Vallarta Botanical Gardens Part 1

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.Vallarta Botanical Gardens_IMG_9562.jpg

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.Vallarta Botanical Gardens_IMG_9667.jpg
Also along the wide pathway into the Gardens are manicured gardens featuring lush trees, shrubs and gorgeous flowers.Vallarta Botanical Gardens_IMG_9673.jpg

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Vallarta Botanical Gardens_IMG_9655.jpgThe jungle trails throughout the Gardens beg us to explore them so we head down a trail called Vanilla Trail complete with a swinging bridge!
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We make it across - a quick look back! Onwards and upwards.Vallarta Botanical Gardens_IMG 9571.jpg

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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. Vallarta Botanical Gardens_IMG_9574.jpgA look back at one of the challenging sections on Calandria Trail - there’s a very steep drop-off next to the plank. Vallarta Botanical Gardens_IMG_9579.jpg

Vallarta Botanical Gardens_IMG 9582.jpgGorgeous blooms emerge deep in the forest jungle.Vallarta Botanical Garden_IMG 9581.jpg

Vallarta Botanical Gardens_IMG 9584.jpgA 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.Vallarta Botanical Gardens_IMG_9585.jpg

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Vallarta Botanical Gardens_IMG_9588.jpgEmerging from the jungle trails, we discover more gardens near the Hacienda de Oro which we explore before heading in for lunch.Vallarta Botanical Gardens_IMG_9589.jpg

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Vallarta Botanical Gardens_IMG 9611.jpgWe’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.Vallarta Botanical Garden_IMG_9566.jpg

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Next - let’s explore the Jaguar Trail - an advanced trail which takes you through some challenging terrain and down to the Rio Los Horcones.

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Welcome to my travel photo blog. Photography has been a part of my life for a long time – back in the day the Pentax Super Program was always near at hand. But it wasn’t until I started travelling around the world that photography became a vehicle for me to show others about the absolutely amazing and complex world we live in. My hope is to share with you glimpses of what I’ve seen. Enjoy!