Head South out of Puerto Vallarta past some of the most exclusive real estate in the City and you will find Vallarta Botanical Gardens, a must veer for both visitors and residents alike.

The gardens were the brainchild of Robert Price who started to create the gardens in 2004 from scratch. The whole ethos of the Gardens is to create a beautiful space where visitors can learn about the flora and fauna of the area. Its ecological stance sits well with my values and so supporting it comes easy to me.

I recently decided to play tourist for the day and headed out with Rex, my dog. My days off spent with him are precious so it’s great that they allow dogs (on leash) to come along. Once we arrived it was easy enough to park in the car park, pay our entrance fee and head into the gardens. Remember to spray yourself liberally with that repellent if you don’t want to be dinner for the bugs though.

I wandered, with awe and delight, along the path deeper into the gardens, spoiled for choice over this way or that way. I settled on a walk off the beaten path and headed toward the rope bridge. Rex did great here and we made it across in one piece. I would say, though, that decent walking shoes are a must! No flip flops or flimsy sandals will suffice if you are to make it through without stubbing a toe or two.

As I got deeper into the canopy I could hear the macaws calling to each other. I’m told this is a common practice in the wild as they warn each other of imminent danger. Sadly they were too clever for me and hid themselves well.

Emerging from the depths of the canopy I found myself in a part of the garden filled with glorious rhododendrons. The colours and scent were heady. I even spotted Robert wandering through with secateurs in hand and showing a group around. At this point I decided to take up the offer of a complimentary drink which was part of the entry fee and headed up to the restaurant. Passing through the shop I was enticed by the array of goods on offer but my stomach had other plans and drew me upwards to the restaurant. Here I succumbed to the guacamole and chips, not forgetting the amazing roasted Nopales which they served with soy sauce. Now I love Nopales but I’ve never even dreamed of eating it with Soy but My-oh-my, sublime is an understatement. You really should try this when you go. Heading back out to the gardens and I just had to stop off and buy some vanilla from Veracruz and Clatier spicy Mayan chocolate in the shop.

Then it was onwards through the conservatory to the chapel. There were no weddings today but if you are looking for somewhere special for your vows check this place out. On up the hill to check out the view and a quick photo opportunity with Rex before heading back to my beautiful city of Puerto Vallarta both of us satisfied, tired and ready to devour that chocolate.

If you fall in love with Puerto Vallarta and its surroundings and decide to stay, contact me at alfredoh@tropicasa.com or call my cell 3221426296 and I’ll help you find your dream home.

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