Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Puerto Vallarta Fun Day: Vallarta Botanical Gardens and Lunch at Hacienda de Oro

One of the Pleasures of Living in Mexico

Hacienda de Oro Restaurant and Coy Pond
     Visiting the Vallarta Botanical Gardens and having lunch at the restaurant in the Garden, Hacienda de Oro, has been on my Bucket List for years. I'm so glad we finally planned a day trip to go there!
Beautiful Orchids Under One of Two Shade Covers
     I wrote about our first, failed attempt to tour this botanical garden in my book, "Healthy Living and Traveling in Mexico". We were driving our motorhome south along the coast of mainland Mexico, leaving the Puerto Vallarta area on Hwy 200. I was so excited to visit the Gardens that day! We had it programmed into our GPS and had planned our trip to arrive in time for lunch at the Hacienda de Oro. But when we slowed to turn into the gate, we could see there was no place to park our motorhome. We were forced to drive on by and keep the Vallarta Botanical Gardens on our Bucket List for another year.
     This time, I wanted to be sure there were no glitches in our plan to visit the Vallarta Botanical Gardens. Checking their website, I could see the Gardens were open. I called them the morning of our trip to ask if the restaurant would be open that day. We didn't want to arrive hungry, only to find the restaurant closed. I had read an article years ago that said the dining experience is half the fun of going to the Gardens, so I was hopeful they would be open. Unfortunately, no one answered the phone, so we ate a light lunch at a beach restaurant in Puerto Vallarta's Romantic Zone before walking to catch the bus that goes to the Gardens. That worked out for the best! The restaurant was open, but we weren't hungry when we arrived about 1:00, so we hiked five of the many trails, looked at endless exotic plants, and worked up a good appetite. By 4:00, we were ready for refreshments. The restaurant closes at 5:00, so we had plenty of time for a delicious Margarita and a Caesar Salad with Large Shrimp, all beautifully served, decorated with colorful, edible flowers. I was happy that we were able to dine at the lovely restaurant, half of the reason to visit the Gardens!
Jon and Terry Enjoying Lunch at Hacienda de Oro
     One trail led from the Hacienda de Oro through a delightful rock garden with colorful, exotic tropical plants that I had never seen before. Many were labeled with their botanical names.
     The Orchid Conservatory was my favorite area of the Gardens. Not only... to read more and view more photos of the beautiful Vallarta Botanical Gardens, click HERE