Dear Members & Friends, As the year quickly draws to a close, we reflect on all that’s happened here at Vallarta Botanical Garden in 2023. What can we celebrate, and what challenges must we still overcome.
Eighteen years ago, we envisioned a nature sanctuary for visitors, locals, native flora and animals alike. Supported throughout by our members and donors, we’re proud to see that vision has been realized beyond our wildest dreams and the Vallarta Botanical Garden is now an award-winning, world-famous venue that benefits Mexico and Puerto Vallarta.
However, our mission as a non-profit is not merely to delight tourists; we are committed to preserving unique endemic species through conservation programs. We have create environmental stewards across our region by conducting outreach and educational programs with local communities. In 2023, we acquired funding to execute these programs and launched an initiative for local children to enhance their love for the natural world, which is their heritage, and to give them the tools to protect it.
Also, in 2023, the Vallarta Botanical Garden was honored at Butchart Gardens in Victoria, Canada, where we received our newest award, the “International Garden Worth Traveling For” prize from the Canadian Garden Tourism Council. Building on last year’s win, where we took home the highest honor from the American Public Garden Association, “The 2022 Garden of Excellence Award” and being named by USA Today’s Newspaper “10 Best Public Gardens of North America” for four years in a row.
These recognitions are proof of how our Garden represents a considerable impulse to Vallarta’s tourism, Mexican Culture and allows us to share the natural treasures of Mexico’s west coast with garden and nature lovers & conservationists around the world.
Unfortunately, not everything is banquets and awards. On October 10, 2023, Category 4, Hurricane Lidia, made a direct hit on our Garden. Since opening we’ve always saved money in an emergency fund, as our zone is ineligible for traditional insurance. That fund enabled us to make the major repairs required after the hurricane tore off large sections of our roofs, damaged horticultural exhibits, conservatories and mature trees throughout the property. Now the emergency fund needs to be rebuilt so we’re prepared for the next one, and we need your support to get there.
Looking ahead, after 18 incredible years here in Puerto Vallarta, it’s time for us to begin planning the Garden’s future beyond our lifetimes, meaning the Vallarta Botanical Garden will eventually need new leadership. We are already in talks with other notable botanical institutions, considering various next steps, including the potential to merge with other well-established gardens in North America. Stay tuned for news about succession planning, mergers, and our Garden’s future.
It’s thanks to our members and donors like you that we are able to maintain the high standards of excellence of our Garden and the hospitality everyone enjoys here. Particularly as we work to replenish our emergency fund, I am reaching out this holiday season to ask if you would make an additional donation that will allow us to maintain this vital sanctuary for generations to come.
Gifts like yours are the backbone of our operations as a mission-driven non-profit. Thank you again for your generous support. We hope to welcome you here again soon, where the flowers are always blooming!
If you would like to hear more about other ways to support the Vallarta Botanical Garden or discuss personally other funding needs, please contact us directly, we would enjoy talking with you! You can reach us at directorgeneral(at)vbgardens.org or call to speak with the Garden’s Director & Co-founder Jesus Reyes or Founder & Curator Robert Price at +52 322-223-6182.
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 79 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.