10 Best Places to See Capybaras in Taiwan (cuteness overload!)

A hand petting a capybara's heads

Don’t ask me how or why capybaras (水豚, literally “water dolphins”) became one of the hottest tourist attractions in Taiwan.

Yes, there does seem a global obsession with the world’s largest rodent in the last few years. But I’ve seen more than a few travelers come to Taiwan with capybaras at the top of their Taiwan itinerary (they’re also huge in Japan).

According to my wife, who is Taiwanese, there’s a Mandarin expression that perfectly summarizes why people love capybaras so much: 醜得可愛, which means “ugly cute”. This ridiculous capybara song and countless viral TikTok videos have also helped.

In this article, I’ll introduce the best places in Taiwan to see capybaras. All of them are kid-friendly. I’ve personally been to several of them because I just had to see what all the fuss is about. The biggest surprise for me was just how chilled out these oversized rodents are!

Top 3 Capybara Spots

Since you probably won’t be visiting all 10 capybara farms and cafes in Taiwan, I’ve narrowed it down to the three best ones, from my personal experience.

Pingtung Kenting Paradise

Nick Kembel kneeling down and petting the head of a capybara
I enjoyed some alone time with the capybaras in Kenting

Pingtung Kenting Paradise (墾丁鹿ㄦ島水豚生態園區) is my personal favorite place to meet capybaras in Taiwan. The main reasons I liked this one best is because there were lots of capybaras and it was not crowded (on a weekday), so I was able to have a very personal experience with the huge rodents.

Also, the only place in Taiwan where you’ll find a dedicated capybara shrine (Japanese-style, of course, because Japan is cool). AND it’s the only place in Taiwan where you can swim with capybaras.

A cartoonish staue of a capybara made to look like a god in a red shrine
Worship the capybara god!

Don’t get too excited about the swimming part, though. You’ll have to pay an extra fee, wear the wetsuit provided, and the pool isn’t very big or deep. There are showers on site, so you shouldn’t smell too much like a capybara after.

Besides interacting with the capybaras and praying to the capybara gods, you can see giant turtles, baby goats, and sika deer. There are also rocks you can smash to find a capybara coin inside, which can be exchanged for merchandise in the shop.

Your entrance ticket also comes with a voucher to be used towards the cafe at the end – I went for a capybara popsicle.

A chubby capybara sleeping on its side on the ground
A fat snoozing guy

The attraction is just north of Hengchun in Pingtung county, which you’ll pass through on the drive to Kenting National Park. It’s about 30 minutes’ drive before Kenting Main Beach and Night Market. Here’s are my hotel recommendations in Kenting.

Buy discount tickets for Pingtung Kenting Paradise on Klook.

Capybara Knight, New Taipei City

A hand holding up a small cake that is shaped like a capybara, with an iced coffee and two capybara stuffies also on the table
Capybara-shaped cakes

Capybara Knight (水豚騎士) is the only dedicated capybara café in the Greater Taipei Area. It is in Tucheng District of New Taipei City, but you can get there by riding the Taipei MRT blue line to Tucheng Station and walking five minutes.

The café has a minimum charge of TWD 100 per person. They’ve got capybara cakes with chocolate sauce for dipping, smoothies, pizza, noodles, and other small eats.

Nick Kembel kneeling next to a shallow pond and petting the head of a capybara in it.
Thanks to some Filipino travelers for helping me to take this picture!

You’ll need pay an additional TWD 50 for a 15-minute time slot for visiting the two capybaras and one duck outside. The capybaras’ names are Gabi (male) and Bala (female). They are especially chubby because visitors get to feed them snacks all day long.

A close up of the snout and face of a capybara
Extreme close-up

You can also buy some capybara paraphernalia here, including capybara stuffies and headbands with an orange on top (capybaras are known to be able to balance oranges on their heads).

The café is understandably popular, so you’ll want to book your table here, and try to go on a weekday if you can.

Zhang Mei Ama’s Farm, Yilan

A young Asian woman feeding a capybara in Taiwan
Zhang Mei Ama’s is super popular

I put Zhang Mei Ama’s Farm (張美阿嬤農場) in the top-3 because it by far the most popular place to see capybaras in Taiwan. However, I didn’t enjoy it as much because it is very crowded, with constant bus loads of tourists.

Of the many leisure farms with animals in Yilan county, Zhang Mei Ama’s has risen to the top as the most popular one. This is not a real “farm” but rather a petting zoo for tourists.

Nick Kembel taking a selfie with a capybara
I still managed to get personal time with the capybaras, but I had to wait

There are around half a dozen capybaras here. But the petting zoo is especially known for having a wide variety of cute and exotic animals. These include Valais blacknose sheep, sika deer, giant turtles, and some tiny marsupials.

Entrance is 200 for adults and kids age 6+, 50 for 2-5, and free for age 0-1. Entrance ticket includes a small dessert and food to feed the animals. There’s also the option to add a short cooking class or other DIY activities.

A capybara on the ground with tourists standing around it and one person taking a picture of it
These guys are chill even when surrounded by tourists

This zoo is fairly small, so only expect to spend around 1 hour here. Buy tickets online here. It is a 15-minute taxi ride from Luodong Station in Yilan (1-2 hour train ride from Taipei) or you can take this day tour from Taipei.

Consider to combine Zhang Mei Ama with a DIY green onion experience nearby, as this area is famous for its green onion farms. Then finish your day at Luodong Night Market!

Other Capybara Attractions around Taiwan

Here are more places where you can see capybaras around Taiwan. Most of these only have a capybaras or capybaras are not really the main focus.

Xpark Aquarium, Taoyuan

An animal trainer holding up a limbo stick while a capybara jumps over it
Did you know that capybaras can jump? (image ” by 快樂雲 is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Xpark in Taoyuan is Taiwan’s best aquarium (personal opinion – I liked it more than the larger but older aquarium in Kenting).

While the focus of Xpark is of course on marine creatures, like sharks, rays, penguins, and jellyfish, they also have a small outdoor venue with daily animal performances – and these include capybaras.

Xpark is very convenient to reach as it is just 10 minutes’ walk from Taoyuan HSR station. This makes it very easy to reach from Taipei or on the way to/from the airport when leaving/arriving in Taiwan. See my HSR guide and travel directions from Taipei to Taoyuan airport for more info.

See my Xpark guide for the animal show times and buy your tickets online here for faster entry (avoid weekends if possible!)

Dancewoods Japanese Garden, Yilan

Dancewoods is the second-most popular place to see capybaras in Yilan county. This facility is more varied, though – capybaras are not the main focus, but you can see a couple of them there.

Besides the capybaras, Dancewoods also has a Japanese garden, wafuku (traditional Japanese clothing) rental, Japanese tea ceremony, sika deer, meerkats, hedgehogs, and more.

Buy discounted tickets here or spend the night at Dancewoods Hotel. Dancewoods in a 10-minute taxi ride from Luodong Station in Yilan, in the opposite direction from Zhang Mei Ama.

Hobbit Valley, Miaoli

Close up of the front half and head of a capybara, with his eyes closed, sitting on the ground, and paws stretched out in front of him
Super chill capybara

Hobbit Valley (哈比丘茶樹森林) in Miaoli county is especially known for its Hobbit Houses, but of course they have some capybaras too.

Come here to be transported into a Lord of the Rings setting, and just follow the capybara signs to find your favorite oversized rodents on site.

Hobbit Valley is in a remote, natural setting with beautiful views. They’ve also got children’s hammocks, other farm animals, and a restaurant/café.

But discount tickets for Hobbit Valley on Klook. You’ll need to drive to get here – it’s a 20-minute drive from Dahu, which is famous for strawberry picking.

Sichongxi Hot Spring Park, Pingtung

If the above entry isn’t enough capybara love for you, there’s another spot you can see capybaras in Pingtung. That would be at Sichongxi Hot Spring Park (四重溪溫泉公園).

This park is a 15-minute detour (by car or scooter) from Checheng, which is on the highway between Kaohsiung and Kenting.

The hot spring park features foot bathing tubs, Japanese architecture, cute statues, and a capybara pen. If you happen to come at night, there are lots of lights and lanterns throughout the park, giving it a very cool vibe.

Senya Village, Kaohsiung

Two capybaras shot from behind, looking through the gaps in a wooden fence
Curious about the outside world

Senya Village (千野村-日式景觀園區) is yet another Japanese-themed village with capybaras, this time in Kaohsiung.

The main focus here is on photo ops in Japanese settings, with kimonos and yukatas for rent. You can see the capybaras from pretty close up but not interact with them. There are also Japanese snacks like grilled fish, mochi, and beer available.

Expect a 45-minute drive from central Kaohsiung, or you can follow the directions here (scroll down for English) to get fairly close by bus then taxi the rest of the way.

Buy discount tickets for Senya Village on Klook.

Mogu Kabi, Tainan

Mogu Kabi (夏威夷豆塔專賣店) is a capybara-themed café in Tainan city. There are a few capybaras out back – you can see them through the café window, but you can’t interact with them.

The fesh fruit tarts are delicious and Instagrammable, with little capybara cut-outs on top, but they are pricey, at TWD 250+, but you’re essentially paying for the experience.

The café is located 15 minutes’ walk east of Tainan station in the city center – most of Tainan city’s temples and attractions are west of the train station.

Wanpi World Zoo, Tainan

As far as zoos go, I don’t really recommend Wanpi World Zoo (頑皮世界野生動物園) in northern Tainan. The zoo is quite old, there’s more cement than nature, and some enclosures are too small or the water looks dirty. It’s not in a super convenient location, either.

Wanpi World does have some capybaras, though, which is why I mention it here. They’ve also got a few other cute animals like servals and Fennec foxes. If your kids are capybara or animal lovers, they’ll surely enjoy it, but there are better options in Taiwan.

Close up of a capybara's head resting on the ground with its hands sticking out
See ya later capybara!

A few more places have come to my attention since writing this article:

  • Pushin Ranch (埔心牧場) in Taoyuan has capybaras (and even a capybara statue) plus a pond, green tunnel (formed by trees over the path), pond, cows, bunnies, and other animals.
  • Feiwu Mama (廢物媽媽育兒農場) in Nanliao, Hsinchu is an animal park with capybaras, giant tortoises, alpacas, and more. It’s near a kite-flying park and beach on the coast.
  • Whirl Lan Bay View Restaurant (洄瀾灣景觀餐廳) is a restaurant just north of Hualien City near Qixingtan Beach that has a few capybaras and alpacas outside.
  • 張家の樹園 (here) and 月崖灣親子農場 (here) are two more Japanese-themed parks south of Hualien city which also have capybaras. They are among the things to do in Hualien which are still open following the 2024 earthquake.

8 thoughts on “10 Best Places to See Capybaras in Taiwan (cuteness overload!)”

  1. Tried to make a reservation for the Capybara Knight Cafe but it seems to not take my phone number. Do I have to arrive in Taipei and get a local SIM number first to register? Thanks.

  2. I didn’t have a local number when I booked. I think I just used a fake number or maybe my hotel’s number. You can try to input a 10-digit number starting with 09 (mobile numbers in Taiwan). Also note: when I went there at opening time on a weekday, it was almost empty, so I don’t think a reservation would be needed at that time.

  3. I just went to Capybara Knight on April 1, 2024. I made my reservation through their Facebook page. FYI I am American and I didn’t have any problems making the reservation.

  4. Thank you for this very VERY detailed article of all the capybara-related places I can visit in Taiwan.

    I was searching for other capybara places in Taiwan before my travel in the first week of June. I actually went to Capybara Knight last July 2023 but walk-ins were not accepted even at the earliest time (around 11AM) and the only way to get in is via reservation.

    And then I saw that there’s a better chance to meet with more capybaras at Pingtung Kenting Paradise. But when I opened Google Maps, it’s at the southernmost part of the country. Now, I wonder how I will be able to go there after getting an HSR ride from Taipei to Zuoying.

    Are there any trains, buses, taxis, or at least an Uber ride that can take me there? If so, do you have an idea about the estimated cost?

    Hoping to hear from you or from anyone who actually went there via commute only. Thank you in advance!

  5. The capybara paradise place is just before Hengchun city when taking the bus (or driving) from Zuoying to Kenting. So you can take the Kenting shuttle bus from Zuoying to Kenting and get off the bus when it passes by the capybara place. After visiting, take another bus to Kenting for going to the beach or staying in a resort/hotel there (otherwise that’s quite a long journey only to see capybaras!) See my Kenting article for more info about getting there and visiting Kenting.

  6. I highly recommend another place in Luodong called
    星夢森林劇場, Most Capy there would shake hands with you and even sit for you. You can even buy more feed if you wish.

  7. Hi Nick,

    Thanks for this comprehensive list! Would love to pet or feed a capybara on my trip later this year, so I’m grateful for your research!

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