A trip to Croco Cun Zoo
Cancun and surrounding areas offer children special activities besides the typical day on the beach.[column_full] By Tere Carpinelli La Voz de Mexico [email protected]
[/column_full] [column_half] Cancun was once just popular among honeymooners and adult couples looking to get away from it all, but now it is an international destination ideal for all ages. Families taking spring break vacations will find more to do here than just playing in the sand.
As most parents know, children can be a joy – especially when they are kept entertained and are enjoying themselves. While planning a trip to Cancun with kids, parents wonder if there are special activities available here for their young ones, besides the typical day on the beach. A kid favorite is a visit to Crococun Zoo. Only 20 miles south of Cancun (just before arriving to Puerto Morelos), this fun regional animal zoo featuring crocodiles, is also home to macaws, turtles, snakes, Mexican hairless dogs and deer.
The brochure states “Walk among crocodiles!” Though that is true, there is a lot more to do at this interactive park. The guided tours allow for big and small kids alike to either pet, hold or feed most of the animals living at Crococun.
Visitors start off with a chance to have their picture taken with a colorful parrot or macaw on their shoulder. It’s an exotic welcome to an hour-and-a-half stroll along paths leading through lush tropical vegetation.
Continuing on, one can appreciate crocodiles in their various stages of growth – from babies swimming in ponds to large specimens basking in the sun. Along the way, one of the bilingual guides narrates the zoo’s history, introduces some of the animals by name and may pick up a small crocodile for a picture or two.
Founded in 1982, the park resembles other zoos in Mexico that are dedicated to rescuing animals of the region. In addition, the snake exhibit (in glass encasements) includes some specimens not native to this area, but which do well living in a tropical climate.[/column_half] [column_half_last]
One of the most amazing parts of the tour is the visit by the troop of spider monkeys. Living free in the canopy of trees, they can be seen and heard overhead. When directed by the tour guide, visitors are invited to put pieces of banana (sold for a small fee at the entrance) in the several baskets hanging by ropes among the trees. The monkeys pull up the baskets, grab the bananas and send the baskets back down for more!
Moving on, the large fenced in area of deer gives kids a chance to get an up-close look at them, pet them and feed them. After centuries of hunting, the white-tailed deer – once abundant in southeastern Mexico – is now a protected species. There are adults as well as fawns, the majority of them the result of reproduction programs applied at the park, which has a veterinarian and an agronomist on staff to take care of the animals and their offspring.
Not only do tourists enjoy the zoo, but also local schools find it a great place for field trips since the park combines fun and learning for the youngsters.
For those who have been to Crococun in the past, it’s worth a revisit since they have also added a coffee shop and a gift shop. A wide selection of hot and cold coffees, including espresso and frappuccino, are available along with desserts. And the gift shop provides the chance to pick up a souvenir to always remind the kids of their fun experience at this regional zoo.
Crococun is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The entrance fee is approximately 30 dollars for adults and 20 for kids (under six years of age, free).For more information, visit www.crococunzoo.com or call (998) 850-3719. [/column_half_last]