From its inception, Vallarta Botanical Garden set out to be the largest botanical garden in Mexico. Construction began in 2004 and the tropical region of Jalisco was chosen for its charming natural diversity.
It is located at kilometer 24 of the coastal highway from Puerto Vallarta to Barra de Navidad. Previously, it was a twenty-acre ranch and most of the stretches of land were cattle pastures. Do you want to learn more about Puerto Vallarta Botanical Garden? Then, read on!
History of Puerto Vallarta Botanical Garden
Overgrazing was the main activity in the area, meaning large numbers of cattle occupied the same stretch of land, which caused the soil to lose its nutrients as time went by. On the other hand, part of the territory was made up of a forest of deciduous trees, which lose their leaves and bloom to favor pollination.
In the beginning was the garden
The first part of the creation of Puerto Vallarta Botanical Garden was by the Hacienda de Oro restaurant and the Visitors’ Center. The garden began with them. Plant nurseries were developed to arrange the dissemination of plants, which led to the creation of walkways with statues throughout the space. Undoubtedly, the most inspiring part of this project was the planting process.
It started with a non-profit organization called Amigos del Jardín Botánico de Vallarta A.C. (Friends of the Vallarta Botanical Garden). It was headquartered in the United States and received tax-free donations. Puerto Vallarta’s flora and fauna became more and more relevant as time went by.
Botanical collections and featured flora
In the Vallarta gardens you can admire native vegetation unlike anywhere else in the world. We maintain the following most representative plants:
- The blue agave hills have been reforested with more than 6000 agave tequilana plants, also known as blue agave.
- Around the same area tropical hardwood trees have been planted, which are part of the region’s flora.
- There are more than 1000 specimens of the native tabebuia trees in the garden. Among them are mahogany and mountain pine, which have been planted on the land that was deforested for many years by overgrazing.
- Acorns have been key to growing native oak trees. As a result, the unique collection of Mexican oak is achieved, maintaining the world’s largest variety of oak trees. Thanks to this, you can observe over 160 species of oak tree in Mexico.
- The Galeana Family Cactus Garden neighbors the Tree Fern Grove.
- A tropical fruit orchard intersects with a beautiful suspension bridge.
- The Aquatic Plant Pond alongside the Esmeralda wells.
These features undoubtedly make the garden an ideal attraction to visit in Vallarta, both for tourists and botanical specialists.
Tour of Puerto Vallarta Botanical Garden
You can tour the Botanical Garden from Tuesday to Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. any time of the year. Children in school can tour the garden for free. Over one thousand students a year visit the magical botanical garden.
These tours have been a great success even among foreign visitors. They are interested in the color and biodiversity of Jalisco, since the flora of Puerto Vallarta is unique in terms of characteristics and species. Visiting these areas takes approximately 45 minutes. You could even listen to classical music during your walk to fully connect with nature.
Conservation and environmental education
One of the garden’s greatest conservation achievements is the Vallarta Orchid Society. It’s one of the focal points in Latin America for the rigorous study and preservation of orchids in Mexico. Training for environmental and plant care is promoted by the Garden Club. It’s a cultural and educational space that fosters other educational and scientific activities in the garden:
- Collaboration with Grassroots Natural Resource Conservation.
- Exchange with the Maya Nut Institute and the Center for Traditional Medicine.
- Research with the American Orchid Society and Sam Houston State University.
- Recognition from the Mexican Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources and the Mexican Agency for the Environment and Natural Resources.
- Recognition as a Wildlife Conservation Management Unit.
Enter the magical world of Vallarta Botanical Garden
Visit Vallarta and everything it has to offer. But, above all, don’t miss the most important Botanical Garden in Mexico. Its relevance is the result of the international recognition it has received for its conservation and research work for over ten years.
Plan your visit to Nuevo Vallarta and enter the enchanting world of nature. Learning about this environment will turn you into a potential agent of change.