Everything You Need to Know About Parque Explora

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parque-explora

In a hurry? Parque Explora is Medellin’s science center and is an interactive museum for all ages!

Medellin is home to some pretty incredible museums. You’ve got the City Museum, the Memory house museum, heck, you’ve even got the selfie museum!

Despite all these unique places tucked around Medellin, however, my favorite has got to be Parque Explora. 

As someone from California who’s all-too-familiar with San Francisco’s exploratorium, I was obsessed with Parque Explora. 

Now, whether you’re like me and love Parque Explora’s twin in San Fran or you have no clue what I’m talking about and want to find out, keep reading. Here’s everything you need to know about Medellin’s Parque Explora!

What Is Parque Explora?

I’ve already touched on this, but just to make sure you know what you’re getting into, let’s take a minute to talk about Parque Explora

Parque Explora is a giant science center made up of three main sections: a planetarium, aquarium, and vivarium. 

The park donates its income to stratus 1-3 neighborhoods. These are the poorer neighborhoods in the city, so it’s nice to see a museum that gives back!

In fact, the museum actually allows anyone living in these neighborhoods to get into the museum for free. All you have to do is show your utility bill proving that you live there and the entrance is free of charge!

Speaking of giving back, this museum is actually one of a few different city improvements that Medellin implemented. The idea with these improvements was to help brighten up the city and improve impoverished areas. 

What to Know Before You Go

If you’re getting ready to head to Parque Explora, there are a couple of things to know about first. 

For one thing, let’s talk about the prices. It’s actually pretty cheap to visit the park! Currently, Parque Explora has three price plans:

  • Museum entrance: $32,000 COP (about $10 USD)
  • Museum entrance + planetarium entrance: $48,000 COP (about $15 USD)
  • Family plan for four people: $116,000 COP  (about $35 USD)

That’s actually pretty reasonable!

You’ll have to pay for parking separately, however. Just be aware that parking is limited and fills up fast. My advice? Get there early so you can snag a spot. 

What to Do at the Museum

Okay, now that you’ve got all the info, you’re ready to head to the museum and enjoy the exhibits! And, there are quite a few exhibits. Let’s take a deep dive into each one. 

The Aquarium

First on our list is the aquarium. The aquarium is honestly one of the main draws of the park because it’s such a great space.

And, I’m personally a little bit obsessed with fish. Don’t believe me? Check out my guide on scuba diving to learn about seeing fish out in the wild!

Now, back to the aquarium. 

The aquarium is cool because not only does it give you a chance to get up close and personal with a few of Colombia’s fish, but there are also some unique exhibits. On the first floor, you’ll find an exhibit dedicated to what would happen if the Amazon flooded. 

That and just the screeds of fish in the aquarium make it a great place to spend a few hours!

The Vivarium

If you love animals be sure to check out the vivarium. This isn’t a zoo, so it’s not going to have lions and tigers and bears (oh my). 

But, you will see some smaller animals such as snakes and frogs.

There are some pretty unique poisonous frogs in Colombia’s Amazon. The vivarium is a great (safe) way to check out some of these poisonous frogs and other species!

You’ll also get to learn more about Colombia’s many ecosystems. 

Fun fact: Colombia is the second most biodiverse country in the world. You can see tons of different kinds of animals here, and at Parque Explora, you can learn about them too!

The Planetarium

Although it doesn’t automatically come included in your entrance fee, it’s definitely worth adding on the planetarium to your Parque Explora ticket. 

The planetarium is technically not part of the park, but you’ll find it right next door. That makes it easy to visit while you’re at the museum anyway. 

At the planetarium, you can check out a surround sound IMAX theater where you can learn about our planet’s solar system. There are changing shows all the time, making it a cool spot to learn something new. 

Plus, every now and then there are cool shows. For instance, one time the planetarium hosted a musical experience featuring Pink Floyd’s song “Dark Side of the Moon”.

The Music Room

While we’re talking about music, let’s talk about the music room! The music room gives you a chance to check out different musical instruments. 

Some of these instruments are behind glass, thanks to their age or delicacy. Others, however, are out in the open for you to try your hand at playing!

I found this room really interesting for learning more about the sounds of South America, such as salsa and merengue musical styles. 

There are also some cool audio-mixing exhibits. Bring out your inner DJ and dive into the wonderful world of sound!

The Mind Room

The mind room is dedicated to learning about the brain. 

Now, if you thought that the brain was a pretty simple concept to take in, think again! The mind room actually contains a whopping 55 different exhibits!

Here, you can enjoy games as well as hands-on activities. You’ll also just have plenty of signs and exhibits to wander among and check out. 

The Scene Room

The scene room is all about video. This room talks about just about every aspect of video production that you can imagine.

Here you can dance in front of a green screen, make screen-printed shadow shapes, and so much more!

There are also plenty of places for you to just wander around and check out different videos playing or other live exhibits. It’s great for learning more about video production and digital arts. 

The Time Room

The time room is another cool room that I’ve got to bring up. This room was actually one of my favorites (aside from the aquarium). 

This room takes a look at the clock and how it’s impacted our history. It also talks about time in general and our concepts of time. 

You can take a look at 45 different experiences, some of which are interactive and others which are just signs. 

Overall, it’s a pretty cool place to check out. You’ll definitely leave this section with your mind boggled!

The Open Space

The open space room is actually a big, open-air portion of the museum. Here you’ll find outdoor games and interactive rides. 

When I say rides, I’m not talking about roller coasters, however. I’m talking more about bicycle-powered carousels and other science-y type gadgets.

You’ll also get a chance to check out some of the dinosaur statues located around the museum. If you’re into the prehistoric age, that’s a fun perk to this part of the museum. 

The Kids Room

Now, although the kids’ room isn’t a place most of us want to hang out, it’s great for families that are visiting with little ones!

The kids’ room is exactly what you’d expect it to be. It’s basically a giant jungle gym where little ones can run around and get their energy out. 

Think Mcdonald’s’ play place on steroids. 

Anyway, if you’ve got rowdy little ones in tow, this can be a great spot to take them. They’ll love getting to clamber around on the jungle gym for a while. 

While Away a Day at Parque Explora

Parque Explora is a great place to spend a day. In fact, it’s so big you might want to go back for a second visit!

Take some time out of your busy schedule in Medellin to spend some time learning at Parque Explora.

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