Amazonia, the largest and most complex exhibit ever built at the National Zoo, opened to the public in 1992. The 15,000-square-foot rainforest habitat of the exhibit includes a cascading tropical river and a 55,000-gallon aquarium for the display of Amazon River fish.
Within Amazonia's dome, visitors find a living tropical forest with more than 350 species of plants, including 50-foot-tall trees, tropical vines, and epiphytes. This habitat is also home to dozens of species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates typical of the Amazon Basin, all moving throughout the exhibit. Smooth-sided toads and silver-beaked tanagers breed freely, and titi monkeys jump from branch to branch.
Amazonia is an indoor exhibit and follows the Zoo building hours schedule.
Warning: Visitors to Amazonia must arrive at least 30 minutes before building closing in order to be sure they will be admitted to the exhibit. On busy days, you may have to wait briefly in line before entering. This ensures a quality experience for all visitors.
Visitors can explore the field station of Dr. Brasil, an imaginary biologist whose equipment, notes, and specimens shed light on the exciting scientific work being carried out in this infinitely complex environment.
Amazonia staff and FONZ volunteers circulate throughout the exhibit, answering questions and pointing out aspects of the habitat's plants and animals that are not easily recognizable to the unpracticed eye.
Next to the Amazonia exhibit is the Amazonia Science Gallery, a 10,000-square-foot educational gallery. They gallery includes exhibits that look at biological processes that take place in the rainforest, Smithsonian research in Amazonia and other tropical rainforests, and up-to-the-minute information on environmental events in Amazonia and throughout the world.