Whoever said learning was dull clearly hasn’t explored the awesome spots in Jakarta! There’s a great collection of fun and educational attractions just waiting to be visited in this city, including the immersive Jakarta Aquarium and Safari.

Tucked in the heart of Central Park, the Jakarta Aquarium and Safari (JAQS) is a treasure trove of discovery, learning and entertainment. Picture this: a sprawling one hectare playground at Neo Soho Mall, bursting with the incredible diversity of Indonesia’s wildlife both on land and underwater. You can wander through lush rainforests, dip your toes in the sea, and even dive into the depths of the ocean without leaving the city. It’s the ultimate combination of adventure and learning.

It’s a real wild time in this urban wonderland, with everything from lemurs to penguins to be seen. There are 3,500 species to be found at (JAQS), featuring an exotic array of both aquatic and terrestrial animals. As part of the Taman Safari Group, the maintenance and nurturing of the finned and furry friends at JAQS are guaranteed to be in good hands.

A visit to JAQS really is a journey as the centre invites you to travel through 13 completely unique zones, each featuring a different theme and filled to the brim with biodiversity. 2-3 hours won’t be enough to thoroughly enjoy them all, so be sure to clear out your entire day before you hop into the fun.

The first zone is The Diving Zone, where you’ll be surrounded by tanks teeming with underwater wonders, like the oh-so-familiar clownfish doing their thing. As you meander through the halls of zone number two, you’ll stumble upon the Island of Indonesia and the Rainforest of Indonesia zones, where the real safari magic happens. Get ready to swoon at the Otter Feeding attraction. Watch as these adorable little animals duke it out and playfully swim around to compete for fish from their pond. Don’t be freaked out if you spot a snoozing snake nearby, there will be friendly guides on hand to keep you safe and teach you all about these slithering reptiles.

Follow the trail onwards to the fifth zone called the “Nursery of the Sea”, where you can get up close and personal with stingrays during the Ray Feeding experience and hang out with the adorable Binturong, there are also resident monkeys where you can see them jump and swing around.

Venture down the staircase into the heart of the aquarium zone, where you’ll be greeted by a breathtaking swirl pool. It stands like a massive underwater chandelier, teeming with a whirlwind of marine life. This is the perfect place to capture the moment with some pictures against the mesmerising background, be sure to turn off your flashlight though– we don’t want to disturb the occupants.

The next stop is the eighth zone, and prepare to get hands-on at the Touch Pool. This is where you can show some love to the Chocolate Chip Sea Star, Whitespotted Bamboo Shark, and even Sea Cucumber. Right nearby, you can visit the Pearl Harvest Experience booth and harvest your own pearls and transform them into fabulous jewellery – all without breaking the bank.

Step aboard the Submarine Tunnel and get ready to act like a seasoned sailor as you venture into the River of Indonesia zone. Here, you’ll enter the world of freshwater fish, and if you’re patient enough to hang around until 03.40 PM, you can watch the thrilling Piranha Feeding show and witness the Amazonian predator’s ravish prey three or four times their size. Talk about some dinner drama!

The next aquatic escapade is the eleventh zone, the Jellyfish Corner. Prepare to be in awe by the majestic jellyfish gracefully gliding through the water and lighting up the aquariums with their vibrant hues, some even put on a colour-changing spectacle, making this zone another suitable spot to take pictures.

Make your  stop at the coolest corner of the Jakarta Aquarium and Safari, the Southern Sea Gallery. As the biggest tank in the whole place, this aquarium carries the vibrant biodiversity of Indonesian marine life. You can also watch the enchanting mermaid shows about the Pearl of The South Sea and Guardian of the River, starring real-life mermaids swimming alongside our sea buddies from the southern seas. And exciting news is coming from our adorable friends from the North American seas, the thirteenth zone at JAQS will be home to seals that are eagerly waiting for your visit.

If you still want more adventure, buckle up for the Aquatrekking experience. Slide into an Aquatrek helmet and plunge into the massive main tank. Brace yourself to mingle with short-tailed stingrays, glide past snoozing sharks, and keep an eye out for the mischievous giant sea turtle known as ‘Sally’ – this author knows firsthand about Sally’s playful nudges! And if the idea of underwater exploration gives you the jitters, fear not, the Aquatrekking guides are really patient and clear with their instructions. Your safety is ensured. Plus, who wouldn’t want to boast to their friends that they’ve rubbed elbows with actual sharks, right?

The tickets for the Jakarta Aquarium and Safari are available throughout the weekdays and weekends with Regular and Premium packages each. You can try their VIP experience package for exclusive perks like your own private designated tour guide and priority access to attractions and experiences, the ultimate way to elevate your adventure.

Jakarta Aquarium and Safari
Neo Soho Mall at Podomoro City, Jakarta Barat
+62 21 2789 3435 | 0811 1111 2586

Dinda Mulia

Dinda Mulia

Dinda is an avid explorer of art, culture, diplomacy and food. She is also a published poet and writer at NOW!Jakarta.