Cantabria. The Cabarceno Park


Only 25 kilometers from Santander, is located outdoors, the largest extension of animals in semi-freedom of the Iberian Peninsula, the Cabarceno Park. Located south of the Macizo de Peña Cabarga Natural Park, it is a delight for all those visitors who love animals, especially children.

Spread over an area of ​​201,300 square meters, with all kinds of services, they encourage you to book a whole day to enjoy all the attractions of the park.


The Cabarceno Park in Cantabria

The Cabarceno Park houses a large number of animals from different parts of the globe. Herbivores such as Buffalos, Bison, Giraffes, Rhinos, Deer, Dromedaries, Giraffes, ..., Carnivores like the Tigers, Jaguars, Hyenas, Bears and Sea Bears, and ending with the Birds such as Eagles, Falcons, Vultures, Condors, ..., etc.

It has 2 access entrances, Cabarceno which is accessed by the east and Obregon by the West. The latter is the closest to the exhibition of sea lions, but the ideal is to make the route from the East ending the day in the West.

If we opted for the entrance of Cabarceno, as soon as we enter the enclosure one thinks that it has changed country and was fully on the continent African, sighting a large herd of elephants in freedom.


Now all we have to do is follow the map delivered at the entrance and choose the areas we want to visit, taking into account the schedule of the scheduled exhibitions, a recommended point to take a good seat.

Touring the park there are a series of artificial lagoons that accommodate a large number of types of animals, including pygmy hippos, a hippo race native to West Africa that looks smaller than the common hippo.

Pygmy Hippos

Very close to the pygmy hippos are the Rhinos, perhaps one of the most spectacular animals in the park. The best of all is that they approach the fence at distances that are very scary, but in the end they are very calm whenever we do not jump the fence. A whole live tank of nature.


The animals best protected from possible mishaps with humans are the tigers. There is a herd of at least half a dozen living in the same enclosure in conditions much lower than the rest of the animals in the park. It makes a certain sense, since due to their anatomy it would be very easy for them to escape, although they personally gave me a little pain.


Where the children had fun as dwarves was where the Giraffes, Ostriches and Elands. Very accessible to them since some could be petted (Eye Ostriches not ...). In another area of ​​the park the same thing happened, but this time with Horses and Monchinas cows.


If we have commented that the Rhinoceros was one of the most impressive animals in the park, theGiraffes They were not far behind. Simply being within 20 meters of one of them, you realize how big and especially how rare they are. Those horns that cover your head are used only as an ornament.


An attraction that I recommend during the visit is the bird show.

To start we must be very punctual since access is closed after 5 minutes after opening, in addition to the capacity is limited.

During the exhibition we will see different types of birds, many of them literally passing over our heads. Do not miss what they call a bird from the top of the mountain to plummet down to their falconer.

Bird exhibition - Cabarceno

Another very funny exhibition is the one made with Sea lions, those aquatic animals so nice that they will not hesitate to do what you want as long as they get a good portion of fish as a reward.

The Cabarceno Park gives for much more, everything will depend on the time you use to visit each group of animals, some of them not accessible with the car, but the large number of animal breeds and the wideness of the enclosure, deserve an X in your Visit to the Cantabria region.

After our day between animals, we deserve a rest day and as a recommendation it would be find accommodation in Santillana del Mar. Located 30km from the park, it has a historical-artistic complex that will not disappoint you.


Map of Cabarceno (via

Practical data

When to go?

From April to September the best dates to visit it are concentrated, but they are also classified as High Season and the tickets are 25% more expensive.

How to get?

Leaving the center of Santander, we take direction towards Solares by the A8 motorway. At this point we will turn towards the town of Cabarceno. From this point the park will always be signposted.