Created as a way to both protect endangered native wildlife and show off Guatemala’s natural beauty, the Auto Safari Chapin gives visitors the chance to drive cars through a wilderness setting to see elusive jaguars, tapirs, spider monkeys and white-tailed deer. Other species from around the world to see include giraffes, hippos, water buffalo, ostriches and the crowd favorites: the tiny pygmy goats from Cameroon that charm visitors with their funny antics. All animals at the park roam freely in large enclosures, making the drive feel just like a real wild safari.
Apart from the bigger enclosures, Auto Safari Chapin also includes a smaller walk-through zoo near the entrance, plus a large recreation area with a restaurant. Families with children enjoy the pool area and there is also a lake, where boat rides offer a chance to see pelicans, iguanas and other reptiles. Make sure to keep an eye on the surrounding trees as well, as their branches are the favorite lounging spot for a group of spider monkeys.
Auto Safari Chapin is located in the department of Escuintla, about 80 kilometers south of Guatemala City. The drive should take roughly two hours. The site is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., although the restaurant opens one hour later than the park gates.