You can’t miss the advertising for Loro Parque. As well as being on huge hoardings in the airport arrivals hall and lining the motorway in both directions, every waste bin has a picture of a lion, a dolphin a gorilla or some other animal with the words Loro Parque, Tenerife’s Must-See emblazoned across it.
The first thing that strikes you as you draw near to the vast animal park with its striking white canvas awnings suspended above a canopy of green, is the soundtrack emanating from behind its gates. Macaw screams and parrot shrieks punctuate the air with the occasional bass note of a lion roar or the treble alto of a chimpanzee laugh.
As you pass through the Thai entrance with its carp filled ponds, it’s the superb quality and attention to detail of the surroundings that draws your attention. Like its sister attraction, Siam Park, this is no shoestring endeavour. The endless tropical jungle setting with its 7000 palm trees, the landscaping, architecture, building standards and high levels of customer service all reveal the investment made in creating this extraordinary environment.
Once inside the WOW factors just keep coming at you – the pink cloud of flamingos reflected in their lake; the gorillas in their huge arena; the penguins on their iceberg – standing beneath the snowfall, waddling comically across the ice and moving so gracefully beneath the surface. For me, the biggest thrills are the dolphin show which is the best I’ve ever seen, the orcas where I feel so privileged just to see these beautiful denizens of the deep and of course the parrots who began this whole journey and after whom the park is named.
What perhaps isn’t obvious to visitors is the amount of conservation work that Loro Parque is involved with. Loro Parque is a rescue and rehabilitation centre for both terrestrial and marine species and many of its animals have arrived via the rescue route. The Loro Parque Foundation will spend almost €100,000 on conservation programmes worldwide this year. To date, the Parque itself has bred 1214 chicks from 160 endangered species and sub species of parrots and last year there were chicks for a rare species of macaw, twins for the sloths and a baby jaguar born.
Is Loro Parque really a Tenerife must-see? That’s a resounding “YES!” from me.
Loro Parque; Avenida Loro Parque, Puerto de la Cruz; (0034) 922 37 38 41; open every day 8.30am to 6.45pm (last entrance 4pm), tickets €32 adults, €21 children (6 – 11 years)
Category : days out
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