The Orotava Acclimatisation Gardens, commonly called Botanical Garden of Tenerife and located in Puerto de la Cruz (as to confuse foreign visitors …) are a small natural paradise that go unnoticed by many people, but that hide true wonders.
Have you ever wanted to stop time at some point and not to continue again until you decide? Surely on more than one occasion you have wanted to extend a beautiful moment, an instant in which you were completely happy, a walk with someone special.
The Botanical Garden of Puerto de la Cruz has the ability to stop time between its exotic trees and plants, to fill you with peace and completely isolate you from the world that is frantically moving outside.
And if you are a nature and flower lover, in addition to that sense of calm, you can enjoy a huge variety of botanical species coming from the most remote places on the planet.
Let’s go back to the beginning
The Orotava Acclimatisation Gardens were inaugurated in 1792 according to an order given four years before by the King Charles III of Spain. His purpose was to gather exotic plants from the New World and, after a period of acclimatisation, take them to Madrid and Aranjuez, where their royal gardens were located.
Finding the right place for their location took a while, and in fact the King died a few months after giving the order for their creation. But his successor wanted to continue with the project and in 1790 he began to work under the orders of an architect to build the Gardens.
It was in the year 72 when the first plants were planted, and since then Spain has a small lung that breathes clean air in the north of Tenerife.
The confusion between municipalities regarding the name also has its explanation, since formerly Puerto de la Cruz was called the Port of La Orotava and also belonged to the Villa.
If you are a curious person, you may like to know that the transfer of the species to the capital was never possible, because the climate of Tenerife has little to do with that of the interior of the Iberian Peninsula.
Collection of tropical plants of the Botanical Garden of Tenerife
With an area of about 20000 square meters, the Botanical Garden of Tenerife has outstanding collections of tropical and subtropical plants, all of great decorative and economic value, although it may seem surprising.
Inside you can find trees that catch the attention of nature lovers for its beauty, its rarity in some cases, its size, its age or, as we already told you, because they come from very remote places.
There are four varieties that stand out above the rest inside the Botanical Garden:
- Palms. A very important family, which is easily distinguished by its woody plants and large leaves that form a crown at the end of the trunk.
- Bromeliads. A very diverse family of shrubs or perennial herbs from the tropical and temperate zone of America. Its best-known species is pineapple, from which a famous fruit all over the world is obtained today.
- Araceae. Also an extensive family, composed of over three thousand species, and very easy to distinguish by its particular flower. They can be terrestrial or aquatic herbs or even vines.
- Moraceae. They can be trees or shrubs and have perennial or deciduous leaves. The ficus carica, commonly known as fig, belongs to this family.
And all of them are quite familiar to the inhabitants of the islands, since they have seen them grow wild and be marketed in flower shops.
Science, then magic
The Botanical Garden of Puerto de la Cruz is a scientific institution that carries out international germplasm exchanges (a term referring to the genetic variety of wild plant species), and maintains a herbarium dedicated exclusively to Canarian flora.
In addition, it currently has several research programmes on the native plants of the archipelago and the conservation of endemisms.
But taking a walk among the trees of the Garden has much more magic than science. The calm, the sounds of nature, that small universe that remains isolated from the cars passing a few meters away, with showy flowers and vibrant colours … It is almost like being in a dream, it does not seem to be real.
But it is and more than two hundred years later it is preserved in a small point of Puerto de la Cruz, as if time has not passed. Beautiful, intact, waiting for new visits.
Arrange a visit to the Botanical Garden of Tenerife
You are sure that you will not miss the Botanical Garden of Tenerife in your numerous walks through Puerto de la Cruz, and that is why you need to know some details about how its visits are organized.
The ticket price is only 3 Euros and you can visit it each day between nine in the morning and six in the afternoon. You should only keep two things in mind: if you want to enter the library or the herbarium, you must make an appointment and you can only do it before one o’clock. The Garden is always closed on January 1, Good Friday and December 25.
Now you have all the key information to know what you are going to find, and you just have to choose date and time to travel the paths that hide a little piece of the tropics in the Tenerife municipality of Puerto de la Cruz: a unique Botanical Garden, with unparalleled wealth and accessible for all who want to discover the most fantastic and colourful side of the plant world.