If you love animals, and you’re visiting Puerto Rico’s western coast, then you should spend an afternoon at the Mayagüez Zoo. Named after Dr. Juan A. Rivero, a biologist and emeritus professor at the Mayagüez Campus of the University of Puerto Rico, this 45-acre zoo has a little bit of everything.
Here you will find an extensive collection of animals from all seven continents including mammal, bird, reptile and amphibian exhibits. While not as large as other zoos on the mainland the park has several interesting features.
One of the nicest is the walk-in aviary where the birds fly freely all around you. There is also an extensive butterfly exhibit, an arthropod museum and a reptile area.
I visited the zoo with my wife about two years ago and it was clean and well kept. I was handed a nice color map when I went in and the entire visit took about 4 hours. However, I do have to say that it seemed like the facility was a little low on personnel. So if you’re expecting that Disney experience, where there’s an attendant waiting to answer your questions at every corner, this will definitely not be the place. Other than this little detail the place is quite nice.