Dear Friends of the Gardens,
The Vallarta Botanical Gardens is a showcase not only of the plants of the coastal Jalisco region, but for many other parts of our biodiverse country as well. In a recent exploratory trip to some remote parts of Nayarit State, I was amazed by the vibrant diversity of plants that come to life during the summer rainy season. During the monsoon season though, many of these succulents lose the limelight to the wildflowers, vines, and shrubs that suddenly burst into action and color for a short season of abundant heat and moisture.
The mountainous geography of Mexico’s west coast means that many of these delightful plants are endemic to small parcels of tropical dry forest and known only by local inhabitants and a handful of botanists and adventurers. As the human footprint extends further into former wilderness and these forests become smaller, the chances of losing such species to extinction becomes a serious threat. Ex-situ conservation in botanical gardens is one of the best ways to ensure a future for such endemics. Responsible collection and cultivation then becomes more than what meets the eye, but these botanical marvels are certainly alluring in their own right.
Look for some of these new treasures in the VBG’s collections during your next visit here:
The Canadian Garden Tourism Council has declared the Vallarta Botanical Gardens one of the “Top 10 Gardens in North America Worth Traveling For.” To those of you in Puerto Vallarta, please come up to the mountains and visit us soon; to those of you in other places, we’re well worth the travel!
From the Gardens,
Bob Price, Curator and Founder
There are always flowers for those who want to see them. – Henri Matisse
A New Species of Magnolia Named After Our City
A new species of magnolia was recently discovered in the mountains along the periphery of Puerto Vallarta. As its range is believed to be limited only to small tracks of forests in this region including those entirely within the Puerto Vallarta city limits, it has aptly been named Magnolia vallartensis. The forest where vallartensis was discovered is with all certainty one of the…
…most northerly occurring of the famously biodiverse tropical cloud forests along the Pacific Coast of Mexico. These richly mixed forests contain a combination of tropical and temperate plants and are high in numbers of endemic and endangered species from plants such as magnolias and orchids to animals including parrots and jaguars. The Vallarta Botanical Gardens are now cooperating with researchers from the University of Guadalajara and the OPD Xihutla for the conservation of Magnolia vallartensis and the cloud forests of our region. Conservation goals include the creation of an ex-situ magnolia collection at the Gardens specializing in Mexican species and a designated preserve of the “Magnolia Vallartensis Cloud Forest” complete with a hiking trail system open to the public.
Mexican Orchid of the Month
Barkeria palmeri is endemic to the tropical deciduous and semi-deciduous forests of Pacific coastal Mexico at elevations from sea level to 1300 meters. This orchid is deciduous and loses its leaves in the fall before its mid-winter bloom. It’s best to mount this species on wood sticks and give plenty of bright light, water and fertilizer while growing. As the leaves yellow and fall off in the mid to late fall that is the time to stop watering and fertilizing, withholding until new growth appears in the early spring after blooming.
(Many thanks to Vallarta Orchid Society President T. J. Hartung for permission to draw on information from his publication “Orchids Found ONLY in Mexico,” available in the Gardens‟ gift store.) We continue to seek sponsors for the Conservatory for the National Collection of Mexican Orchids; please click here to donate today!
See You in September
After first announcing that we’d be closed for the month of September, we’ve decided to remain open after all (except for Mondays.) Garden services will be limited at this time and the daily 1:00 pm tour will be postponed until October. The bar will also be opened at this time and will serve both beverages and snacks, but the full services of the restaurant will not be reopened until October. Now that we’re out on a limb to stay opened, please come out and enjoy the Gardens year-round!
Road repairs at last!
Many thanks to the road crew repairing the potholes along the route to the Gardens (Palms to Pines Scenic Highway 200.) We were very impressed to see the assortment of heavy equipment they brought out and how they set right in to the long-awaited repairs. Within a short time from now you should be able to expect a smoother, faster, and safer trip out to visit us at the Gardens.
In Loving Memory Stephen David Clay
The Vallarta Botanical Gardens celebrate the life and memory of our friend and coworker Stephen David Clay. Impassioned by the natural splendor of Vallarta’s forests and the beauty of the VBG’s plant collections and displays, Stephen worked to share these joys with others and invite them to support our work. A memorial for Stephen was hosted at the Gardens…
… on July 18th and a “Celebration of Life” will be held for him in his home state of Pennsylvania on Sunday, September 8th. Stephen’s obituary as prepared by his sister Cynthia may be viewed here Any questions concerning memberships and tiles should now be directed to either [email protected] or to any on site management staff in person or by calling 322 223 6182.
On behalf of everyone here at the Vallarta Botanical Gardens, we’ll miss you Steve.
Rainforest Conservation Festival
August 17-31 (Daily Hours 9 am – 6 pm)
The native tropical dry forests of our region are magically transformed during the summer rainy season taking on characteristics of true rainforests. Nowhere is this more the case than at the Vallarta Botanical Gardens in our rainforest demonstration areas. The current highlights of these…
…areas are two of the most famous Mexican rainforest plants—cocoa and vanilla—which are in fruit at this time.
Even the ride out to the Gardens along the Palms to Pines Scenic Highway (Carretera 200) is a spectacular sight to behold now with waterfalls and trees cloaked with vines and encrusted with orchids and bromeliads. Prepare for an unrivaled botanical experience!
Daily activities throughout the festival included with your 60 pesos/person entry fee: Garden Tours, Birding Tours (bring your binoculars), Tropical River Swimming (Depending on the flow), Face Painting, Arts and Crafts, Movie Hour, FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY!
Also Enjoy: “The Lost Mine of the Sierra Madre’’ Gemstone & Mineral Adventure ($80 MXN/ bucket of mine tailings) Find your own real Mexican gemstones!
Restaurant Special during the Festival: Ham or Chicken Panini w/ Fries and soft drink, or Chicken Stuffed Avocado and a soft drink ($100 MXN.) Regular menu also available.
Festival Kickoff and Environmental Leaders Award, Saturday the 17th, 1:00 pm: Free Admission! (The 17th only) The Vallarta Botanical Gardens will recognize efforts and accomplishments of local conservation organizations and individuals. Everyone is invited to participate and share about their vision and their work. Learn about local efforts to save our planet. Workshops and discussions from 2-5 pm.
Garden Amenities and Services
Visit the Gardens’ Hacienda de Oro Restaurant for authentic Mexican food and brick-oven pizza. Our new menu includes delicious dishes such as fish and shrimp tacos. Hike the Gardens’ nature trails and bask in tropical mountain scenery. Experience the Orchid Conservatory, Gift Shop, plant nursery, tequila tasting and more. You can even shop the Gardens remotely through our online store. The very best of Vallarta!
Please Become a Member or Renew Your Membership
Become part of the family that preserves this important sanctuary forever!
Become a member today. Click here for more information: Memberships.
We Would Like to Acknowledge Our Trustees
and Copa de Oro Sponsors for Their Ongoing Support
of the Vallarta Botanical Gardens:
Gary & Susan Adamson
Alan & Patricia Bickell
Barry Briskin & Dr. Susannah Briskin
Christopher Davidson & Sharon Christoph
The Galeana Family
The Holstein Family
Charles & Judith Silberstein
Barbarita & Bob Sypult
COPA DE ORO MEMBERS:
Jim & Kimberly Bennett
The McCall Family—Villa Los Arcos
Dr. James Manne
No Way José! Restaurant-Bar
Roger & Joana Smith
Devin & Ellen Zagory
We Also Thank the Following Foundations for Their Recent Support:
Charles H. Stout Foundation
Shirley K. Schlafer Foundation
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The Vallarta Botanical Gardens
Your Best Vacation Value!
Spend the day in the Gardens for only $60 pesos.
Located 30 minutes south of Old Town, Puerto Vallarta, on Carretera a Barra Navidad at km 24, just past Las Juntas y Los Veranos.
Telephone (322) 223-6182
Open from 9 am to 5 pm, Tuesday to Sunday