Monday, May 22, 2017

Vallarta Botanical Gardens and Lunch at Hacienda de Oro

One of the Pleasures of Life in Mexico

Hacienda de Oro Restaurant at Vallarta Botanical Gardens

     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.
Hacienda de Oro Restaurant and Coy Pond
     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!
So Many Colorful, Exotic Rock Garden Plants


     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 Is Amazing!



     The Orchid Conservatory was my favorite area of the Gardens. Not only were we surrounded by gorgeous orchids and other tropical plants, soothing music played through high quality speakers, enticing us to find a couple of chairs and relax here for a while. The only thing I wished for at that moment was a waiter to appear offering me a cold Mojito. I imagine if you hold your wedding there, that would be part of the package. What a treat that would be!
View From the Orchid Conservatory
     After sitting for a while in the center of the Orchid Conservatory, we realized how warm and humid it was surrounded by the tropical plants, even with large fans blowing the air through the open-air building. So we dragged our chairs over to the top of the stairs next to the entry where a nice breeze was blowing in from the valley below. The view looking outside was just as enjoyable, with several varieties of palm trees, lush green grass, and sun-tolerant blossoming plants. What a peaceful place it is; the only sounds were the music in the conservatory behind us and the tropical birds singing in front of us.
These Hanging Baskets Decorated Every Building

Swimming is Allowed in the Emerald Pools of the River
     We walked the popular trail down to the river that runs through the property. We dipped our hands in the refreshing water and enjoyed the shade for a few minutes before attacking the steep hike back to the Hacienda. By then we were ready for our Margaritas.
Jon and Terry in La Hacienda de Oro Restaurant

     We dined on the balcony of the restaurant, overlooking the river, the jungle, and the valley. The breeze coming up the river was cool and refreshing, a perfect way to relax after hiking in this wonderful botanical garden.     
Jon at One of the Two Shade Cover Areas for Plants

     On our way out, we couldn't help but take one more walk through the shade cover areas to admire the orchids and other tropical plants again. A young couple approached us, all smiles, and asked if we could take their photo. The beaming young lady held up her left hand to show off her new diamond ring and said, "We just got engaged!" I told them, "Congratulations! You look so happy", as I took their photo. A beautiful memory for them as they start their life together.
Orchids, Orchids, Everywhere!
     For more information on the Vallarta Botanical Gardens, how to catch the bus or taxi to the Gardens, holding weddings and events there, and to see the restaurant menu (small button in the upper right corner), see http://www.vbgardens.org .


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8 comments:

  1. Terry and Jon, that must have been a woderful trip. All the pictures were so beautiful

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  2. Terry and Jon, that must have been a woderful trip. All the pictures were so beautiful

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it was! You would have loved looking at the flowers in the covered areas, knowing how much you love flowers and plants, even if you didn't want to hike the trails. It was worth the bus ride out into the jungle south of Puerto Vallarta. There were so many butterflies and hummingbirds, too. I am looking forward to going at a different time of year next season to see other flowers in bloom.
      Terry

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  3. Hi Terry, My name is Stephanie and we actually just met the other at Sayulita Animals for the spay and neuter clinic. I thought you looked familiar but didn't say anything. Then, when we saw you guys that evening at dinner and your husband also looked familiar, I definitely should have said something. I didn't put it it together until later that night. When I knew I was coming to help with the spay and neuter clinic, I had googled Sayulita to just find information about to where I was going and had never been. That is how I saw your blog. Funny, small world. I now wish I would have said something. Anyway, thanks so much for your help with recovering the animals that day. It was a great day with lots of accomplishments!! Stephanie

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  4. Hi Stephanie,
    Thanks for reading my blog and commenting. You are right, it is a small world! I'm glad we met at the SayulitAnimals Spay and Neuter Clinic. What a great service SayulitAnimals does for the community! Thank you for everything you accomplished there, also. It is always tiring work but fulfilling. We had a wonderful dinner at Tierra Viva that night and felt refreshed. Hope you did, too.
    Terry

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  5. Hey Terry,
    Can you turn on Feed URLs in Blogger so we can use Atom/RSS to keep up with your blog? Thanks.

    https://support.google.com/blogger/answer/97933?hl=en

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    Replies
    1. Nevermind the full URL is

      https://retirementbeforetheageof59.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default?alt=rss

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    2. Grant, I just turned it off because, honestly I'm not a geek and I didn't think it was working right. I will try to turn it back on. Will you let me know if I have it working correctly. I thought the "Follow by Email" or the "Sign Up for my Newsletter would work better. Thanks, Grant.
      Terry

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