Located in the Porto Maravilha (Wonder Port), AquaRio brings together about three thousand animals in 28 tanks, totaling 4.5 million liters of salt water.
The Rio de Janeiro Marine Aquarium – AquaRio – opened its doors on November 9th in an area of 26 thousand square-meters, with five floors and 28 tanks that together hold a total of 4,5 millions liters of saltwater. It will be the biggest aquarium in Brazil and South America. About three thousand animals of 350 different species can be found in a variety of marine ecosystems. The biologist Marcelo Szpilman is in charge of the project’s conception, direction and technical responsibility.
The biggest attraction is the Recinto Oceânico (Oceanic Enclosure), with 3,5 million liters of water and seven meters of depth, where the public can cross the tank through an undersea tunnel, as well as live the experience of swimming with fishes, rays and the feared sharks. The place will also be the stage of the activity “Dormindo no Aquario” (Sleeping in the Aquarium), aimed for children 6 years or older who want to spend the night in the depths of AquaRio. The touch tanks offer an unique opportunity to get even closer to the aquatic ani-mals and touch the rays and sharks. The other enclosures house species such as the doctor fish, grouper, whiting, catshark, scorpion fish, bamboo shark, moray eels, whitetip reef shark, among others.
The Virtual Aquarium houses fishes that are created by the visitors through innovative technologies that allow personalization of the animal – species, color, size and name – and interacting with it through the digital screens that can be found all around, which even welcome you into the place. The Museum of Science has permanent and temporary exhibitions about subjects related to the marine and aquatic environment.
Meanwhile, the Museum of Surf shows the history of surfing in Brazil and in the world through historic surfboards, with some being used since the 60s, and a collection of photographs. The visitors can also go in behind the scenes tour for those who want to go further and see the entire structure of the AquaRio and its operation.