Dear Friends of the Gardens,
Our recent inclusion in the list of the “TOP 10 Gardens in North America Worth Traveling For” by the Canadian Garden Tourism Conference confirms what we have already known to be true: a visit to the Vallarta Botanical Gardens is a world-class experience. Crunching the numbers, we’ve confirmed a hunch that until now we couldn’t easily quantify: with an entry fee of only 60 pesos per person, a visit to the VBG is an unparalleled value!
“TOP 10 Gardens in North America Worth Traveling For”
As declared by the Garden Tourism Conference, March 19, 2013
Adult Admission Rates
|Atlanta Botanical Garden||Atlanta, GA, USA||
|The Butchart Gardens||Victoria, BC, CAN||
|Chanticleer Garden||Wayne, PA, USA||
|Filoli||Woodside, CA, USA||
|Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden||Richmond, VA, USA||
|Missouri Botanical Garden||St Louis, MO, USA||
|Montreal Botanical Garden||Montreal, QC, CAN||
|Portland Japanese Garden||Portland, OR, USA||
|Springs Preserve||Las Vegas, NV, USA||
|Vallarta Botanical Gardens||Puerto Vallarta, JAL, MX||
|Average Adult Admission Rate:||
|Note: Conversion rate used: 13 MXN = 1 USD/CAN
~ = approximate conversion from USD/CAN to MXN or vica versa.
Summertime is our most popular season for year-round Vallarta residents and their families. With our cool mountain breezes and refreshing swimming opportunities along the Rio Los Horcones, we’re a great place to “beat the heat” when it warms up in the lower elevations. Just check the water level first; a big rainstorm can turn this peaceful river into a whitewater torrent overnight! In that case, hiking along the banks can provide some thrilling views until the river settles back down again.
The forest has come to life once again since the season’s first rains earlier this month and the gardens’ jungle trails are radiant with fresh greenery and flowers to revel in. One particular plant that may catch your attention during this season is the Tillandsia ionanthia. A member of the bromeliad a.k.a pineapple family, tillandsias include Spanish Moss (Tillandsia usneoides) which ranges from the southeastern United States to Argentina. The T. ionanthia, especially its Mexican variety, is a much showier plant with leaves that become bright red before their deep purple flowers emerge. These flowers are also a popular hummingbird attractant found throughout the Gardens.
Without the direct government funding that many of the other “TOP 10 Gardens in North America Worth Traveling For” receive we thank our members and donors for allowing us to continue our mission, “to create Mexico’s foremost botanical garden for the discovery, study, propagation, conservation and display of native and exotic plants for the enjoyment of Puerto Vallarta’s residents and our visitors.”
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
Hear blessings dropping their blossoms around you. –Rumi
Top Shelf Compost
Patrón Spirits Company has long been renowned for its top shelf tequila. Now the Vallarta Botanical Gardens have been the happy recipient of a new product of theirs—top shelf compost!
The “piñas” or “hearts” of agave as they are known in English, are roasted to make the mash that is then fermented and distilled to form this beverage, but what happens to the byproduct? Unfortunately, many distillers simply pour these nutrient depleted liquids and fibers out as trash. For an environmentally responsible company like Patrón however, this was never an option. They invested in state-of-the art facilities to churn and aerate these byproducts until they form usable compost. And what an incredible compost it yields!
Several truckloads of this compost was donated to the Gardens and it didn’t take long to discover how well it serves. Within weeks, the Garden’s curator had several people ask about what was done differently in the rose garden to prompt such bountiful blossoms. Expecting to hear of a miraculous new brand of fertilizer or pesticide, they were surprised to hear that the answer is in the dirt—by mixing in nutrient rich compost.
Thank you Tequila Patrón for the compost and for demonstrating leadership in environmental responsibility here in Jalisco State!
Lost Birds of Mexico
A novel project in the US, the “Lost Bird Project” www.lostbirdproject.org is promoting environmental consciousness and conservation of endangered birds by memorializing extinct species with somber and thought provoking bronze statues.
An endemic Mexican bird, the Imperial Woodpecker (Campephilus imperialis), unfortunately already qualifies for the growing list of birds that are gone forever. The Imperial Woodpecker was the largest…
The Imperial Woodpecker once ranged throughout the Western Sierra Madres from Sonora to Michoacán and was not considered uncommon until the 1950’s when habitat loss and hunting rapidly reduced populations.
The last confirmed sighting of this bird was in Durango State in 1956 and more recent studies indicate that it likely survived into the 90’s. Still officially listed as critically endangered, many hopeful birders visiting the pine covered mountains just beyond the Gardens keep their eyes out for this incredible creature just in case a few remaining birds have escaped detection in sections of their former range.
The sad reality is that the chance for such a miraculous rediscovery is slim to none and official confirmation of its extinction is likely to be declared soon. As sad as this is, we can use it as a call to action in the imperative conservation work for other endangered species.
The Military Macaw, one of the largest and most emblematic parrots of Mexico is disappearing at an alarming rate right before our eyes from continued habitat loss and poaching. Vast swaths of the Military Macaw’s habitat, tropical dry forests, are destroyed every day and the few remaining wild birds are captured for the illegal pet trade at a rate which will soon make them disappear from our skies if decisive action is not taken soon.
The Gardens, while working with other activists are doing its part in protecting the Macaws through environmental education, community forest conservation initiatives, nest box introduction, and nest site monitoring and vigilance.
With your help we can do more. Please contact us at [email protected] or 322 223 6182 if you wish to help with any of these important projects. Don’t ever take for granted what may not be here tomorrow.
Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
Alfred Lord Tennyson (from Ulysses)
Mexican Orchid of the Month
This miniature Epiphytic orchid is found along the Pacific coast from sea level to 1600 meters in the states of Guerrero and Oaxaca. Its flowers, which bloom from late fall until early spring, are highly fragrant.
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!
We will also be closed for the month of September.
Mexican National Arbor Day
Thursday, July 11th
Forests have been nourishing civilizations long before written history, sometimes remaining underappreciated until we suffer the loss of trees through wildfires or our own destruction. Many cultures have long traditions of honoring trees, and by now most of the world’s countries have formal Arbor Day celebrations.
The Vallarta Botanical Gardens celebrates Mexico’s Día del Árbol this coming July 11. As a botanical garden, we emphasize the importance of plants to our lives and to the planet every day. We specifically recognize trees as the “lungs” of our planet, homes to some of our favorite animals and the source of…
VBG has even hosted events focused on specific species of trees, such as our annual Capomo Harvest Festival in March, in partnership with the Maya Nut Institute.
On July 12 you can join our celebration by planting a tree here at the Gardens or by purchasing one to take home to your home, rooftop, patio or windowsill garden.
We are offering an Arbor Day discount of 10% off amapas, primaveras and other native trees from our nursery.
July 20 – August 20th
The summer rains are upon us again in their full glory. During this enchanting time, cliff sides are transformed into waterfalls, arroyos become rios, and the forests trees are draped in every shade of green imaginable while all colors of the rainbow are represented in flowers and fruit. Two globally important culinary plants, vanilla (Vanilla planifolia) and cacao (Theobroma cacao) native to the rainforests of Mexico will be especially celebrated during our Rainforest Festival.
Stay tuned on Facebook for more information about this exciting time to revel in the splendor of the tropical forest.
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
Marcelo Mico Pilates
No Way José! Restaurant-Bar
Roger & Joana Smith
Timothy Real Estate Group
Devin & Ellen Zagory
We Also Thank the Following Foundations for Their Recent Support:
Charles H. Stout Foundation
Shirley K. Schlafer Foundation
We Appreciate Your Feedback!
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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