Head for the mountains of Gran Canaria to experience a wilder side of the island — wild as in exotic animals, water-bound creatures, and even a collection of thriving flora. To embark on this adventure of discovery, set your sights on Palmitos Park, a zoo-meets-dolphinarium-meets-aquarium situated inland on the southern part of the island.
Just like the Canary Islands themselves, Palmitos Park is all about diversity. We’re talking birds such as flamingos, toucans, parrots, pelicans and more; fascinating reptiles like the Komodo dragon, turtles and the Gran Canaria giant lizard; and don’t forget fuzzier friends, including orangutans, aardvarks, wallabies and meerkats. Under-the-sea critters abound, too, which you can view at the aquarium, or by attending one of the popular dolphin shows. There are even fascinating plant species to discover at the house of orchids, or during a wander in the garden of prickly cacti.
If you buy your ticket online in advance, be sure to print it out and bring it with you. You may want to bring an extra layer of clothing just in case, as the park is situated at a higher altitude and can be cooler than expected.