The park of legends in Lima
The Parque de las Leyendas is one of the two largest zoos in the city and in all of Peru. The other is the Huachipa Zoo located on the outskirts of the city. This park, on the other hand, is only 8 kilometers from the center. It has an immense area divided into: animals from the coast, mountains, jungle, international animals as well as an area of huacas, an aviary, a farm and an immense botanical garden. Learn about this and much more about this charming place.
All about the park of legends in Lima
The park of legends is the oldest zoo in the city of Lima as it was created in 1964. It has approximately 1,585 animals. Most are species rescued from captivity. Some of the most popular specimens are: the spectacled bear, the jaguar, the howler monkey, the water buffalo, the giraffe, the Andean condor, the brown bear, and more.
All species are divided into 4 main zones: coast, mountains, jungle and international zone. In addition, the park has an aviary, a felinary and a farm area.
But the park offers much more than that. It also has an immense botanical garden, several huacas where up to 54 archaeological sites with more than 2,000 years old can be appreciated.
There is also a ‘model mine’, a ‘petroleum museum’, a ‘site museum’ and a replica of the famous tomb of the Lord of Sipán in the Lambayeque region.
Finally, the park has an outdoor food area, various games for children, horseback riding, an information center as well as everything you need for a pleasant visit: parking, toilets, garbage cans and more.
Where is the zoo?
The park of legends is located in the district of San Miguel, about 14 kilometers from the main square in Lima and about 11 kilometers from the district of Miraflores where the majority of tourist hotels in the city are.
The exact address is: avenida parque de las leyendas 580, San Miguel – Lima, Peru.
How to get to the zoo?
From the Miraflores district, you can get to the Parque de las Leyendas by taxi service, the cost of which is approximately 10 dollars (trip of 40 minutes on average).
Another inexpensive option is to take the ‘OM 18’ line buses that will take you along La Marina avenue and will drop you off near the park of legends. The cost of the trip is less than $ 1 and takes approximately 1 hour.
Map of the site
The history of the park of legends begins in 1964 with the founding of the park ‘Las leyendas’ by conservationist Felipe Benavides Barreda.
At the beginning of the seventies the ‘Jardín de Barranco’ zoo was closed, whose animals (more than 400 species) were donated to the new ‘Parque Las Leyendas’ located in the district of San Miguel and under the administration of the Government of Peru.
Its name refers to a wall with ten Inca and pre-Inca legends illustrated by the artist Sabino Springett. Today only the texts of these stories are preserved in the so-called ‘Patio de las leyendas’. Over the years the population preferred to call the place ‘Park of legends’.
Since the beginning of the new century, the Municipality of Lima is the institution that manages the park. Throughout its history, the enclosure was improving considerably. Today it has different areas not only for animals but also for insects, butterflies, cats, a botanical garden and more.
One of the most beloved and historical species is the giant tortoise called Samson, which comes from the Galapagos island and is more than 100 years old.
As its name indicates, this area of the park is made up of animals and birds that inhabit the coast of Peru. This area has swimming pools and aquariums where you can see marine species such as the famous Humboldt penguins. Other of the most popular species are: the Huallata, the booby, the pelican, the white-tailed deer, the horse, the gray seal, the coastal fox, the guanay, the flamingo, the chusco sea lion and the Tumbes crocodile. In the park there are approximately 27 specimens of the Humboldt penguin, a flightless bird that inhabits the cold waters of Peru and Chile.
In the highlands there are different species that inhabit the immense Andes Mountains in the Peruvian territory. The sierra area of the park has stairs and mountain-like slopes that resemble the Andean geography. The most famous species in this area are: the alpaca, the guanaco, the llama, the Andean fox, the Andean armadillo, the eagle owl, the great harrier, the pajonal cat, the mountain harrier, the vicuña, the puma concolor and , of course, the Andean condor, the second largest flying bird on the planet (only after the albatross).
The jungle area is the one with the greatest diversity of species, since the Peruvian Amazon is the largest geography of Peru, where a large number of species of mammals, birds, reptiles and more inhabit. The park prepared hundreds of trees that resemble the characteristic vegetation of the Peruvian jungle. The most representative animals of this area are: the snapping turtle, the iguana, the black motelo turtle, the smooth-fronted alligator, the white alligator, the brown-cheeked toucane, the blue-fronted parrot, the red-backed parrot, the painted parakeet, the Black-headed parrot, the red-fronted parrot, the majaz, the golden añuje, the grisón, the white-bearded marmoset, the jaribú, the military macaw, the red and green macaw, the blue and yellow macaw, the white machín monkey, the black maquisapa monkey, coati, nine-banded armadillo, cuvier’s toucan, cock-of-the-rock, anaconda, two-toed sloth, royal vulture, sajino, red deer, yellow otorongo, ronsoco, the giant otter, the tigrillo, the tapir, the spectacled bear, the oncilla and more.
As its name suggests, the international zone is made up of animals from different parts of the world (which can be adapted to the zoo and the city of Lima). Some of the most representative species of this area are: the black swan, the white swan, the American tortoise, the Moluccan cockatoo, the washing bear, the red kangaroo, the ostrich, the emu, the meerkat, the dromedary, the Bactrian camel, hippopotamus, water buffalo, galapagos tortoise, giraffe, grevy’s zebra, grant’s zebra, brown bear, american black bear, sacred baboon, macaque and more.
It should be mentioned that felines from the international zone, as well as felines from the Peruvian jungle, are included in the park’s ‘felinary’. This special area is one of the largest of its kind in all of Latin America. It is a spacious place that complies with all security measures. There you will be able to contemplate the: tiger, jaguar, lion, bengal tiger, otorongo and more.
The park has up to five huacas where different constructions have been discovered (temples, squares, enclosures and more) dating back approximately 2,000 years. All the huacas were part of the urban settlement called ‘Maranga archaeological complex’.
La huaca 34 – It is a mound-shaped platform at the top of which stand out brick and adobe buildings that functioned as enclosures in the Republican era. Its bases are still under investigation.
La huaca San Miguel – This huaca functioned as a warehouse and administrative center during the so-called ‘Regional kingdoms and lordships’ (1100 AD – 1450 AD). There are platforms, sidewalks, storage buildings, corridors and stairways.
The huaca Tres palos – Also called ‘Huaca Pando’ or ‘Huaca La Campana’. It was a temple and observatory that stood out for its pyramidal shape. In addition to being part of the Maranga culture, it was also used by the Incas and even the Spanish.
La Cruz huaca – This huaca served as an administrative center. It is located in the camping area. Archaeological evidence indicates that it was built approximately 700 years ago.
The huaca Cruz Blanca – It served as the administrative and religious center of the Maranga culture. It has ramps, stairs, squares and niches. It is open for admission to the general public.
In this area of the park, also called ‘Center for interaction with birds’, it is possible to appreciate and interact with a diversity of birds from Peru and the world. The place is well conditioned to enjoy the spectacle of colors, feathers and the music of the birds. They stand out: the Brown dove, the wild duck, the peacock, the zebrita, the Australian parakeet, the guinea fowl, the rulrul partridge, the fan pigeon, the California partridge, the red rorella, the hooded pigeon, golden pheasant and more .
As the name suggests, various domestic animals gather here that make up a ‘mini-farm’. It is a very favorite area for children as it is also allowed to interact with animals. They stand out: the rabbit, the hen, the pig, the alpaca, the duck, the cow, the donkey, the llama and even the guinea pig.
The park of legends has an immense 47-hectare botanical garden whose journey can take up to 1 hour. In total it groups 1531 exotic and native species (belonging to 127 families). Highlights its fern garden, its bromeliad garden, its garden of vulnerable plants, its cactus, its collection of conifers, its collection of agaves and more. It is worth mentioning that the park authorities also usually carry out research, workshops for children, adults and exhibitions related to the botanical world.
Games and other services
The park also has an artificial lagoon of 30 thousand square meters. There it is possible to ride in pedal boats and appreciate a replica of the archaeological site of Machu Picchu, symbol of Peru.
Likewise, the park has an area for mechanical games for the smallest of the house. There are free games as well as other more sophisticated ones for adults such as ‘the mirror maze’, ‘the forest of storytelling trees’, ‘the house of surprises’ and more.
The park also has a replica of an underground mine, a petroleum museum (sponsored by the PetroPerú company) and a site museum called ‘Ernst W. Middendorf’ (German doctor, anthropologist and traveling man who lived several years in Peru where he conducted various studies).
Finally, the park has all the necessary services for a comfortable visit such as: camping area, parking, toilet services, etc.
These are the prices of the entrance ticket to the park of legends:
- General admission for people over 13 years old: 15 Peruvian soles.
- Ticket for children from 3 to 12 years old: 8 Peruvian soles.
- Ticket for seniors from 60 years and over: 4 Peruvian soles.
- Entrance for people with disabilities with Conadis card: free.
Hours of operation
The park of legends is open from Monday to Sunday (including holidays) from 9 in the morning to 5 in the afternoon.
The park’s parking lot has a cost of 5 Peruvian soles for linear motorcycles, 10 Peruvian soles for cars and trucks and 15 Peruvian soles for minibuses and buses.
The park of legends is a very popular place for Lima families. Most come with their own plates of food. However, within the park there is also food sale.
Take advantage of your visit to the park of legends to see other nearby tourist attractions. One of them is the Palomino islands where you can see sea lions and Humboldt penguins in their natural habitat.
The other zoo in Lima is the ‘Parque de Huachipa’, located on the outskirts of the city, in the Ate Vitarte district. This park is also large and has many species of animals. The cost of admission is 12 Peruvian soles, from Monday to Friday and 14 Peruvian soles, on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.