Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico – The Secretariat of Environment and Territorial Development (Semadet) has officially recognized 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 only the second of its kind in the state.
Vallarta Botanical Garden covers about 31.97 hectares (79 acres) and 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 occur, ensuring their legal origin and survival within the collection.
The garden also showcases a variety of plants, including orchids, cacti, rhododendrons, and more, all found within the garden. Additionally, it houses a vast collection of plant species, many of which are at risk, according to the Official Mexican Standard NOM-059-SEMARNAT-2010.
The garden has recorded a remarkable biodiversity: 248 plant species; 15 mammal species like jaguars, ocelots, and squirrels; 267 bird species including royal ducks and hummingbirds; 29 reptile species and 13 amphibian species. There are likely many more species inhabiting and transiting the property, such as the jasper toad, grassland frog, green frog, and neovolcanic leopard frog. In the nearby river, native fish like the Pacific topminnow, Michoacan topminnow, and Balsas topminnow are expected to be found, with potential species migrations like the river mullet and river clingfish.
Jalisco ranks fourth in national biodiversity and boasts approximately 80% of the country’s vegetation types and 30% of Mexico’s registered flora. Natural Protected Areas like this garden are crucial for preserving biodiversity and maintaining the balance of ecosystems. 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, reinforcing the commitment to protect Jalisco’s natural wonders.
Visit the internationally famous Vallarta Botanical Garden located just 30 minutes south of Old Town at Km. 24 on Highway 200 and easily accessible by public transportation and taxi. This 74 acre wildlife preserve and botanical garden have something fun for everyone. Over 200 species of birds have been observed on the Garden’s grounds. Don’t forget to bring your swimsuit for a refreshing dip in the jungle river. See plantings of vanilla, chocolate, and hundreds of 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 Mondays from April 1 to December 1). Garden admission is just $300 pesos. For more information, call (322) 223-6182 or visit vbgardens.org.