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William Miranda Marín Botanical Garden
A beautiful setting, plan to spend about 4 hours enjoying all there is to see.
Jardín Botánico y Cultural in Caguas: a recreational, historical and ecological experience
By Mariely Martínez
From the many places that visitor's can pay a visit, while in Puerto Rico, there is one that should be really considered for its beauty and recreational, historical and ecological value that will appeal to all your senses. Located in Caguas, Jardín Botánico y Cultural offers an extensive sample of plants and animals that recreates the Puerto Rican history previous to colonial times.
Consisting of endless trails, Jardín Botánico y Cultural reveals the amazing effort to preserve nature resources and its historical and present value. It showcases a colorful garden of bromeliads, a heliconia trail, a fruit orchard exhibiting native and exotic fruit trees, native wood-bearing trees, trees for ornamental uses, floral trees, and plants used by Puerto Rican crafts people to make musical Instruments. Even trees and plants in danger of extinction can be found in the park.
An exquisite variety of different species of exotic birds, as well as butterflies, insects, and even reptiles add value and complete the ecological system. A harmonious combination of color, textures, shapes, sounds and scents nourish the senses of the visitor during the journey. Since signs appropriatly identify almost everything showcased in the park, it can be a highly educational activity for the entire family.
Other attractions include a hanging bridge that connects two areas of the park and crosses a quiet river. Many other small bridges and great landscaping surround the garden. An urban agricultural center consisting of various greenhouses showcases modern techniques like hydroponic gardening.
Homage to Puerto Rican's indigenous taino ancestors can be found throughout the park, like the modern ceremonial batey, a sowing plot, and the ancestral taino grove. In addition, the distillery ruins, an old sugar cane press, a steam propelled sugar mill and a brick chimney complete the story, since the garden is located in what used to be a significant sugar cane plantation.
Visiting the park can be quite an adventure and it could take approximately three to four hours to walk and enjoy the offerings of the entire park, making a few stops to grab a bite. There are two or three places to eat available for visitors. One of them called Guaritiquén restaurant offers a selection of Puerto Rican appetizers, such as alcapurrias (stuffed fritters), bacalaitos (cod fish fritters), and cold beverages at very reasonable prices.
Whether the goal is to relax, connect with nature, hike, or take pictures, the botanical garden is a great choice. Near the entrance, a small library, a museum and an exhibition center, are conveniently located. It is highly recommended to wear comfortable shoes and light clothing since temperatures in Puerto Rico are very high all year round.
For a small additional fee, transportation and guided tours are available. Pedal boats are also available at a premium. Admission to the park is $7 for adults and $4 for children, students and senior citizens. The park opens Thursdays through Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. For more information about the park, call (787) 653-8990.
Best For Whom
- Families With Children
- Mature Travellers
Best For What
- Cultural Experience