As much as we can’t get enough of Buenos Aires and the infectious vibe it puts off at all hours of the day, sometimes there’s nothing we find ourselves needing more than a day trip out of the city for a quick refresher. While many flock to Tigre for this much needed escape, if you’re looking to put a little more adventure in your getaway, we recommend hopping on the 57 bus that will take you straight to the Zoológico de Lujan.
This place is unlike any zoo you have probably ever been too. Pet a tiger? Yep. Kiss a lion? Not a problem. Feed an elephant? Most definitely. All of these are the norm at the wildly controversial and highly entertaining Zoológico de Lujan. The collection of animals that started with just a monkey, two donkeys, two ponies, some llamas and deer, a pair of lions and some peacocks has grown to also include seals, bears, camels, tigers, chimpanzees, geese, goats, mountain lions, cheetahs, parrots, emus, flamingos and elephants.
Rest assured that since the zoo opened its doors in 1994, there has not been one violent incident or accident. The unique method that the animals are raised and cared for is to thank. Every animal has constant human interaction from when they are very young, with the lions and tigers understandably being given the most attention. Some techniques include being taught the difference between a human hand and raw meat (very important!) and being raised in the presence of dogs with the idea that they will model the behavior of the dogs who very docile and obedient towards humans. This also explains the enormous amount of adorable dogs wandering about the zoo property!
If you just can’t find it in yourself to jam pack all of this fun and excitement into one day, you don’t have to worry because if you can believe it there’s even camping grounds available with all the amenities! A round trip ticket to the zoo costs 20 pesos and entrance is 100 pesos – a small price to for a once in a lifetime opportunity! Be sure to tell the bus driver that you are heading to the zoo so you don’t miss your stop, and don’t be alarmed when you get dropped off in the middle of nowhere – walk under the freeway underpass and you’ll soon find yourself at the second happiest place on earth (second only to Disneyland of course!)