sábado, 4 de febrero de 2017

A new aquarium in Mexico City

I am doing a little bit of pre-spring cleaning of my external harddrives and bumped into a folder of photos I took in 2015 of a new aquarium in Mexico City. It's highly unusual for me to do tourism in this city because well, I grew up here and I've already visited most of the tourist traps a dozen times by now. However the Inbursa Aquarium that is located in Polanco was merely opened 2 years ago.

I like aquariums and if you are really curious, La Torre Latinoamericana skyscraper that is right across the street from Bellas Artes has the highest level aquarium in Latin America. On the other hand, The Inbursa Aquarium boasts to be the largest aquarium in the country. It's been over 20 years since I visited the aquarium in Veracruz so I will be unable to compare.

Why did I visit this aquarium in a city where I seldom do sightseeing? I was on a medical congress in a nearby hospital and sometimes when the conferences are over, the organizers invite everyone to go to random social gatherings. I didn't really know anybody making mingling a sort of pointless endeavor (being an introvert in a huge place filled with strangers that don't care about talking to you doesn't make socializing easier). On the other hand, I heard as lot of reviews of the place and couldn't resist the temptation to tag along. The congress organizers gave us a nice 10% discount which was even better because the fee to visit this aquarium is really steep.

The instant I entered the oddly shaped underground facility, I ended up alone from the group of congress attendees but that gave me the chance to enjoy the exhibits on my own pace. Sadly I was taking so many photos of the congress that the battery of my pocket camera died and had to rely on my tablet for the photos. I'm glad that at least the photos of the animals turned out pretty nice albeit the selfies look close to atrocious.

The first sections are dedicated to sharks and stingrays. Sadly the place was infested with school children that hogged all of the best spots and the camera of my tablet can't capture decent photos of fast moving objects.

You then walk around a confusing tunnel and see all sorts of salt and freshwater animals. Some of the exhibits are illuminated with fluorescent lights. I really enjoyed the tiny jellyfish that glow in the dark thanks to clever artificial lighting.

The later sections of the aquarium feature land dwelling animals such as axolotls which are a severely endangered kind of salamander in Mexico. More than 40 years ago they used to be common in Xochimilco and Texcoco but the severe contamination of this city and complete lack of interest from the mexican government has nearly left these lovely animals almost nonexistant in the wild. I guess if you are not a cute panda, nobody cares.

The final section of the place was infested with eager kids. Yes, Inbursa Aquarium has some penguins. Spiffy indeed.

All in all, the entrance fee to this place will be too much for most mexicans and the kind of families that come here are clearly upper middle class. The place claims to be the largest aquarium in the country but unless the crowds come early in the morning, I can hardly imagine school kids to be able to fully enjoy the place because the hallways are so narrow. I'd avoid this place on the weekend and on high tourist season at all costs to try to avoid the crowds. On the other hand, taking away the negatives, it's a nice place to visit in a section of the city that doesn't have a lot of other tourist attractions.

I'm adding some videos I took of the aquarium for the final touch. ;)

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