Puerto Vallarta Botanical Gardens

See native birds, plants and animals in this secluded wildlife area just half an hour away from Puerto Vallarta.

The Puerto Vallarta Botanical Gardens are a 20-acre (8-hectare) natural wildlife area. Follow tranquil paths and walk amongst native oak trees, orchids and bromeliads. See the plants from which vanilla and tequila are made. Spot local birds and swim in the watering holes. These gardens are a beautiful spot dedicated to preserving Mexico’s natural environment. The bus from Puerto Vallarta drops visitors right outside the entrance to the gardens. Follow the main trail toward the seasonal flowers and vegetables, and see the giant strangler fig tree to the right. These trees are found all of over this part of Mexico. Continue along the main trail toward the vanilla conservatory, which is dedicated to the cultivation of vanilla orchids. See the aquatic plants pond right next to the conservatory. Stop for a sandwich or sit-down lunch at the restaurant, located in the Hacienda de Oro Visitor Center. This building has excellent views of the nearby Sierra Madre mountains. Take the Jaguar Trail from the visitor center, and observe these graceful mammals as they wander through the surrounding mountains. The Agave Hills Trail features over 6,000 blue agave plants. These spiky plants, native to this part of Mexico, produce the key ingredient in tequila. The gardens also have a large collection of native oak trees, as well as mountain pine and mahogany trees, plus a variety of birds including trogons and macaws.Puerto Vallarta Botanical Gardens are a 30-minute drive south from central Puerto Vallarta down Highway 200. Catch a bus headed toward El Tuito from the Romantic Zone of Puerto Vallarta. Buses are cheap and leave every 30 minutes. The gardens are open daily between January and March, and closed Mondays between April and December. Make sure to wear insect repellant to ward off local bugs called jejenes, which are similar to mosquitoes and can deliver an itchy bite.