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If you ever have a chance to visit the state of New Mexico, then you should do so. The “Land of Enchantment" is one of the nation’s largest states regarding the geographical area, yet also has one of the lowest densities of population. From flat plains and serene desert to soaring mountain peaks and hidden valleys, this state has much to offer those who love the outdoors.

Cute koala hugging tree-Albuquerque-zooHowever, it’s not all empty or rural. The Albuquerque NM is likely where you’ll fly in or out of, or where you drive into for a place to stay between your daily adventures. While you’re there, consider visiting the Albuquerque Biological Park, also known as the Albuquerque BioPark, and also sometimes referred to as the Albuquerque BioPark/Zoo. It’s an environmental museum that is a collection of four distinct facilities.

The first of them, at least in alphabetical order, is the ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden. This 36-acre location is home to a botanic garden that includes a glass conservatory measuring more than 10,000 square feet. It houses plants from both Mediterranean and desert climate zones.

The second facility is the Albuquerque Aquarium. This 285,000-gallon ocean tank is full of saltwater from the Gulf of Mexico. It’s home to species from the sea, coral reefs, shallow waters, estuaries, and surf zones. Many other exhibits are present here.

The third facility is the Rio Grande Zoo. This 64-acre location has two and a half miles of paths that visitors can stroll along witnessing over 250 different species, both native and exotic. Like many zoos, there are traditional staples, such as elephants, camels, tigers, polar bears, gorillas, zebras, seals, chimpanzees, hippos, snow leopards, lions, and giraffes. Visitors can also enjoy more atypical species, like African wild dogs, wombats, Tasmanian devils, white rhinos, hyenas, and even koalas. A variety of birds is also present, including roadrunners, eagles, and storks.

The fourth and final facility is Tingley Beach. This place has a fishing lake, a lake for model boating, picnic areas, paths, and a narrow gauge railroad.

When in this city, you can visit any one of these facilities by itself with family and friends, but you can also travel between them given the 36-inch narrow gauge railroad which connects all four locations. Cumulatively, they hold over 1,100 different species, and the Albuquerque Biological Park is itself a fully accredited member of the larger Association of Zoos and Aquariums, abbreviated AZA.

As mentioned earlier, the state of New Mexico has plenty to offer the visitors that spend time here, with a diverse range of climates and terrain to enjoy the vast natural beauty of this South Western state. However, if your vacation is based out of the capital of Santa Fe and you’d like a day of seeing various animal species that aren’t familiar with the state, then going through the four locations of this environmental museum is a great use of one of your days in the Land of Enchantment while you’re here. You can also visit the balloon fiesta park, where the largest balloon fiesta in the world is held in Oct.

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