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Botanical Garden and Zoo of Asuncion sprawls over more than 270 acres of the capital city, including a half-mile bank of the Parana River. Set in natural forest, the zoo exhibits approximately 70 species of birds, mammals and reptiles. The adjacent botanical garden concentrates on native flora, including some spectacular old-growth trees. The property was the grounds of a presidential residence back in the 1840s; the house still exists and is partially used as a Natural History museum. The botanical garden was established in 1919, and many of the trees are over 150 years old. More than 500 different types of plants are on display, and a special concentration is given to approximately 50 medicinal herbs from the native rain forests. A nursery in part of the former presidential residence propagates exhibits for the complex so nothing need be taken from the wild. The facility is co-managed by the Botanical Garden Conservatory of Geneva, Switzerland.
Botanical Garden and Zoo Tours at Asuncion
The coati is the most abundant animal in the zoo, which also houses giant anteaters, bobcats, capybara, chimpanzees and howler and spider monkeys, deer, African elephants, hippopotami, jaguar, ocelots, numerous species of peccary, puma and tapir. The most important animal on display is the tagua, a species of peccary, which was believed extinct for many decades before its rediscovery in the 1980s. Birds include two species of eagle, falcons, geese, karaka, several species of macaw, ostrich, owls, parakeets, tu'i parrots, peacock, ornamental pheasants, toucan and vultures. Reptiles on exhibit include anaconda, caiman, iguana, turtles and yacare.
The Puerto Iguazo Bird Park is a world-class facility set in second-growth subtropical forest; the preservation of the vegetation is a priority for the operators. More than 500 kinds of indigenous and exotic birds reside in the park, and breeding programs are in place to protect endangered species. The park employs its own veterinary and agronomic staff, and no birds are accepted from animal traffickers; all are captive bred in zoos or authorized breeders licensed by the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources. There are no cages at Puerto Iguazo Bird Park; to see the native species, visitors walk along gigantic catwalks slung between the trees with birds flying all around them. Massive aviary structures that are all but invisible behind the tree screen prevent the birds from escaping, and prevent predators from entering. Between the trees, bridges pass over streams, and waterfalls cascade into well-stocked pools. Other creatures, including alligators, anacondas, butterflies, marmosets and python can be glimpsed below. Smaller aviaries contain specimens from Africa, Oceania and southwestern Asia.
The nursery is located behind the Upper House and contains over 500 species specializing in medicinal plants. It is open to the public and works in cooperation with the Botanic Garden and Conservatory of the City of Geneva, Switzerland. Established for over 10 years, it has undertaken investigations into the cultivation, distribution and introduction of plants, specifically native, but also medicinal plants introduced by Paraguayan settlers. The work of the Conservatory is to preserve the culture of the knowledge of medicinal plants in Paraguay. Its collections include the medicinal plant nursery, being a place of agricultural research, education and training of its cultivation, with about 500 cultivated species, and agronomic nursery plants, with culture and selection for improved Paraguayan crop plants.
How to Get Tickets?
Tickets can be purchased at the ticket booth on site. There is no official website where you can buy your tickets online for now, but you can get your tickets on site. There might be a short line when you visit but getting your tickets should be easy.
How To Get Around?
Getting around Botanical Garden and Zoo is easy. All the area is accessible on foot, you just need to walk to see everything it has to offer. It is also accessible by wheelchair and stroller.
What Should I Wear?
There is no dress code at Botanical Garden and Zoo of Asuncion, you can wear whatever you want. Anything comfortable should be fine. Be aware that this place is in a big area, you need to walk a lot so wear comfortable shoes.
Best Time to Visit
Botanical Garden and Zoo of Asuncion can be visited all time of year. It's better to go off-season since the garden could be too crowded sometimes. Early morning or late afternoon is the best time to visit. Also, avoid the weekends since there are a lot of locals going there.
Will I Need a Guide?
No, there are a lot of staffs in the area, you can always ask for their help if you need something. This website also provides all the information needed for you to visit it.
How To Get There?
You can get to Botanical Garden and Zoo of Asuncion by public transport from the city center. The buses are comfortable and cheap, they go more or less everywhere in the city - destinations are displayed on boards on the front window, if in doubt just shout your intended destination at the driver when he stops and he'll tell you yes or no. Taxis are also available and inexpensive.