Being an old hand at the Canary Island of Tenerife I had a pretty good idea about what trips we should do once we arrived. Now two of the top attractions fall under the same management, so as someone with an eye for a bargain we saved a few Euros by purchasing twin tickets for the Siam Park waterpark and the Loro Parque zoo.
We saved even more by buying them from Rab at the TicketBox. Rab was able to do us a deal on the twin ticket with coach transfer for Loro Parque for €70 per person. This saved €5.95 each over our tour operator’s price for an identical product, thus proving that it’s well worth shopping around for excursions, even if the admission prices had gone up quite a bit since our last visit.
Siam Park is nestled in the hills above Los Christianos. Fortunately there is a free open top courtesy bus from the town centre and Playa de Las Americas. That’s about your only freebie as your baggage will be searched for contraband picnic items before they let you in. As we had twin tickets we were also thumb printed to prevent us trying to sell on our discounted Loro Parque admissions, all a bit 1984 if you ask me!
Siam Park has plenty of things to keep the adventurous happy with various water rides and an amazing wave pool capable of producing breakers big enough for a spot of exhibition surfing. Not really my scene, but the Powder Monkey had a great time splashing about as I got stuck into Varney the Vampire on the artificial beach made from imported Portuguese sand. The Thai themed park also has beautifully landscaped gardens, but be warned, take plenty of cash as refreshments are a bit steep. I paid €3 for a small tin of lager and a whopping €5 for an indifferent burger. They even charge for sachets of ketchup or mayonnaise which is downright mean in my opinion.
Loro Parque of course means parrot park and that is what it was when it first opened many years ago. We generally make a point of taking the bus (included in Loro Parque ticket) over the island to Puerto de La Cruz in te north to visit Loro Parque every time we are in Tenerife as there is usually something new to see there.
This time it was the new walk through aviary, where it was possible to get up close to many of the parrots and other birds that live there. Fortunately this chap was out of reach though.
Out and about in the park, typically the jaguars were behaving just like any other cat enjoying the Sun.
While I was so taken by this snoozing gorilla
that he is now my Facebook avatar. We stopped for a very good lunch at the Casa Pepe Tapas Bar, which is Loro Parque’s hidden gem. I’m glad not too many folks know about it because, unlike the other self-service restaurants and fast food joints, it is a small haven of peace, even if you do get the odd visitor eyeing up your lunch.
I think he particularly fancied the boquerones which were very good but the octopus vinaigrette, Spanish omelette , stuffed peppers and Canarian potatoes baked in sea salt were also quite delicious (tapas for four with beer, coffee and water €59)
My favourite exhibit at Loro Parque has to be Planet Penguin, a climatically controlled Antarctic environment complete with overhead snow machine.
There are four species of penguin living together in Planet Penguin;
king, gentoo, rockhopper and chinstrap.
There’s also a very good aquarium with various marine and fresh water creatures and a fantastic shark tunnel.
Not to mention sea lions, anteaters, chimpanzees, white tigers, alligators and dolphins
Mind you the animals that make the biggest splash at Loro Parque are the killer whales at Orca Ocean.
The killer whales do put on a very good show and they are obviously well cared for by their trainers, judging by the evident love shown to them by the whales, but I have to admit that I have very mixed feelings about keeping cetaceans like whales and dolphins in captivity.
Probably more so about killer whales (I’m not going to call them orcas, they are not fluffy little critters that only eat greens!) than dolphins because they are so large and really need lots of space. Still Loro Parque’s killers are breeding so they must be doing something right.
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