Montalban Things to Do
There are several different kinds of rare birds and animal - exotic ones, some endangered, others threatened- that you can see. You need at least 6 hours to really enjoy the place. The entrance fee is 200 pesos per person for the whole day. It's best to be there early so you can since it can get really hot during midday onwards. Some animals wander in the area and are not afraid to interact with humans. You can bring food in the eating areas but can only bring water when walking. There is a tour which you can avail of for 350 pesos which lasts for about 2 hours. It's worth every centavo you pay for.
Food is cheap - 90 pesos gets you some rice, 1 vegetable dish, 1 meat dish and a bottle of water or softdrink. If you want the iced tea, just add 5 pesos instead. Gatorade however costs 40 pesos per bottle.
Bring a hat and an umbrella as it is really hot in the afternoon. the park is open from 8 am to 6 pm so you can take your time when it gets really sizzling. There are several benches and shaded areas to rest when you get tired from walking.
There are spots where you can have a picture taken with some of the animals. We had ours with the owls. I am amazed at how they had maintained the toilets which are surprisingly clean and smell nice.Related to:
I visited Avilon Zoo in April 2005, and at this stage, it was only something like 70% completed but still had plenty of animals to see. It is open everyday, 8am to 5pm with the last tour starting at 3pm.
The Zoo costs PhP 200 per person and if it is your first visit, then a guided tour of the site to see the animals is obligatory. This is however a good way of seeing the animals since it means you do see everything, and the guides are very knowledgable about the animals.
The tour takes about 2 hours, although there is a break about halfway so that you can buy food and refreshments and rest your feet. Although it is all outdoor, the zoo is very well shaded, so even going on a hot summer's day (as I did) was still a plesant experience - although I recommend buying a cold bottle of water before your tour starts!
The animals included several types of primates, various big cats (including a tiger), several exotic birds and snakes. Have a look at the website (not official) I've linked to for photos.
Avilon Zoo is a good day trip out of Metro Manila (about 40 minutes out of Quezon City) and you should arrange your own private transport. I ended up striking a deal with my taxi driver to accompany me on the tour (paid by me of course along with some refreshments!) - paying for the return journey as well as the time spent in the zoo.Related to:
Avilon Zoo is a 7.5 hectare wildlife breeding facility in Montalban, Rizal. For a more systematic tour to cover the whole area, you can hire the services of a guide. However, if you have all the time and would like to tour at a leisurely pace, you can go around the area by yourselves.
Avilon Zoo prides itself not only with a wide collection of animals; it also serves as a botanical garden. The place is well maintained, with clean restrooms and canteens in strategic areas. The zoo attendants are well-trained and informed about the animals in their care, are pleasantly friendly and hospitable. They handle the animals that you can hold for souvenir pictures (at P50 for 2 shots). Security guards roam the area, giving the guests a feeling of reassurance of their safety & security.
Inside the compound is the Avilon School of Practical Exotic Veterinary Management. I understand most of the zoo guides study in this school.Related to:
- Family Travel
From Manila (Taft Avenue), take an FX taxi or a bus going to SM Fairview. Ask the driver to drop you off at Sandiganbayan (PhP35 if you take the FX). Jeepneys en route to Montalban abound Sandiganbayan. DO NOT take the San Mateo-bound jeeps as you will be forced to take another jeep from there going to Montalban. Although few jeeps bound for Montalban pass by Sandiganbayan, you're sure to see one in ten minutes, tops. Patience, my friend. Once you're inside the jeep, ask the driver to drop you off at the Total gas station. It would also help if you inform him that you're going to Avilon. Adjacent to the Total gas station is a tricycle terminal. Ask one of the drivers there to take you to Avilon. That would be for PhP40. Oh, by the way, it's PhP19 from Sandiganbayan to the Total gas station in Montalban, Rizal. Travel time from Manila-Avilon Zoo is approximately 2 hours.Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Study Abroad
Montalban Warnings and Dangers
If you go to Avilon Zoo during the rainy season , expect the roads to be rough, and their parking lot to be full of puddles of water and mud. Unless you have a 4x4, I suggest you postpone your trip, otherwise, your car repair costs might be something you'll never forget.Related to:
- Road Trip
- Family Travel