OK, short and sweet: Parque’ Botanica is a great place to go if you have a couple of hours to kill and just need to chill out in a beautiful park. It isn’t huge, but within its small footprint there’s a butterfly exhibit, a rain forest jungle, a lily pond, a desert/arid climate section, a nursery, and of course a lot of cafés, food vendors, gift shops, lovers, mothers, families, minstrel shows, clowns, and even an amphitheater for music and carnivals. It’s green, it’s gorgeous, it’s a great place to spend a lazy afternoon, and, best of all, it’s free! Take the Metro to the Universidad station. The park is immediately adjacent to it.
I’m sorry to say I can’t recommend Parque’ Explora as much, but, since it’s right across the street from the Botanical Gardens, you might as well go. Or, you could just stroll by and view the outdoor dinosaur exhibit for free and call it a day…it’s your vacation!
Explorer Park is basically a Science Center with an attached aquarium and small reptile display. I saw a lot of families there, and it looked like the kids were having a great time, especially with the interactive exhibits outside, which included everything from water cannons to rolling around in giant dinosaur eggs. So if you have children on your trip, I’d highly recommend it. If not, well, you could save yourself $10.
You start out walking through the life-sized dinosaur park. These animals are supposed to move realistically but most didn’t work correctly, or at all. But there are plenty of other things to do, from a balancing game to a mist-filled jungle with surprise water geysers. Fun! If you want to get wet.
Then you can go to a short movie, up into a children’s play area, or as I did, take about 20-30 minutes in the aquarium. This is a decent attraction, but there was nothing new for me, and it isn’t a world-class. There is only one truly large tank, and there were a few strange and wonderful animals there, like the knife fish, but I guess I’ve been spoiled living in Orlando and travelling to big aquatic exhibits in Chattanooga and Atlanta.
Other than that, there’s just the usual café’s and gift shops. It’s OK, but don’t go out of your way to see it.
So that’s my brief report. “A Tale of Two Parks?” I’ll give you my gambling report tomorrow. Hopefully I’ll still have some money left when I get home!