The Secretariat of Environment and Territorial Development (Semadet) has formally acknowledged the Vallarta Botanical Garden in Cabo Corrientes as an Área Natural Protegida (Natural Protected Area or ANP) with the special designation of Área Estatal Destinada Voluntariamente a la Conservación (State Area Voluntarily Designated for Conservation or AEDVC), making it the second of its kind in the state.
Spanning approximately 31.97 hectares (79 acres), the Vallarta Botanical Garden is filled with Subdeciduous Tropical Forest vegetation. Within this area, various activities such as the collection, rescue, and reception of rescued or donated plant specimens take place, ensuring their legal origin and survival within the collection.
The garden also features a diverse array of plant species, including orchids, cacti, rhododendrons, and more, all of which are found within the garden. Moreover, it houses a substantial collection of plant species, many of which are endangered according to the Official Mexican Standard NOM-059-SEMARNAT-2010.
The garden boasts impressive biodiversity, including 248 plant species, 15 mammal species such as jaguars, ocelots, and squirrels, 267 bird species including royal ducks and hummingbirds, 29 reptile species, and 13 amphibian species. It is likely that many more species inhabit and pass through the property, including the jasper toad, grassland frog, green frog, and neovolcanic leopard frog. In the nearby river, you can expect to find native fish like the Pacific topminnow, Michoacan topminnow, and Balsas topminnow, along with potential species migrations like the river mullet and river clingfish.
Jalisco ranks fourth in national biodiversity and is home to approximately 80% of the country’s vegetation types and 30% of Mexico’s registered flora. Natural Protected Areas like this garden play a vital role in preserving biodiversity and maintaining ecosystem balance. They help regulate land use, promote sustainable practices, and provide spaces for education and research.
In April 2020, the State Law of Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection was amended to include the concept of “Area Voluntarily Designated for Conservation.” Just this past April, another property named “La Bolsa” in the municipality of Tuxcacuesco received certification under this category, further demonstrating the commitment to protecting Jalisco’s natural treasures.
You can visit the internationally renowned Vallarta Botanical Garden, located just 30 minutes south of Old Town at Km. 24 on Highway 200. It is easily accessible by public transportation and taxi. This 74-acre wildlife preserve and botanical garden offer something enjoyable for everyone, with over 200 bird species observed on the Garden’s grounds. Don’t forget to bring your swimsuit for a refreshing dip in the jungle river. You can also see plantings of vanilla, chocolate, and numerous other botanical delights! Authentic Mexican Cuisine is served in the Hacienda de Oro Restaurant from 10 am to 5 pm. The Garden is open daily from 9 am to 6 pm (closed on Mondays from April 1 to December 1). Garden admission is just $300 pesos. For more information, you can call (322) 223-6182 or visit vbgardens.org.