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The Puerto Vallarta Botanical Gardens are one of the most beautiful places to visit. They are home to 20 acres of lush tropical gardens and 3,000 different plant species!

At the gardens, you can go hiking through acres of lush jungle, swim in rivers, and see some of Mexico’s tropical flora and fauna. They are a great place to take photos and escape from the busyness of Vallarta’s downtown.  

plants at the puerto vallarta botanical gardens


If you’re visiting the Puerto Vallarta botanical gardens, grab your tickets here so you can skip the line.

Puerto Vallarta Botanical Gardens tours

The easiest way to get to the Puerto Vallarta botanical gardens is on a tour, as they will pick you up and drop you off at your hotel.

This 6-hour tour combines a visit to Vallarta Botanical Garden with tequila tasting at Rancho Los Veranos. Pickup and drop off are included, along with a qualified guide to tell you about the plants.

For something more active, check out this fun hiking tour which includes a guided hike and a swim in the natural pools of the Horcones river nearby.

How to get to the botanical gardens from Puerto Vallarta


The Puerto Vallarta botanical gardens are a 40-minute drive from Zona Romantica. Take highway 200 south of the city, and the gardens are located just off the highway.

Make a day of it by renting a car and exploring some of the other nearby attractions. Before the gardens is Chico’s paradise, a nice restaurant where you can stop and swim in the waterfalls.

Further south is El Tuito, one of the charming Pueblo Magicos in Jalisco.

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By Uber/Taxi

If you don’t want to drive, the next easiest option is to get a taxi or Uber. I prefer using Uber in Puerto Vallarta over taxis as they are cheaper.

By Bus

There’s a public bus that goes to the botanical gardens from Zona Romantica. It’s on the corner of Venustiano Carranza and Aguacate (get directions here).

It’s the “El Tuito” bus, but it should have the Vallarta gardens marked as a stop on the windshield. The bus fare is 50 pesos (about 2.50 USD), and they come every 30 minutes.

Things to do at the Puerto Vallarta botanical gardens

Admire the flowers

flowers blooming

Being home to over 3,000 plant species, the best thing to do at the gardens is to walk around and admire the vast collection of plants. It’s one of the most-visited public collections of orchids in Mexico!

Take a hike

The botanical gardens are one of the best places to go hiking near Puerto Vallarta. Once you arrive at the gardens, you’ll be given a map of the area as you enter.

The walking trails range in difficulty and terrain. There are easy ones around the gardens and steeper trails that go into the jungle. There are also hanging bridges which make some great photo ops.

lora on a hanging bridge in the puerto vallarta botanical gardens

I wore flip-flops during my first visit, which was regrettable, as the terrain became quite steep going down.

Bring sunscreen, closed-toe shoes, and insect repellant with you if you want to go on the hiking trails.

Pets are welcome too! Just make sure you clean up after them.

Lookout for wildlife

In addition to the plants, the Vallarta Botanical Garden plays an important role in conserving the wildlife around Puerto Vallarta. They have a decade-long conservation project for the military macaw, which can be seen daily in the gardens.

 There are over 200 native bird species in the gardens, so this is a great place to go bird-watching. The best time for this is when the birds are most active in the morning.

From December to March, they have an “early bird” opening at 8AM on Thursdays.

Puerto Vallarta botanical gardens swimming

lora in the river at the botanical gardens

There’s a river you can swim in, which is a short downhill hike from the restaurant.

Full disclosure: I got attacked by a leech while I was swimming in this river, but I had an open wound on my foot which attracted it to me. The whole experience was terrifying as my friend had to pull it off me, but the staff were very helpful afterward and told us that it is not common.

So if you have any open cuts, I wouldn’t get in the water!

Puerto Vallarta botanical gardens restaurant

people in restaurant overlooking mountains

There’s a restaurant called Hacienda del Oro, with the most beautiful view overlooking the jungle and garden grounds. Keep your eye out for hummingbirds here!

The restaurant’s specialty is wood-fired pizzas, but they also serve authentic Mexican cuisine like fajitas and fresh-baked tortillas.

Need to know: The gardens are opened 9 am to 6 pm daily from December to March. From April to December, they are closed on Mondays. Check the official website for the latest information.

How long should you spend at the Vallarta botanical gardens?

You could make a day out of it by hiking the trails, swimming in the river, and enjoying a meal at the restaurant afterward. But if you’re not an avid fan of flora and fauna, I’d only plan to spend a couple of hours at the gardens.

It’s a perfect half-day trip from Puerto Vallarta or a full-day if combined with other attractions nearby!

Visiting the Vallarta botanical gardens is one of the top things to do here, best combined with other attractions in the area.

🇲🇽 Puerto Vallarta Quick Guide 🇲🇽

✈️ Airport – The Licenciado Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International Airport (PVR) airport is a 20-minute ride to the city center. You can book an airport transfer here.

🏩 Hotels – The best website for booking hotels and resorts are and Expedia, which search all properties to find you the best deals. For inspiration on where to stay, head to my ultimate guide to Puerto Vallarta hotels.

🚗 Getting around – Puerto Vallarta is easy to get around by walking and Uber, but renting a car is the best way to explore the surrounding areas. Discover Cars is the best website for finding deals, which searches International and local Mexican companies.

🌊 Things to do Puerto Vallarta is a paradise for outdoor adventure! Some of the top things to do are whale watching, yacht trips, and ATV tours.

✔️ Don’t forget travel insurance! I use and love SafetyWing, which is insurance for remote workers. For shorter trips, I recommend HeyMondo – you can get 5% off by using that link.

Planning a trip to Puerto Vallarta? Check out these posts!

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 Lora Pope is a travel content creator who’s been wandering solo for over a decade. She lives a nomadic lifestyle and is on a quest to visit every country in the world - always on the lookout for new adventures, hidden gems, and dogs to pet. You can follow her adventures on Explore with Lora</a or any channels below.

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