55 Music Concourse Dr.
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco CA
Regular Hours:


9:30 am – 5:00 pm


11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Members' Hours:


8:30 – 9:30 am


10:00 – 11:00 am

Please note: The Academy will be closing at 3:00 pm on 10/24 (final entry at 2:00 pm). We apologize for any inconvenience.

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Rainforests of the World

Step inside a living 4-story rainforest, where dripping water sets the beat for a symphony of croaking frogs and chirping birds. Meet chameleons from Madagascar, climb into the tree-tops of Costa Rica to find free-flying birds and butterflies. Finally, descend in a glass elevator into the Amazonian flooded forest, where an acrylic tunnel allows you to walk beneath the catfish and arapaima that swim overhead.

About the Dome

The rainforest is contained within a spectacular 90-foot diameter glass dome. It's the largest spherical rainforest exhibit in the world.

Follow a spiraling path up through the exhibit, experience what it's like to actually walk in a real rainforest. Temperatures are maintained at 82-85 degrees Fahrenheit, and humidity is maintained at 75% or above using a unique misting system.

Animals of the Rainforest

The rainforest is teeming with 1,600 live animals - including 250 free-flying birds and butterflies, 100 exotic reptiles and amphibians. There's also 100,000 gallon "Flooded Forest" tank, where hundreds of tropical freshwater fish cruise overhead.

Each level represents a different rainforest around the world - Borneo, Madagascar, Costa Rica and the Amazon. Each level represents a distinct rainforest habitat containing its own special zoological garden.

Tropical Plants

Eighty skylights in the roof, supplemented with metal halide lights, enable the growth of lush, tropical plants found in various rainforests around the world.

Living plants include numerous trees - such as the Brazilian beautyleaf and West Indies mahogany, dozens of shrubs - including Theobrama cacao, the plant from which chocolate is made, and hundreds of flowering plants - from begonias and philodendrons to orchids and bromeliads.

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The rainforest exhibit opens at 10:00 am every day.

Thank you for following all posted warnings against photography at selected exhibits. These rules are important to maintain the health of our animals.

Rainforest Blog


A new bird egg is backlit with light

Academy biologists share the inside scoop on new babies, specimens, and more. Learn more

Explore Science

  • Rainforests once covered 14% of the Earth's land surface. Now they cover less than 6%. Learn more.
  • Meet Dr. Brian Fisher and his pioneering work in Madagascar. He's just one of the Academy's very own Science Heroes.
  • Follow ongoing Academy research taking place in Sao Tome and Principe. Visit the Gulf of Guinea blog.



It's hard to miss a 4-story rainforest encased in a glass sphere but just in case...

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