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. The zoo is now managed by the Municipality of Mayaguez, making great efforts to improve the facilities and promote this educational, scientific and entertainment resources for Puerto Ricans and tourists.
The zoo contains a selection of animals 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.
These animals have been together a very long time, you may find them kissing, hugging and having a good time racing. The tiger loves taking naps. The friendly giraffe is always standing tall reaching high for food and the warmth of the sun. Children will enjoy seeing a camel, reminding them The Three Kings are coming soon.
The zoo has paved trails making easy to explore with a stroller or wheelchair. Walking through the zoo, is enjoyable, there are many native plants to admire, colorful flowers and tall trees creating a cooling canopy for a break from the sun.
Zoo Hours & Contact Info
The zoo is open Wednesday – Sunday from 8:30am – 4:00pm
Phone: +1 787-834-8110 – Please call before planning on visiting the zoo. After numerous calls to the Alcaldia, no one can tell us if the zoo is actually open.
Address: Carretera 108 (interior), Mayagüez, 00680, Puerto Rico
Time Needed: Allow about 2.5 hours to tour the zoo. The aviary and butterfly house is typically closed during lunch hours.
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
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 is 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. An animal activist may think the cages are small, space is limited on an island and the municipality does the best they can with the resources available. Most of the trails are shaded, makes a nice afternoon activity with children on the west coast of Puerto Rico.
Map & Directions to Mayaguez Zoo
Take Route 108 past the University, then turn right at the sign for the zoo.
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