Family day out – Palmitos Park zoo, Gran Canaria
Looking back on everything we packed into our week in Gran Canaria, I can’t quite believe how much we explored in seven days – but all good things come to an end alas.
We still managed to go out on a high note with a visit to Palmitos Park zoo and dolphinarium, a short drive from our villa – meeting meerkats and monkeys, seeing a parrot show, dodging a peacock and warily watching a crocoile among others.
With joint tickets for Aqualand, it’s definitely worth considering both if you’re visiting one, although each is worth at least a half day on its own.
Tucked away along one of those twisty mountain roads that Gran Canaria specialises in, it’s a lovely spacious site with lots of room for the animals and some open sections where you can get among them (the birds, rather than the crocodiles understandably).
There’s also events on throughout the day such as the parrot show which was a big hit with Minnie. Although I feel uncomfortable sometimes about animals performing, the parrots looked like they were having a lot of fun playing on slides, cycling on mini bikes, showing off their counting skills, even painting.
They’re beautiful birds too and there’s a chance to have a photo taken with them afterwards if you want (although there’s no hard sell here so it’s easy to dodge).
There’s also a dolphinarium. With three pools, four million litres of water and five dolphins, a lot of thought has obviously gone into housing them – the park also talks about raising awareness of protecting the natural world with local schools.
As I’m less convinced about dolphin shows and wasn’t convinced Minnie would sit still long enough or care too much about seeing it, we decided to skip that part (although our friends’ four-year-old loved it).
Honestly, there’s still plenty to fill your time though – a butterfly house (with a tortoise wandering through), an aquarium with stunning tropical fish, even just wandering the paths with all the cacti dotted along was lovely.
And enough furry things to delight any toddler, even if she kept a respectful distance from the crocodile and its impressively pointy teeth.
Need to know
Tickets cost 30 Euros for adults, or 26 Euros if you buy them online in advance – you have to print tickets out and they’re available for 90 days from purchase, so it’s worth doing in advance.
Children aged five to 10 (and/or 1.10m to 1.40m) cost 22 Euros, while three to four-year-olds (and.or 90cm to 110cm) cost 9.50 Euros. Family tickets are available online only, while two-park tickets cost 57 Euros for adults and 41/19Euros for children (all with online discounts available).
Two years and under is free, although if you have a particularly tall two-year-old you may need a passport to prove their age.
The park is open from 10am to 6pm, with last admission at 5pm year-round. Details of the animal shows are on the website.
You can see a downloadable map on the website but the site is designed to usher you round in a loop so you won’t miss anything along the way. There are also plenty of toilets, as well as cafes and snack stands plus a restaurant.
Images/video copyright MummyTravels/Cathy Winston