Palmitos Park is an award-winning attraction, consistently ranked no1 on Trip Advisor and one of Gran Canaria’s most popular attractions.
During our holiday to Gran Canaria we visited Palmitos Park, a botanical zoo-themed park located in the stunning surroundings of Barranco de Palmitos 10km inland from Faro de Maspalomas.
Before we left the UK we pre-booked out tickets online with attractiontix, which is recommended as it worked out cheaper than the gate price and as the tickets were flexible we could use them on any day of our holiday. The other bonus of pre-booking our tickets with attractiontix was that we skipped the long queues at the entrance.
We arrived early, and were given a map and show guide which the girls used to plan our route. We headed straight to see the parrot show at 10.30am (one of four shows at the park) located near the entrance of the park, which the girls in particular were so excited to see after watching the show on YouTube before our visit.
The parrot show was so much fun as they carried out lots of clever tricks including driving a miniature Palmitos Park bus, hoisting a Palmitos Park flag and completing a jigsaw.
Our favourite part of the show was Coco the white cockatoo, watching him lying in a deckchair wearing sunglasses, holding a book, flying a plane and even riding a scooter. Chloe and Holly loved the show so much that we went back for the 2.30pm performance.
Bird of Prey Display:
The next show of the day was the bird of prey display at 11.30am located in a spectacular setting at the highest point of the mountain. It is quite a climb up the pathways that weave upward through the mountainside but it was definitely worth the effort as we were rewarded with unbeatable panoramic views.
As we waited for the show to start we had cold drinks and ice creams from the hillside café, and cooled off from the heat. I would recommend arriving for the 11:30 show because there is very little shade in this open air amphitheatre, and as a result the 15:00 show must be very uncomfortable, so bring hats and plenty of suncream.
From our elevated position in the stadium we had eagles, falcons, barn owls and various species of vulture perform air acrobatics in free flight, literally flying over our heads. Seeing these magnificent birds fly so majestically and in some cases reaching speeds of 230km/hour in such a spectacular setting is a reason why this show is not to be missed.
Audience participation was a key part of the show and it was fascinating watching a Harris hawk fly through spectators linked up arms in the audience. My daughter got involved as the hawk perched on top of her head, it was such a memorable experience.
At the end of the show we had a photo with the American eagle from the show. There was an additional charge of 10 euro for this experience but how often do you have the chance to get so close to an American eagle.
After the show finished we followed the path back down the scenic mountainside stopping off at the spectacular waterfalls and the House of Orchids, which contained the largest collection of orchids in the Canary Islands – both of which provided great photo opportunities.
On route to see the dolphins we visited the crocodiles which Holly in particular finds fascinating. As there was a low large glass screen it meant that we could get really close to them as they relaxed next to the waterside.
A beautiful feature of the park is the cactus garden with over 160 different cactus types on display along with over 1000 palm trees of 42 different variations.
One of the main reasons for our visit was to see the dolphins and at Palmitos Park there are two Dolphin display shows at 1.30pm and 4pm.
From our seats at the front and very close to the splash zone, we were amazed as the 6 bottlenose dolphins performed their acrobatics, showing off their ball skills and swimming with their trainers.
It was a really informative, educational show and one that we all enjoyed especially the girls – it would rival any of the shows offered at SeaWorld.
At the end of the show we paid extra (30 euros each) for the girls to have a dolphin experience where they got into the water to meet the dolphins and had a photo and kiss. The look on their faces was priceless after this experience, and they didn’t stop talking about it for the rest of the holiday.
This was a unique experience for the girls as the only other encounters we were aware of are at SeaWorld Orlando and Atlantis the Palm in Dubai.
Although it’s not the biggest zoo you will visit, I was pleasantly surprised with just how much there was to see at Palmitos Park.
Some of our favourites included seeing the meerkats, a komodo dragon, pelicans and the white wallabies, whilst walking through the aviary and flamingo enclosure was definitely an experience. We were a little disappointed with the butterfly house which is supposed to be the biggest in Europe; we had been to much better in the UK.
The girls had so much fun and were constantly asking questions about the different animals they were viewing which showed that they were really enjoying their day out.
At the BlueWorld Aquarium we saw a wide variety of tropical fish, including the most important collection of coral fish in Europe.
Another attraction was Primates Island, home to some white handed gibbons, whose natural habitats are the Malayan Peninsula and Burma and who have been successfully bred here, the first time in captivity.
We actually heard them initially from the top of the mountain at the Bird of Prey show, they were making so much noise – it was like a siren going off!
There are snack outlets dotted around the park with a main table service restaurant called La Palapa, situated close to the dolphinarium. We had lunch here before the dolphin show and the pizza was surprisingly good and better than I thought it would be.
Food and drinks are expensive but this can be expected in a popular tourist attraction. If you wanted to bring your own picnic there was a shaded picnic area in the park.
As we were staying in the beautiful surroundings of the 5-star Radisson Blu Resort & Spa in Puerto Mogan, we hired a car through our hotel using Avanti car hire for 39 euros for one day.
Our 35 minute journey in our little Nissan Micra was definitely an adventure on some really scenic surroundings. The single track roads leading to Palmitos Park pushed our little car to its limits, I think we could have walked quicker as the car struggled with some of the mountainous terrain – but this made great memories. Parking was free and there were lots of spaces available.
If you don’t want to drive there is a bus service, however, from Puerto de Mogan it would have been over 90 minutes, alternately there are plenty of taxis available but from our location this would cost over 100 euros.
If you are visiting Gran Canaria, a visit to Palmitos Park should definitely be on your list, we had a great day out making some truly amazing memories. There is so much for families to see, the shows are spectacular and its surroundings are stunning – it’s one of the most scenic zoos you will visit.
Opening hours: Every day from 10.00 to 18.00 (admission until 5pm)
Location: Barranco de Los Palmitos s/n, Maspalomas
Tickets : Attractiontix