Gardening: Jardin Botanico Vallarta definitely worth visiting

Visiting the Puerto Vallarta area to escape winter? Take the time to visit Jardin Botanico Vallarta. You will not be disappointed. These gardens were listed as one of the top 10 gardens in North America worth traveling to.

The 64 acre garden in situated 24 km south of Puerto Vallarta on the Palms to Pines highway. It is possible to get to the gardens by public bus, taxi, Uber, drive or book a tour. The cost is to get into the gardens is $200 peso which is roughly $14. Dogs are allowed in the gardens but they must be kept on a leash and clean up after them.

The botanical gardens were founded in 2004 and opened a year later. The amount that has been accomplished in the last 14 years is amazing. The gardens are well laid out with many different walks and areas to visit.

For those that enjoy a good walk, follow the Jaguar Trail. It will take you through the jungle to the Rio Los Horcones. The river alternates between bubbling rapids and a lazy current. One area where water flows quietly over big rocks is marked as the children’s waterslide. The Rio Los Horcones is a warm, clean river that invites at least a wade if not a swim. The rock formations along and in the river definitely add interest.

On the jungle walk, take time to look at the native plants along the way. Many will look familiar as similar plants have found their way into local greenhouses and our homes. Airplants Tillandsia are abundant attached to branches and forks of trees in the natural area and within the cultivated garden. Different varieties of Palm trees are found along the trail as well as in the gardens.

While the Jaguar Trail can be a challenge in flip flops the rest of the garden is easy to navigate. Well defined paths lead people between the different gardens and pathways. Expect to see large plantings of cacti, rhododendrons, agave, bromeliads, orchids, ficus, vanilla and other tropical plants.

As with every garden, what is in bloom catches the eye. In December the Bougainvillea were in full bloom with the traditional pinks as well as yellows, whites and bi-colours. The size of the plants and the mass of colourful bracts were magnificent. Large hibiscus shrubs were also blooming as we different varieties of orchids and pots of annuals.

Blooms are not everything in the garden. Keep an eye out for orchids, Staghorn ferns, bromides and other epiphytes that are found throughout the garden. These plants attach themselves to other plants but take their nutrition and moisture from rain and moist air.

Keep an eye out for the hummingbirds that are throughout the garden.

The restaurant was a great place to stop for a complimentary drink; iced Jamaica and a bite to eat. Prices are listed in both Peso and USD. One side of the building overlooks the cultivated garden and the other the jungle. Bird feeders are set up on the jungle side. Expect to see a number of different colourful birds at the feeders.

A small gift shop with local and garden related items, along with plants are available for purchase. Moneys from these sales go towards caring for the gardens.

The gardens are a peaceful retreat that offer a peek into the local flora. They are open from 9 until 6 seven days a week in the busy season.

Linda Tomlinson is a horticulturalist that lives by Rocky Mountain House. She can be reached at

Just Posted

Alberta energy war room must avoid online morass, preaching to choir: experts

CALGARY — Tzeporah Berman only learned of her cameo appearance at an… Continue reading

Two dead, including one who police believe was a child, in Alberta house fire

PLAMONDON, Alta. — Two people, including one who police believe was a… Continue reading

CSIS destroyed secret file on Pierre Trudeau, stunning historians

OTTAWA — Canada’s spy service destroyed a Cold War dossier on Pierre… Continue reading

Premier refuses to back down on plan to scrap 18,000 immigration applications

Quebec Premier Francois Legault is holding firm on his plan to scrap… Continue reading

Pro-pipelines rally draws crowd to City Hall

Canadian Taxpayers Federation says Canada missing out on billions in revenue

Federal cabinet decision on fate of Trans Mountain pipeline due Tuesday

OTTAWA — The Liberal government’s $4.5 billion gamble to buy the Trans… Continue reading

Skier, 22 dies after fall on Mount Haig near Castle Mountain Ski Resort

PINCHER CREEK, Alta. — RCMP from the Pincher Creek, Alta., detachment are… Continue reading

4 years in, Trump fondly recalls Trump Tower campaign launch

NEW YORK — It was the escalator ride that would change history.… Continue reading

Massive protests draw apology from Hong Kong leadership

Hong Kong citizens marched for hours Sunday in a massive protest that… Continue reading

Butterfly garden keeper manages to film large tarantula shedding exoskeleton

VICTORIA — A 20-centimetre tarantula capable of killing a bird has been… Continue reading

Telegraph-Journal wins 2018 Michener Award recognizing public-service journalism

OTTAWA — The Telegraph-Journal in New Brunswick has been named the winner… Continue reading

Victorious Raptors cancel their return to Toronto after becoming NBA champs

TORONTO — Some Raptors players returned to Toronto on Saturday night for… Continue reading

How a Montreal working-class neighbourhood’s activists changed Quebec and Canada

MONTREAL — The Pointe-St-Charles neighbourhood is isolated from the rest of Montreal… Continue reading

Most Read