The National Zoo offers to nationals and foreign tourists the opportunity to closely contemplate different species from the Nicaraguan habitat and exchanged exotic species from other parts of the world. Great 'must see' option for those nature lovers or curious people.
Just on the Managua sideways, this lovely zoo and rescue center has a park, a butterfly and orchid garden, coffee service as well as a small library. The library is open only on Wednesday from 8:30 AM to 5 PM. Among other educational benefits, the zoo provides extra school hours, assistance on thesis, internships and volunteer programs. It also offers a rescue center and animal rehab.
The first adventure begins with a self guided tour around the trails that pass through the mingled sections of the zoo. There is not a defined route to follow. Visitants can choose where to start the tour; going forward to the nocturnal animals caves or taking a second route that initiate next to the big cage of the Scarlet Macaws and parrots.
The majority of animals are located in concrete cages. Some of these crates are suitable according to the animal natural habitat and others are redesigned with plants. People can have comfortable walks around the park due to the green areas that surround the trails. The Fundación Amigos del Zoológico Nicaragüense FAZOONIC maintain the enclosure thanks to donations made by private business and other organizations.
Almost 1,500 animals among the ones exhibited, rescued or integrated in the reproduction plan are accommodated in the zoo. This shelter holds between pets like bunnies, chickens or turtles; crawlers such as iguanas, lizards, boas and one fine python; birds like Scarlet Macaws , toucans, seagulls, black vultures and peacocks; felines like pumas, Bengal tigers, lions, jaguars and tigrillos; and climbers as sloths, chimpanzees, white face monkeys, among others.
Probably the butterfly garden is the most unnoticed adventure located in the zoo. The tour begins with a video presentation about the life cycle of this insect. Once you are in the area, thousands of four different types of butterflies will surround you. Each and every one of them have distinctive colors and sizes. This space has been carefully adapted to maintain the butterflies survival. It is covered with plants and enliven with soft music. Behind the garden are established reproduction laboratories. A few steps further is the orchids garden designed with a little waterfall and an artificial river where turtles and tropical gar fish live.
The small cafeteria is near the entrance. Here are offered snacks , popular beverages and typical lunches. If you plan to visit the zoo, is possible to make a prior contact with the administration and request special dishes.
The rescue and rehab center nurse abandoned, confiscated by authorities or in bad physical condition animals. The main purpose of the rescue center is to free animals into their habitat. The rehab process can take 2 to 3 years. Animals begin with the healing process to later proceed with the physical and psychological rehab stage. The volunteer program created by the foundation invites to any animal lover above 14 years old to be part of this caring project. Application files can be sent to this e-mail, the contact person is Marina Arguello.
The entrance fee to the National Zoo is US$4 per person for foreigns visitors, and free entrance for children up to 2 years old; fee for Nicaraguan visitors is C$30 (free for children up to 2 years old), plus private parking for C$10. Visits to the butterfly and orchids garden has an additional cost of C$20, however, the only way to get to this area is through the main entrance of the zoo. The payments for each service must be done at the entrance. The zoo is open from Tuesday to Sunday (8:30 AM to 5 PM). On Mondays is closed for maintenance.
Tours can also be made with specialized guides that work at the zoo. Four guides are available to take you around the place and give you more information or tell you the story about every specie exhibited, like Pipo the chimpanzee or Nulbi, the puma. This service has an extra cost of US$10 per group (max 15 persons) and is given only in Spanish.
The Foundation accepts any donation from visitants. Donations can be done through deposits in bank accounts. For further information, contact the zoo administration directly.
The zoo is located in the km 16, Masaya Highway. Getting there from the new center of Managua takes around 15 to 20 minutes in private transport. Signs can be seen and will guide you to the zoo entrance. Twenty meters distance are established to reach the main entrance of the park. Private parking with surveillance is located next to the zoo.
Also, buses headed to Masaya and Granada can leave you exactly at the km 16. These buses can be found at the UCA and Roberto Huembes market terminals.