On August 3, 1991 the dream and life project of Pedro Lavia – founder of Zoomarine – was finally born. And now, in 2021, it is looking better than ever and celebrating its 30th anniversary.
The park began with 7 hectares and currently has a built-up area of 26 (with another nine “saved” for a future expansion). With 30 years of success, but also many challenges, Zoomarine has become one of the main employers and tourism promoters of the Algarve region and is today recognised as a unique and innovative project in the country.
Focused on providing quality entertainment, Zoomarine has also at its core the mission of raising awareness on the importance of preserving and protecting nature to all those who visit them as well as the local community. Having a clear role in the area of environmental education, they involve those around them in initiatives such as the Praia Limpa Campaign and the Montanha Verde Operation, in which they invited families, schools and local entities to join them and clean the region’s beaches and plant trees in the Algarve.
And even in challenging years they continue to grow and improve. In 2021, the park reopened with many new features – newly refurbished restaurant areas, new amusement areas and also new inhabitants.
The main eating areas were remodeled and their offer expanded to include healthier and more contemporary concepts. The disposable and single-use products in these spaces were reduced, and the park now offers 94% of reusable, recycled or biodegradable products in all its 26 hectares.
Zoomarine also has new amusements this year that will make your heads spin – you will definitely need to check out the Farol Tower and the Manta Twist – and a new Fantasy Island, which brings new slides for the youngest.
On the other hand, Zoomarine’s family keeps on growing! The most recent inhabitants of the Americas immersion habitat are Tutti and Frutti, two green aracaris (the world’s smallest species of toucan). And earlier this year, the park also welcomed a gray seal – born in February – a small peacock, and a sea lion that was born in late June.
On May 19, and with all the sanitary and security measures in place, Zoomarine reopened the entire zoological park with its Dolphins, Sea Lions, Tropical Birds and Birds of Prey presentations; as well as the Pirates Bay acrobatics show, restaurants and shops. The 4D Cinema, the Oceanus Aquarium and the Seal and Sea Lion habitats, as well as the Americas Walkthrough Habitat, the Alligator and the Cowabunga habitats are also open for visits. On June 1, the swimming pools, the Zoomarine Beach, the Treasure Island playground, the Aquatube, Bodyslide and Harakiri water slides, the Rio dos Cocos, the Jurassic River and Aquasplash have also opened, with the Dolphin Emotions program also returning.
Zoomarine is once again working towards safe visits by guarantying the necessary physical distancing measures in all spaces, reinforcing cleaning and disinfection of surfaces, equipments and all public spaces, in addition to the mandatory use of masks inside the park and the conditioned admittance of visitors. Further to the Clean&Safe seal awarded by Turismo de Portugal, Zoomarine was also awarded the Hygiene, Safety and Disinfection certification by SGS, with the entire park having been recognised as COVID-19 low risk of transmission site (the safest level possible in this certification). The new access rules include the mandatory purchase of tickets in advance and the online check-in on Zoomarine’s official website, where visitors guarantee a place for the date they intend to visit, whilst Zoomarine ensures that the park’s capacity does not exceed the one third possible.
“Although the celebration of such a special date cannot be done in the usual way, due to the current pandemic situation, we will continue to celebrate with all the people who visit us daily, with the smiles, friendliness, good mood and quality of service that characterise us so well!” – they tell us.