Loro Park on the northern coast of Tenerife is the best zoological and botanical garden in the Canary Islands archipelago and is one of the best zoological parks in the world.
The name ‘Loro Park’ translates from Spanish to “Parrot Park” due to its impressive collection of parrots. But there’s so much more to it than just feathered friends.
You’ll find there an incredible variety of animals, different shows, an aquarium, penguinarium, and spacious habitats for gorillas and tigers. There are also beautifully landscaped botanical gardens that host a rich diversity of plant species from around the world.
One of the main highlights of Loro Park is its captivating shows featuring orcas and dolphins that provide a blend of entertainment and education about these marine mammals. The park’s commitment to conservation is evident through its involvement in various projects, particularly through the Loro Parque Foundation which supports conservation efforts globally, with a particular focus on parrots and their habitats.
Visiting Loro Park should be on the list of must-have activities in Tenerife for all – for solo travelers, couples, and families with kids. Not just adults with children will enjoy it, but everyone else as the park is literally for everyone. I have been living in Tenerife for almost a year and have visited Loro Park already 3 times, if tickets were cheaper, I’d be a more frequent visitor there.
However, in order to have a fulfilling experience, you’d need to go prepared and keep a few things in mind. It is not just a random park where it is easy to casually walk in while exploring Puerto de la Cruz.
So to give you a better idea of what “go prepared” means, I wrote this quick guide (experience-based) with answers to some frequently asked questions and a few tips to get the most out of a visit to Loro Park. After knowing them, you’ll be able to plan better and make the most of your money spent!
So let’s dive in and find out what is there that you’ll need!
My Top Tips For First-Time Visitors to Loro Park in Tenerife
Loro Park is open year-round, even for Christmas and New Year. It is truly a wonderful place where to be with the entire family for holidays! The tips I provide below are useful for any time of the year, including winter in Tenerife, in fact especially winter which is a quite busy season on the island!
Try to Avoid Visiting on the Weekend
Avoiding weekends when visiting Loro Park can be a good idea if you prefer a quieter and less crowded experience.
The park gets full of people pretty much all the time, but more so from Friday to Sunday (with Saturdays being the most crowded), as many Spanish people tend to fly to Tenerife for a quick weekend getaway and often incorporate a trip to Loro Park in their itineraries. Also, residents of Tenerife also come to Loro Park on the weekends with children when they are off.
During the weekend also more people flock to Puerto de la Cruz (and Loro Park is located right in the city) just to spend time on one of its beaches or coastal trails, and they may leave a car in the parking lot which is near the park (there is a parking lot directly at the park too but another one in close proximity to it which may get full fast).
So if you prefer a more relaxed and intimate experience that will allow you to take your time exploring the park and observing the animals without the hustle and bustle, and have a parking spot – then try to avoid weekends.
But of course, not everyone can opt for a weekday. And for that case, I recommend you do the following.
Start Your Visit Early
If you want to see most of the park (but one day won’t be enough for everything anyway), just make sure to arrive there as it opens (and that is at 9:30 in the morning) and plan to stay until the end (17:30).
In this way, you’ll make the most of your time inside the park. Plus coming later doesn’t decrease the price of the ticket, you still pay the same (so if you pay and the price is somewhat high, maximize your time).
Another thing to remember – the first show at the park starts at 9:35 am (sea lions show) and first shows (as well as last ones) are always the least crowded. But even if you go to shows later during the day, morning hours are great for a slow walk through the parrot gardens before reaching areas with shows. (In this way you won’t need to return to see them and will be able to proceed to other sections of the park).
And the last thing – many animals are more active in the first half of the day, so you’ll be able to see them in action.
Book Tickets to Loro Park Early as Well
There are many ways to purchase Loro Park entrance tickets, including the one when you buy them directly in the park at the ticket booth. Price is the same no matter where you buy them, at the counter at the park, online on the park’s website, or through tour websites like Viator or GetYourGuide.
However, I wouldn’t suggest you buy tickets at the park as it will steal your time. Ticket booths open at the same time the park opening hours are (not sooner), so you’ll need to wait in line to purchase tickets instead of spending this time on walks through the zoo area.
And to tell you the truth, lines to buy tickets are always long! Many people not only buy tickets but also have dozens of questions about the park and shows and ask them at the counter which makes the entire process even longer.
If you are among people who prefer to use time wisely, do not wait until the last minute to buy tickets.
When you buy online, you’ll get a QR code on the phone which will be scanned at the gate.
Go to Shows At Least 10 Minutes Before the Start
10 minutes means – you are already sitting in your seat, not when entering the showroom (as there can be a line and you’ll be squeezing in the crowd). Do this in any season but especially during peak months or weekends when the park tends to be more crowded.
Coming early to all shows in Loro Park is a good idea for a few reasons.
First – you’ll be able to get a good view and seating for the shows, particularly for attractions like the Orca and Dolphin shows, which usually fill up quickly. In fact, they are so popular that amphitheaters get full of people even 30 minutes before the show starts. During the parrot show you also want to sit closer as there is a lot of parrot walking on the stage which is difficult to see from the back seats (and screens on the walls are pretty small).
Second – doors are closing (and no one is allowed inside) if the amphitheater gets full. So there will be no way to watch the show while standing on the side. In summer, around spring and fall breaks as well as around winter holidays, doors close early way before the show starts.
And third reason to arrive at shows early – is not to miss out on the pre-show entertainment with funny and useful footage displayed on the central screen.
Buy Tickets for a Second Visit Directly in the Park
Loro Park is huge. One day there will not be enough and most likely you will feel like returning and devoting more time to the zoo area. And for this, I recommend you plan a Tenerife itinerary in that way when you set 2 full days for a Loro Park visit.
However, do not buy tickets for a 2-day getaway in advance. GetYourGuide doesn’t offer this option (there are only tickets available for 1 day) but on Loro Park’s website, there are a few different packages where visitors can buy multiple-day tickets. Do not buy them there.
The best way which will also help you save money will be to purchase a return ticket directly at Loro Park. It costs almost 3 times less than a regular ticket and is valid for 2 weeks from the moment of purchase. So you’ll be able to return not right on the following day, but have a break and hit a beach or visit panoramic places in Tenerife before coming back to the park.
Tickets for returning visits are on sale inside the park near the gate (separate from a booth with general admissions). If you plan to buy them, do it at the end of the day when exiting not to waste time during the day.
Do Not Sit in the Front Rows During the Orca Shows
While it’s common to think that front-row seats always offer the best view, in the case of Orca Shows at Loro Park that’s not really the case. Opting for seats further back can actually make your experience more enjoyable and comfortable.
The front rows in Loro Park, often known as the “splash zone”, provide an up-close encounter with the magnificent orcas. However, this proximity has its downsides where first and foremost thing is that these seats are frequently soaked by the splashes and sprays created by the performing orcas. Everyone who sits there will get completely (totally) wet (!), to the point that your underwear will be wet too.
While some visitors may find this exciting, others will prefer to stay dry, especially if you have expensive photo and video gear (which will be soaking wet too).
Choosing seats a bit further back comes with other benefits as well. Not only do you stay comfortably dry, but you also get a broader and more comprehensive view of the entire show. This perspective allows you to appreciate the stunts performed by the orcas while also witnessing the trainers’ interactions with them.
Moreover, the front rows can be noisy and intense due to the sheer power and energy of the orcas. By sitting a few rows back, you avoid the full force of the noise and ensure your safety in case of any unexpected splashes or movements.
So if you want to enjoy the show without a shower but while capturing nice photos, stay away from the front rows on any side! This positioning will offer unobstructed views, clear shots, and reduce the risk of water interfering with your camera equipment.
Bring Your Own Snacks & Meals to Save on Food
Before my family’s first visit to Loro Park, I read somewhere that bringing our own food was not allowed and that our bags would be checked upon entrance. But that turned out to be not true.
Visitors are allowed to bring their own food and in fact, there are even designed picnic areas in the park where to enjoy that food.
There are a few shops and restaurants in Loro Park where to buy food as well but to be honest, options are quite limited (mostly greasy foods and sandwiches) and much more expensive than even on the most touristy street in Puerto.
Plus what I also noticed – lines were incredibly long. So it is easy to end up spending time waiting to buy overpriced food rather than on actual experiences.
With your own meals and snacks, you can sit down on the bench or picnic table and dine without overspending time and money.
What You Cannot Miss in Loro Park
There are many awesome things in Loro Park that you’d want to allocate time to see them all, especially if there is only 1 day in the park. However, many times it can be difficult to do as you may want to take it slowly.
So in that case, here are the main sections of Loro Park that you’d want to see at the first place:
All 4 Shows (!)
All shows in Loro Park are amazing and are worth the time. Even if you think you are not a big fan of some experiences, still go see the shows and make a conclusion in the end as I am sure you’ll change your mind.
The Loro Parrot Show, featuring parrots in the main roles, has been on the stage since 1972 and was the first of its kind in Europe. Its purpose is to acquaint people with the intelligence of these birds. There’s nothing supernatural, the parrots engage in various scenes, count, talk, and even fly over the heads of the audience.
The park’s dolphinarium is considered one of the most modern in the world. While dolphins may not astonish many due to their known intelligence and kindness, the Dolphins Show is filled with the tenderness and charm of these creatures.
In the Sea Lions Show, you’ll have a good laugh. Alongside the instructors, they outshine many comedy shows on TV. Sea lions have an incredible sense of humor, which they display to the enthusiastic applause of the audience.
The zoo’s top attraction is the Orca Oceans Show, featuring magnificent black-and-white orcas—predators, but not towards humans. Their power and speed are the highlights of the performance. Be prepared to witness a refreshing splash (and feel it if you sit too close).
Planet of Penguins
It is one of the largest penguinariums in the world that transports visitors into the world of penguins in Antarctica, yet in Tenerife.
In this section of the park, you’ll find a large, ice-filled enclosure replicating the natural habitat of penguins where dozens of penguins of different species (including endangered ones) live on a huge ice floe, surrounded by water, in conditions close to the Antarctic.
They ride on the ice, hatch their offspring, and cut through the icy waters around their iceberg. And they observe the habits and facial expressions of people who smoothly pass by them on a moving belt on the other side of the glass.
Section With Jellyfish
Even if you have zero fascination for marine life, visiting the jellyfish section at Loro Parque is still going to be an extraordinary experience that will leave you captivated by the underwater world. This exhibit is a showcase of nature’s artistry, featuring hundreds of jellyfish in various vibrant hues, pulsating gracefully with an ethereal glow.
You will see jellyfish that your imagination didn’t think about – glowing, multicolored, pulsating jelly-like “fungi” of various sizes and shapes with meter-long tentacles — the most unusual and enigmatic exhibit of all that I have ever seen. One type of jellyfish even looked like a cracked sunny side egg!
In the laboratory at the entrance to the hall, in special aquariums, zoologists breed small jellyfish “for food” for larger cannibal jellyfish and assist in the reproduction of existing species using an incubator.
One of the most unique sections of Loro Park for sure!
Baby Bird Nursery
Here, the nursery stands as a vital hub for the care and conservation of different birds and rare parrot species, with a particular focus on nurturing young or baby birds. Park’s staff nurtures and feeds little birdies whose parents, for some reason, have abandoned them.
Within these nurturing confines, many young birds receive the extraordinary care that ensures their proper development and growth. Expert caregivers often take the hands-on approach of hand-rearing, offering individualized attention that is crucial for the birds’ survival and well-being.
This nursery is not just a place of care but also one of education for visitors. It serves as a living testament to the park’s dedication to avian conservation and offers every guest a unique opportunity to witness the early stages of life for these remarkable birds.
When in the nursery, you can move from one window to another to observe all the stages of parrot adulthood.
FAQs About Loro Park in Tenerife
Loro Park Opening Times
The park is open year-round every day from 9:30 to 17:30. Pinguinarium is open from 9:30 to 17:00. Acquariu from 10:00 to 17:30.
Schedule of shows in the park:
- Parrot show – 10:45, 12:30, 14:30, 15:30, 16:45
- Killer whale show – 11:45, 15:15
- Sea lion show – 10:00, 11:00, 13:45, 14:30, 15:45
- Dolphin show – 11:15, 13:00, 16:15
- Screenings in the Naturavision 3D cinema – 11:45, 14:45, 17:15
How to Get to Loro Park in Tenerife?
If you do not plan to rent a car and drive in Tenerife, then from the Plaza Reyes Catolicos bus stop in the center of Puerto de la Cruz, you can take the yellow express train to Loro Parque for free, running every 20 minutes from 9:30 to 16:30.
Return train operating hours are from 10:15 to 17:30. From the same stop you can take bus number 381, which will take you to the “Loro Parque” stop, 250 meters from the entrance to the park (bus route).
In addition, you can order a transfer to the park at least 2 days before your visit or get a taxi. Near any large parking lots and large buildings, you can take an authorized white taxi where payment is by meter.
How Much Time is Enough for Loro Park?
A full day at the park is an ample timeframe that allows to leisurely explore each enclosure, see all the shows, enjoy a meal, wander around, get lost, and even return to a favorite section if you feel like it.
I couldn’t bring myself to say goodbye to the orcas after the first show, so I rushed back for the second one to see them again. But with that, I missed sections with tigers and hippopotamuses and part of the parrot garden (which I returned to on my second visit).
So, to answer how much time will be enough for you – plan to spend not less than five hours but even that will not be enough to see everything, just to hop through park’s gardens quickly to get an idea of what it is like. I’d recommend setting aside at least a full day for your visit and unhurried exploration.
But 2 days will be an ideal timeframe to see everything at a slow pace. And for your 2nd visit, you can purchase a return ticket at the park.
During 2 days in Loro Park you will have the luxury of exploring all animal exhibits, walking around the botanical gardens (make sure to go up the ladder in the parrot section where you can see parrots living in their natural environment), and taking part in any additional experiences (some are seasonal, so make sure to check Loro Park’s website). Especially so when you are visiting in the summer when there are longer waiting times.
Can You Swim With Dolphins in Loro Park?
No, you cannot. It used to be possible but not anymore. Interacting with dolphins has adverse effects on their well-being and behavior which is why Loro Park owners made a decision to stop activities that cause harm and distress to these highly intelligent marine mammals.
You will be able to see dolphin shows and educational presentations that were created for visitors to observe and learn about dolphins. You can also ask trainers at the end of the show any questions you want (they are so nice answering them all). But direct swimming or interacting with dolphins in the water is not part of the program.
Is Loro Park Only For Families With Children?
No, definitely no! Loro Park is a versatile destination that welcomes a wide range of visitors, not just families with children. While it does offer a fantastic experience for families, the park’s attractions have a broad appeal.
For adults, couples, and solo travelers, Loro Park offers a chance to see the wonders of nature and wildlife and get captivated by educational shows and programs.
For couples in particular, it can be a romantic getaway, with the lush surroundings providing a serene backdrop for quality time together. Solo travelers will find it as a place to enjoy the slow pace and delve into their passion for animals and conservation.
In essence, Loro Park is a place where everyone, regardless of age or family status, can have a meaningful and enjoyable experience. Its combination of wildlife, education, and entertainment makes it a versatile destination for all types of visitors. Loro Park is like Disney but on a different scale (with different experiences) where you enjoy all it has to offer no matter how old you are.
And even if you don’t like botanical gardens and zoos, in Loro Park that opinion will change!
Is It Worth Visiting Loro Park?
After everything that has been said, I can add only one more thing – Loro Park is absolutely worth your time and money. It is not just a botanical garden with plants or a zoo that showcases animals living behind bars.
It is a zoological park that puts lots of effort into providing spacious and naturalistic enclosures for its animals rather than traditional “bars.” The park’s goal is to create environments that mimic the natural habitats of the animals as closely as possible, with an emphasis on animal welfare and conservation.
And owners together with everyone else who works at the park do their job very well!
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