I have to admit and this is a reoccurring thought, for a country that is so economically deprived, they have some magnificent museums and attractions. Medellin is the only city in the country with a metro system. Strange since this is the third largest city with a population of 1,999,979 in comparison with Bogotá’s 7,674,366. Though I hate having to climb 32 steps to reach the metro and then 32 steps down to the platform, it is clean, modern and efficient. More escalators would be appreciated, but they do have working handicap lift for those in need.
Trying not to drive ourselves crazy fitting in multiple attractions each day, we settled for the aquarium as the single event for yesterday. We knew the metro station where it was located, but not where it was exactly. From the metro platform, we could see the Planetarium, the Botanical Garden, Hall of Music, and this giant red building that looked like a shopping mall. This was the aquarium and
Parque Explora covers 70,000 square feet of indoor space and 50,000 square feet of outdoor activities with much more than just an aquarium. Blown away at the breadth of the displays, we were super impressed before we even purchased our tickets. Outside, there are life-size models of dinosaurs intermingled with various hands-on science experiments.
In addition to a magnificent aquarium, there is an auditorium with 3D projection capabilities and a television studio. If the science activities and watching the fish are not enough, an adorable children’s center will give kids an opportunity to work off excess energy. The temporary exhibit hall advertised Typical Foods of Colombia, which I would have loved, but it was closed. Perhaps they are between exhibits. When needing a rest, there are restaurants, cafes and of course, there is the souvenir store for those that need shopping therapy.
After cruising around the dinosaurs and watching others play with the science experiments outside, we ventured into the darkened halls of the aquarium. We found huge aquariums well spread out with various types of sea creatures from both fresh and salt water. They provided a full explanation of each tank in both Spanish and English. Darn those fish; they do not stay still long enough for a good photo.
The aquarium spreads over three floors, so when we finally progressed to the top floor, we were running out of time and energy. The top floor dedicated to brain science also had everything translated into English. Surprisingly, families filled the room, engrossed in the displays while engaging in the experiments together.
As we were leaving this room, we heard a tremendous waterfall sound. Expecting to find a rain forest exhibit, what we discovered was a thunderstorm outside. The thunder was so loud; the dinosaurs looked like they were coming to life. Parts of the restaurant area flooded, but it did not deter us from getting hot dogs for our lunch.
We just had enough time to see the lizards, snakes and frogs before they announced closing time. Fortunately, the rain had stopped by then, so we could walk to the metro without regretting not having our umbrellas.
This was another satisfying Colombia experience. Now, we felt justified in being lazy lizards for the rest of the day.