Terra Natura

Review of the Terra Natura Safari Park, Benidorm, Costa Blanca, Spain.

Benidorm Attractions - Terra Natura Safari Park

Terra Natura - Benidorm - From porcupines to pythons, eagles to elephants, 1,500 animals of around two hundred different species are homed at Terra Natura in Benidorm set in 32 hectares. The park takes the visitor on an amazing journey through 3 of the 5 continents: America, Asia and Europe representing the elements of nature: air, earth and water with the entry world Pangaea representing fire. This fantasy world is dominated by shades of red and sienna and marks the origin of the planet overlooked by a huge volcano. From here the traveller embarks on ‘el viaje soñado’, ‘the dream journey’ through each ‘continent’ observing the many animals in accurate recreations of their natural habitats and surroundings.

Europe is reached through a Mediterranean forest where children can enjoy donkey rides, leading to Kalicameni, a Greek village inspired by Santorini and built on the side of a mountain, with quaint village squares on different levels with views of the Mediterranean and the water park with a large central pool and range of water slides, a perfect way to spend the afternoon.

Namastepur, a village inspired by the region of Rajastan, represents Asia with an array of smells, colours and sounds that impregnate the whole area, making way for what can easily be seen as the centre piece of the whole park – the logging camp home to elephants that has various view points. There are two paths leading off the camp showing landscapes of Southern Asia with forests, mammals and reptiles bringing the traveller into contact with a herd of elephants, crocodiles, rhinos and tigers.

America is the third continent inspired by Antigua and Granada featuring a range of shows and entertainment relating to the Maya civilisation, including the ‘flying stick’ an ancient ritual of some Central American indigenous peoples in which men tie their feet to a vine fastened to a large post. The park explains that from 25 metres above the ground the stars of the show launch themselves into flight, so playing out man’s desires to overcome the laws of nature and emulate the birds around him.

All the vegetation is native to the continent it is representing and even the staff in the restaurants, gift shops and shows are from their respective places, which all adds to Terra Natura’s aim of being an educational experience as well as a fun day combining history, culture, nature and leisure. 54 million euros has been invested in Terra Natura with 8.5 million of that spent on animal and plant species from the three continents.

The park works with international organisations such as the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA), and the European Endangered Species Program (EEP), and has set up The Terra Natura Foundation, which aims to protect nature and raise awareness of conservational issues.

Renovation work has been underway recently meaning visitors were offered a discount on admission and don’t miss the new ‘venomous creatures’ exhibition, new for 2007.

Cost for entry into Terra Natura (2011) is 25 euro for adults and 20 euro for children and 20 euro for senior citizens. An annual season ticket is 46 euro for adults and 38 euro for children. There are always special promotions to attract people to the park, so keep your eyes open in local newspapers and bars.

Other places that you can visit in and around Benidorm include the Aqualandia Water Park, Mundomar Marine and Exotic Animal Park, Guadalest and Denia. And for your evening entertainment, don't forget the amazing Benidorm Palace, where spectacular shows take place.

This fine article on Terra Natura, Benidorm was provided by kind permission of the Leader Newspaper.

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