Get an up-close view of a lion, learn about the national fauna, visit an educational farm or enjoy a seal show. Chile offers a variety of animal experiences, tying Mexico for the most zoos in a Latin American country with a total of eight.
If you're into animal-centered attractions, you will find zoos in the Chilean cities of La Serena, Quilpué, Santiago (and its surrounding areas), Rancagua and Concepción. The Zoológico Nacional is part of Santiago's Parque Metropolitano and is the country's largest and best-known zoo. There you can see native species like the culpeo fox, condor, pudú (a small deer), and the Chilean flamingo, as well as chimpanzees and a variety of birds such as penguins.
Just outside of Santiago, you'll find Buin Zoo (a 25-minute ride by train). What began as a pig farm and wildlife recovery center has become a full zoo, complete with a seal and penguin show, aquarium, aviary with four lagoons, insectarium, and a Baby Zoo where you can see the animals' adorable young. Meanwhile, north of the capital, in the town of Lampa, there's the Lampazoo, whose main attraction is its collection of exotic animals such as African lions and boars.
Another entertaining option is the "Nocturama" program at the La Serena Zoo, where you can see all the nocturnal animals in action during a nighttime tour. Visitors also can view gazelles, Bengal tigers, pumas and a wide variety of reptiles, birds and fish.
If you're looking for a unique adventure, the Parque Safari Rancagua offers jeep safari tours and direct contact with wild lions. Learning about them is definitely more fun when you can hear them roar from the safety of a vehicle.
|Santiago||La Serena and Coquimbo|
|Highlights of the Central Valley||Chillán and Concepción|