I had always wanted to visit the Botanical Gardens outside of Puerto Vallarta and since my family was visiting, it was a perfect day trip. Their website is very informative and told us exactly how to travel there by either bus or taxi. We decided for 20 pesos, or $1.50 US, we would take the bus.
Gathering up the family, we trundled down to the corner of Carranza and Aguacate streets, in the Romantic Zone to catch our bus. After waiting about 10 minutes, a bus came along labeled Botanical Gardens at that corner. I was a bit apprehensive since the website said to take the bus labeled El Tuito, but I double checked with the driver and he assured me the bus would stop at the gardens. Ok, on the bus we went.
The bus was comfortable with reclining cushioned seats. However the driver, as with most Mexican drivers, was heavy on the gas and took the corners like a roller coaster. I could see my Dad in the front seat tightly gripping the chairs arm. After about 30 minutes we stopped at the gardens and were let out.
A fellow greeted us at the entrance, gave us a bit of direction and showed us to the ticket booth. It is very important you bring bug spray because the Mosquitos and “no see’ems” are horrendous! You can also buy some spray there too. So we bought our tickets, 60 pesos each, sprayed ourselves and walked the paths of the gardens. There are different activity levels of paths and all are quite pretty.
After a small hike, we made our way to the beautiful central building where a store and restaurant are located. The building looks like an old home or something like a winery, it’s very pretty. Lunch was good, but not the best I’ve had. However, it made for a nice afternoon with a high view overlooking a river. There were plenty of butterflies and hummingbirds coming to visit us while we ate.
Continuing on to the gift shop, part of the family looked around while dad and I took the trail down to the river. Hundreds of butterflies fluttered around us while we made our way down the path, stopping to read little informative signs about the insects and plants along the way. Once down, we watched the river flowing and even caught sight of a lizard sunning itself on rock.
Catching the bus back is simple. Just head out to the road and cross over where you wait at a bus stand for the next available bus. I would recommend taking the bus versus a taxi if you can, it’s cheap, easy, fairly comfortable and drops you off back in Old Town. Everyone had a good time and since it was overcast that day, was a perfect day trip out to the country. Plus it’s cooler and we needed a reprieve from the heat!