back to our hotel for dinner, but Loro Parque certainly does have a lot on the menu.
There are seven different restaurants to choose from, each spread strategically across the park. This includes Cafe Bar Thai, Cafeteria Vista Teide, Casa Pepe, Bambu Bar, Choza de Los Duques, Bar Grill Patio del Loro and Loritali Pizza. Each of these restaurants and bars offer a range of different dishes, from coffee and pastries to pizza and pasta.
There are also various picnic areas, so families are welcome to bring packed lunches and snacks.
You can find more information on where to eat in Loro Parque by clicking here.
The Wonderful Animals
Lastly, and most importantly – the amazing array of animals.
The first thing you should expect to see is parrots. Lots of parrots. The zoo has been named ‘Parrot Park’ – and it certainly lives up to it. They have a collection of over 350 different species of birds, totalling to over 4000. If this isn’t impressive enough, it’s also the largest collection in the world.
They also have a huge variety of sea life. This includes exotic fish, penguins, dolphins, sea lions, sea horses, various sharks and of course orcas. They hold the record for Europe’s largest dolphin show pool, the world’s largest indoor penguin exhibition and the longest tunnel in Europe.
You can also expect to see common chimpanzees, western gorillas, jaguars, tigers, otters, an American alligator, iguanas, tortoises, pelicans, flamingos, piranhas and a gorgeous display of plant life. There’s just too much to see in such a short space of time.
It’s also worth mentioning that the enclosures and exhibitions seemed extremely clean and diversely tailored to each animal, replicating their natural habitat.
Scroll down to see some photographs of Loro Parque’s beautiful animals, which were kindly sent to me by the friendly staff.
In a nutshell, Loro Parque really is an enjoyable, interactive and memorable day out that will have everyone in the family entertained. Whether the sun is out or it’s raining, you’ll still have an amazing experience exploring the wide range of beautiful animals, dancing with the sea lions and getting soaked with the orcas.
The park, exhibitions, and enclosures are all extremely clean and well maintained. The animals appear to be very happy and cared for – which of course, is the most important thing.
There’s also plenty on the menu at Loro Parque, with seven different restaurants to choose from. Alternatively, you can bring packed lunches for the whole family as there are designated picnic areas.
So if you’re visiting Tenerife in the future, make sure that you put Loro Parque at the top of your to-do list!
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