Posted by Vi Warkentin on
Vallarta Botanical Gardens - A half hour drive south of Puerto Vallarta is Vallarta Botanical Gardens, a 20-acre botanical garden featuring plant collections common to the Tropical Dry Forest Biome (where these gardens are located) as well as many exotic plants from around the world. These gardens also contain a great many hiking trails which I really enjoyed exploring. The Vallarta Botanical Gardens were opened to the public in 2005 and what a wonderful place to escape to for the day! Easily accessible by the public buses, we eagerly looked forward to exploring the Gardens as we were dropped off right at the entrance by the bus.
The Hacienda de Oro is the focal point of the Gardens, offering a wonderful restaurant with fantastic views as well as a museum and visitors centre but there is so much more to the Vallarta Botanical Gardens. Let’s explore.
With bug spray applied, we’re ready to set off on some of the trails and manicured gardens in the near vicinity of the Hacienda de Oro. A statue of Alexander Von Humboldt, a German naturalist and explorer greets us along the path near the entrance, considered an important botanical pioneer in recording and cataloguing plant and animal species of Mexico.
Also along the wide pathway into the Gardens are manicured gardens featuring lush trees, shrubs and gorgeous flowers.
The jungle trails throughout the Gardens beg us to explore them so we head down a trail called Vanilla Trail complete with a swinging bridge!
We make it across - a quick look back! Onwards and upwards.
A fork in the trail - we choose Calandria which continues deeper into the jungle. The Vanilla Trail loops back to where we just started from. A look back at one of the challenging sections on Calandria Trail - there’s a very steep drop-off next to the plank.
Gorgeous blooms emerge deep in the forest jungle.
A calm sanctuary found in the jungle - absolute quiet except for the the sound of the babbling brook and the chirping of birds high in the towering trees. Moss, ferns and lush undergrowth cover the jungle floor.
Emerging from the jungle trails, we discover more gardens near the Hacienda de Oro which we explore before heading in for lunch.
We’ve worked up an appetite and it’s time for a tasty lunch at the Hacienda de Oro’s 2nd floor restaurant with spectacular panoramic views.
Next - let’s explore the Jaguar Trail - an advanced trail which takes you through some challenging terrain and down to the Rio Los Horcones.