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Auto Safari Chapin

Sher Bear looking out the window at the Zebras
Near the south coast of Guatemala, in Escuintla, is a place called Auto Safari Chapin.  I am told that originally it was the private collection (of animals) of one man who eventually opened it to the public.

A rhino.  It looks like he's going to charge us, but he was actually walking quite slowly.
Sher Bear checks out the giraffes.
The first part is a drive through safari.  We saw zebras, lions, hippos, a rhino, giraffes, monkeys, many birds, antelope and even water buffalo.  Only for the lion exhibit did we need to have our windows up.  Otherwise, our windows were down and we were driving right by the animals - amazing!  Not all of the animals were from Guatemala - they had animals from all over the world.

Two lions lounging in the grass
After the driving portion of the tour, we parked and walked through a more traditional zoo.  We especially liked the jaguars and pumas.  The scenery was lovely.  The animals were easy to see and active even during the day.  Considering that we used to live 5 miles from the San Diego Wild Animal Park, I thought I was difficult to impress when it came to zoos.  But this place was really amazing.

Beautiful Toucan
I believe this is a Puma.  It's actually yawning, not growling.
The entire time we were there, we only saw one other family.  We had the place to ourselves.  Of course, it was during the day on a weekday, during their school year.  I understand it's crowded on weekends and holidays.

The kids have discovered the Lagoon.
Jor Man in the bow of the boat
Once we had seen all the animals, the kids noticed the boats on the lagoon.  I let Big Dad take the kids because I get a little seasick.  They had a great time and saw a lot more spider monkeys.

Don't they look like an ad for "Spy Kids"?
There was also a swimming area.  Luckily, we had our suits packed!  The kids loved the wonderful pools: a shallow kiddy pool that was perfect for Sher Bear and a larger, deeper pool with a slide for the big kids.    By now you know that my children are really fish in disguise.  They swam and swam.

All this for the incredible price of $8 for adults and $6.67 for kids.  Isn't that crazy?

Campster's first run down the slide to Big Dad.  Jor Man looks scared for her!
Wish you were here!

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