National Iguana Awareness Day

An iguana is a large species of lizard, and they come in all shapes and sizes! Did you know there are approximately 35 species of iguana? These different species make their home in habitats like rocks or trees.

These large lizards can be found anywhere from northern Mexico and the southern United States, to South America and its surrounding islands. There are even iguanas like the Galapagos Marine Iguana, found off the coast of Ecuador, that can swim underwater!

Introduced to Florida in the 1960s, iguanas have since become quite comfortable here. The humid and often extremely warm climate helps to keep their body at an ideal temperature. Most iguanas must be between 80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit at any given time.

However, southern Florida’s occasional cold weather can put iguanas into a state of hibernation. As cold-blooded reptiles, also known as ectothermic animals, they need heat from the sun to stay warm.

For a lizard, these reptiles can get pretty big. Iguanas can grow anywhere from 7.5 inches for the Fiji Banded Iguana to a whopping 7 feet long for larger species like the common green iguana. Fiji Iguanas are typically only found on the small island of Fiji in the South Pacific Ocean, but you can see one of these special little lizards in our Manatee Tunnel.

While you’re there, be sure to check out some of our other star species like the Florida Manatee and Sandwich, our Cuban Iguana.

Though the Green Iguana is thriving, several species such as the blue iguana and Cuban rock iguana are endangered. As its name suggests, the Cuban Iguana originates from the rocky coast of Cuba. Habitat destruction and invasive species have threatened their survival.

Thankfully, recent efforts to protect the population have been successful and their numbers are growing. If you want to get an up-close look at one of these guys, you can also find Sandwich, ZooTampa’s very own Cuban iguana in the Manatee tunnel.

Sandwich, a stowaway on a boat departing from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, found his home here at ZooTampa when he was rescued by United States Fish and Wildlife Services. Unable to return home or live on his own in Florida, ZooTampa established a permanent home for him in
2015, only a few months after he hitched a ride over.

You can usually find Sandwich hanging out on the tallest branches in his habitat, basking in the heat, or on the ground munching on leafy greens. Get to know more about Sandwich before you visit us here at ZooTampa! You can also meet him on Season 2 Episode 4 of the series, Secrets of the Zoo: Tampa, on Nat Geo WILD.

Job Fair



Please review our booking tips before continuing

1. Please make one field trip per reservation order. Complete one and start a new one if you have multiple days you are booking.

2. Headcount can be approximate. Please include children and adults in your headcount. Please do not include pass holders in your headcount for a ticket.

3. On the ticket page, choose the correct grade level (to the left of your screen) to receive the correct chaperone ratio.

4. On the ticket page, when on the calendar section, the number of tickets available will appear in the top right corner for each particular day. Tickets available include children and adults. If you have more people than tickets available, please choose another day.

5. Anyone that is ordering lunch, even pass holders and adults that receive free chaperone tickets, do need to pay for a lunch IF they are ordering one. Free chaperone tickets and pass holders are for admission only.

Boxed lunch orders must be received 5 business days prior to your field trip arrival. Groups will be responsible for all boxed lunches that were confirmed at that time.

6. Payment does not need to be paid at the time of registration. Choose the pay upon arrival option if you would like one person to pay for your entire trip on the day of your visit.

7. The prices of adult and children’s tickets are different.

8. You will receive a confirmation number and confirmation letter via email when your trip is confirmed. If you do not, please contact right away.

Outside Food & Drinks Policy

ZooTampa at Lowry Park offers a variety of delicious food for guests at several restaurants and concession stands throughout, but we understand that guests may need to bring outside food for special dietary needs. Acceptable and prohibited food items are listed below. For the convenience of our guests, there is a picnic area located outside the park near the main parking lot.

 Acceptable Items
  • Bottled water (max 20oz bottle, sealed) one per guest
  • Small snacks for young children
  • Baby food/baby formula
  • Soft-sided insulated bags no larger than 8.5” wide x 6” high x 6” deep (limit one per child)
  • Pre-purchased empty ZooTampa souvenir cups
  • Any food required for medical purposes and medically-indicated nutritional supplements
 Prohibited Items
  • Prepared or packaged food or meals
  • Alcohol
  • Glass or any open containers or water bottles filled with beverages
  • Hard-sided coolers of any size
  • Soft-sided coolers larger than 8.5” wide x 6” high x 6” deep
  • Suitcases and soft-sided bags with wheels larger than 24” long x 15” wide x 18” high

Prohibited Items

For the safety of our animals, guests and employees, the following items are not permitted to be brought into ZooTampa:

  • Any type of explosive or weapon 
  • Knives or other sharp objects
  • Pepper spray
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Marijuana
  • Illegal drugs
  • Straws
  • Clothing likely to create a danger or disturbance
  • Any hazardous items or materials

The following items are also prohibited to avoid blocking of walkways and/or trip hazards:

  • Segways
  • Hover boards
  • Two-wheeled scooters
  • Self-balancing electric vehicles
  • Shoes with wheels
  • Drones
  • Hard-sided coolers of any size
  • Soft-sided coolers larger than 8.5” wide x 6” high x 6” deep
  • Suitcases and soft-sided bags with wheels larger than 24” long x 15” wide x 18” high

Please leave any unnecessary articles secured within your vehicle to expedite your entry into the park.

We reserve the right to deny entry to anyone not observing Zoo Rules.

Pay For A Day Tickets

With a new Pay For A Day, Rest of Year Free ticket – for a limited time – you get unlimited admission through December 31, 2024 including access to our seasonal event series. Some blockout dates apply — see below for details. Not valid with any other discounts.

When does my Pay For A Day ticket expire?

Pay for a Day Get the Rest of the Year Free tickets purchased in October, November, or December of 2023, are valid from the day of purchase until 12/31/2024. Any Pay For a Day Get the Rest of the Year Free tickets purchased prior to October 1, 2023 expire on 12/31/2023.

What are the blockout dates?

11/24/23 – 11/26/23
12/26/23 – 12/31/23
3/9/24 – 3/17/24
11/24/24 – 11/26/24
12/26/24 – 12/31/24

Blockout dates apply to admission before 4:00 PM on the above dates.

Can I purchase a Pay For A Day ticket on a blockout date?

Yes! You can purchase a Pay for a Day, Rest of Year Free ticket for first-time use on a listed blockout date and have full access to the park on that day. Blockout dates apply to repeat visitation.

Can I use my Pay For A Day ticket on blockout dates? If you already have your Pay for a Day, Rest of Year Free ticket and wish to visit during a listed blockout date, please stop by the Zoo’s ticketing windows for alternate options:
  1. During blockout periods, Pay For A Day ticket holders have access to significantly discounted single-day tickets.*
  2. For a limited time from the date of purchase, Pay For A Day tickets can be upgraded to a Zoo Membership (with no blockout dates).
I purchased a Pay For A Day ticket online. How do I get my actual ticket?

Bring a copy of your confirmation (or show the confirmation email on your mobile device) to expedite entry into the Zoo. At your convenience during your visit you can stop by the Tours & Guest Services kiosk located just inside the Zoo to print your physical pass. No need to stand in line at the ticket windows. Walk right in!
Still have questions? Email us or call (813) 935-8552 ext. 0.