The Puerto Vallarta Botanical Gardens are an absolute must see on anyone’s visit to PV. This hidden gem is located just 45 minutes south of PV along one of the most scenic highways in the area. The botanical gardens offer a truly peaceful oasis from the hustle and bustle of city life, and offer visitors a look at the flora and fauna that this unique area has to offer. Dont forget your hiking shoes and bathing suit because there are a plethora of beautifully maintained hiking trails, many of which lead you to the gorgeous Horcones River where you can take a refreshing dip on a warm sunny day.
The Vallarta Botanical Gardens are the creation of Bob Price and Jesus Reyes. Their mission was to provide an unprecedented opportunity for their community to share the wonder of the vast diversity of Mexico’s plant species with the world. They have already built the most-visited public collection of orchids in the country of Mexico.
What does a typical day at the Botanical Gardens look like? Well, allow me to walk you through it.
Wake up early, have a substantial breakfast to fuel you up for a few hours. Decide on how youre going to get there. Public bus can be caught in Old Town on the corner of Carranza and Aguacate streets (50 pesos per person). The bus ride will take about an hour. Or you can drive or take a taxi which cuts out a bit of time. Taxis typically charge around $350 pesos from Old Town.
Arrive at the Botanical Gardens! Admission is $200 pesos per person (kids 4 and under are free). Dogs cost 50 pesos and must be kept on leash at all times. Dont forget to bring your sunblock and bug spray. In the case that you did forget, they sell these items at the reception area where you pay your entrance.
Grab a map and decide what area you would like to explore first. Pick a few hiking trails that get you to different parts of the garden. Dont forget to stop and smell the jasmine, take pictures with the gigantic jade plant, ponder how you got so lucky in life to be in such a beautiful place, visit the orchid house.
Hike down to the river. Its pretty steep, but if you are physically able, I highly recommend it. There is a little beach down there perfect for wading into the river on a hot Spring day. Minerals in the river leave your skin and hair feeling like a million bucks!
Make the trek back up to the gift shop and restaurant area. You can either walk back up the main direct trail, or hike back on the longer Jaguar trail to the main Botanical Gardens building.
Have lunch at the seriously delicious restaurant on site. Talk about a view!!! Drinks served with sugar cane spears, edible flowers, and bamboo straws. It is truly a delight for the senses, and oh so quiet. I love the mole enchilandas, myself.
Perouse the gift shop which is the perfect place to pick up unique souvenirs. Local made chocolate, coffee, vanilla, regional guide books, and organic decor are just some of the offerings.
Spend the later afternoon relaxing in a shady nook (there are many!) in the Botanical Gardens. Take a book, take a nap, just enjoy the tranquility of this very special place!