- Family friendly
- All entrance fees included
- Fully narrated tour
- Popular choice with kids
Why Our Insiders Chose This Tour
This world-class zoo is a must-see. Elephants, tigers, giant pandas and a ton of other incredible animals roam freely in large enclosures modeled after their natural habitats. Having round-trip transportation makes this day trip hassle-free.
What You Can Expect
Monkey Trails and Forest Tales:
The most elaborate and ambitious animal habitat history is now open, ushering in a new era at San Diego Zoo. Joan B. Kroc's Monkey Trails and Forest Tales is home to more than 30 species of African and Asian birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians, some of the world's most exotic and endangered wildlife. You can enjoy a three-dimensional journey into the depths of a tropical forest and a new understanding of the diversity of life on Earth. An elevated walkway located across from the Zoo entrance takes you directly through the tree canopy where you will encounter some of the most rare and endangered monkeys on Earth.
Giant Panda Research Station:
The San Diego Zoo has had a love affair with giant pandas ever since two of the black-and-white bears came to visit in 1987. After years of red tape and tons of application paperwork, the Zoo and China agreed on a 12-year research loan of two giant pandas, Bai Yun and Gao Gao. A brand-new exhibit area was built for the panda guests, which has since been expanded and renovated and is now called the Giant Panda Research Station. Although currently housing three giant pandas, the facility can comfortably house up to six! Next to the public panda viewing area is the building that houses the Giant Panda Team, made up of the pandas' keepers and researchers.
Polar Bear Plunge:
At first thought, a polar bear in sunny San Diego seems curiously out of place. But with the San Diego Zoo's Polar Bear Plunge, you'll discover that polar bears are right at home, where every day is an Arctic summer day. From the underwater viewing room you can see how agile and playful the polar bears really are. In fact, they're known to swim right up to the glass to check out all the humans on display. Polar Bear Plunge is one of the largest polar bear exhibits in the world. It's wet and it's wild - polar bear style!
Mesmerizing and gorgeous but also endangered, the Malayan tigers are always a pleasure to watch. Their exhibit was designed to closely resemble a natural jungle habitat and was built on a steep slope that gives the tigers plenty of exercise. A waterfall splashing into a pool and logs to climb on or use as scratching posts give the tigers a variety of things to do. A heated cave near a viewing window encourages the tigers to spend their nap-time close to curious tiger admirers.
There are more than 30 special animal exhibits and activities designed with the younger visitor in mind. The popular Petting Paddock allows kids a chance to feel the woolly coat of a sheep or comb a gentle goat's hair. The animal nursery has large viewing windows to let you watch animal babies being bottle-fed or cuddled by our caring keepers. The Children's Zoo has animals not found anywhere else on Zoo grounds, such as wombats, spider monkeys, and our ever-fascinating naked mole-rats. Best of all, about 45 of the 200 critters living here are trained as animal ambassadors, so you might get to feel how sharp a hedgehog's quills are, or hear how quietly a horned owl can flap its wings.
Sun Bear Forest:
Surrounded by the fantastic sights, sounds and scents of the Asian tropical rain forest, you may forget the hectic jungle of the city for a moment. Lose yourself in this forest in the city, where naturalistic enclosures and thousands of exotic plants combine to help animals and Zoo visitors alike experience life in an Asian forest. Bornean sun bears, the smallest bears in the world, are one of the most enjoyable animals to observe, especially in the natural setting of Sun Bear Forest. Here, the sun bears, named for the golden crescents on their chests, display their frolicsome nature. Extremely agile and often comical, sun bears are great tree climbers and make excellent use of their enclosure's climbing structures.
With their flamboyant color and amusing behaviors, flamingos make the perfect welcoming committee at San Diego Zoo! The Flamingo Lagoon features two separate viewing areas, affording a choice of vantage points. One area features an elevated walkway where you can look down into the exhibit instead of across it at eye level.
The Owens Rain Forest Aviary offers bird lovers an up-close look at more than 200 feathered friends representing 60 species and about 180 birds. The free-flight aviary simulates the sights and sounds of a real Southeast Asian jungle environment. It focuses on exotic species from Southeast Asia and Australia, including flowers, ferns, and foliage indigenous to that region.
For decades the orangutans and siamangs at the San Diego Zoo have delighted visitors with their colorful personalities and intriguing vocalizations. Now, the two families of apes, indigenous to the same Asian rain forest ecosystem, share a habitat at the Zoo. Absolutely Apes provides a lush, naturalistic environment where arboreal orangutans and siamangs can climb, swing, and live in the same terrain as they would in the wild.