One of the best attractions in the city of Cali is the zoo. Zoológico de Cali is the best zoo in Colombia and regarded as one of the best in South America. It has a small collection of animals from Asia and Africa, but it focuses on animals native to Colombia which sets it apart from other zoos. You’ll see tapirs and capybaras rather than elephants and giraffes.
Admission cost COP$20,900 for an adult ticket (as of January 2018). There are food and drink stands throughout the zoo and a food court near the entrance. It took us about three hours to see everything in the zoo and have a quick lunch at the end. It gets very hot in Cali so we recommend getting there as early as possible to beat the heat. Taxi is the best way to get there.
The zoo is very well organized into stations. At some stations, employees are there to answer questions about the animals. Everything is in Spanish.
Flamingos and Fish
The first animals we saw in the zoo were flamingos. We snapped a few photos before heading to the aquarium, which is housed in a beautiful tiled building with a waterfall and koi pond out front. Most of the fish were from the Amazon River and its tributaries, including piranhas.
Next, we crossed a bridge over the Río Cali to visit the aviary. There were exotic birds and others such as ducks and Andean condors.
Primates and Antelope
From there, we got to see a few species of monkeys native to Colombia followed by a pen of antelope from Asia.
The reptile section had some of the largest crocodiles I’ve ever seen and a snake house with a few venomous snakes, pythons, and boas.
African species, including ostriches and zebras, were next. As I mentioned before, there were no elephants, giraffes, or hippos.
Butterflies and Colombian Animals
After walking through a butterfly house, we saw a few more Colombian species, including a black bear, wild boars, and deer.
The owl section was interesting, even though there were only about four species. It was a bit secluded from the rest of the zoo.
Feline species, including lions, pumas, and tigers were next. The most interesting and popular animal in this section was the white tiger.
There were more primates to be seen. Tiny monkeys from Colombia and baboons from Asia were on display.
More Colombian Animals
Then we got to see more Colombian species, including one interesting pen with iguanas, capybaras, and tapirs all together. The anteaters were next but weren’t visible. Neither were the coatís.
The final part of the zoo was an exhibit on Australian species. Kangaroos and emus along with a few birds and reptiles were the stars of the show.