If you’re traveling with children, the zoo in Mayaguez ought to be on your to do list. Dr. Juan A. Rivero Zoo (formal name “Parque Nacional Zoologico de Puerto Rico Dr. Juan A. Rivero”) is a small 45 acre park but well worth the visit. On a hot day it offers a cool shaded activity with educational value for your children. The zoo is managed by the Compañia of Parques Nacionales.
The zoo contains a nice selection of animals which are divided into two groups: the African Forest and the African Savannah. The zoo also houses an open outdoor bird sanctuary and butterfly house with netting ceiling, children will really enjoy the experience. Zoo also includes an arthropods museum, amphibians & reptiles area.
The zoo is open Wednesday – Sunday from 8:30am – 4:00pm
Admission Rates to the Zoo
- Under 4: Free Entry
- Ages 5 – 11: $11
- Ages 12 – 59: $16
- Seniors: 60 – 74 $11.00
- 75 years +: Free
Parking: cars $4 / Buses $5 / Motorcycles: $2.00
Note: Please call / visit the official website to confirm hours and rates
Allow about 2.5 hours to tour the zoo. Best times to visit is on the afternoon after lunch, the aviary and butterfly house is typically closed during lunch hours.
Is it worth visiting?
There are mixed reviews out there online about the zoo, and often people ask if it’s worth the visit? It all depends how you look at it.
It’s the only zoo in Puerto Rico, so…if you want to see animals and your children typically enjoy zoos, then yes, it’s worth visiting. The tour only takes about 2.5 hours, it’s a small zoo and gives you a change of scenery from the typical island activities.
If you come to the zoo with the mentality of comparing it to many in the USA, then you may be disappointed. When we travel we try to focus on the positive things, an animal activist may think the cages are small. My family and I enjoy this zoo, most of the trails are shaded so it’s a cool spot, makes a nice afternoon activity with our 3 year old, our 12 year old always enjoyed visiting and we will certainly go back since we are from the west coast and we have easy access to it.
Map & Directions to the Zoo
Take Route 108 past the University, then turn right at the sign for the zoo.
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