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Botanical Gardens questions

Bullhead City, AZ
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Botanical Gardens questions

We are hoping to visit the Gardens during our October/November PV visit. Will there be any walking/mobility issues? Because of recent posts by MarlySF and Elenamex, we have eliminated the zoo (THANKS so much for the warnings). We are seniors and do pretty well on the "flat" as there are usually places to sit for a minute or two before starting out again. Steep hills? No way for us.

We would probably cab there and back from the South Side as I think I remember that the bus route leaves you at the bottom of a steep hill. Any suggestions or recommendations?

Columbia, South...
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1. Re: Botanical Gardens questions

Unfortunately there is nothing flat about the Botanical Gardens, either. They are built into the side of a large hill, with somewhat difficult trails to follow to see everything. It is indeed beautiful, and its location I think is part of the beauty. But it does make it difficult for anyone with mobility issues.

San Francisco...
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for Sacramento, Puerto Vallarta
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2. Re: Botanical Gardens questions

Good to hear you're planning to visit the Gardens. Since I was one of the ones who mentioned the steep inclines, I'll try to compare the terrain with the zoo.

There is a slight incline as you enter the Gardens but it's not a long stretch and it's nowhere near the grade of the exit from the zoo. Not even close. I have serious problems with inclines (both up and down) and it didn't bother me. So, if you want to save a few pesos, it should work well for you to take the bus TO the Gardens and then save your cab ride for leaving.

The rationale for taking a cab when leaving is that you'll probably be tired and also you have to walk down Highway 200 aways (toward the south) to the place where the bus will stop. I found it a little scary, sitting on that plank for 25 minutes all alone and having several cars stop (asking for directions) when you are out there in the middle of nowhere.

There are some areas in the Gardens where you are going up and down small hills (and many with cobblestones and steps) where you'll have to watch your step, but generally, most of it is flat and you can take it slow and easy. There are also numerous sitting areas.

Both times I was there, I didn't take all the trails --- part of the reason was that I didn't have time and the other reason was that those were the more remote trails and I would be out there alone and I was thinking there were probably some steepness out there. I didn't go down to the river so not sure how steep that trail would be.

What you could do is ask the person who gives you the map (where you pay your entrance fee) which of the trails might be steeper and harder to negotiate. Of course, if you approach steepness, you could always turn around. Either way, there are plenty of trails in the Gardens which should not give you any trouble and, if you don't walk every single trail, you're still getting plenty of beautiful scenery for your 60 peso entrance.

Have a wonderful day out there. It's a beautiful, peaceful place. Don't forget your insect repellent ---- they also sell some right at the entrance.

PS: bcamp obviously took some of the trails I didn't. The main trails around the hacienda were not a problem for me.

Edited: 23 July 2012, 10:03
Bullhead City, AZ
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251 posts
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3. Re: Botanical Gardens questions

Thank you, Marly, that's a world of specific info, just what we were looking for. Sounds like we'll bus out and cab back and we will question the staff about 'mountain goat' trails. Good reminder about the bug spray, have to put some of those foil packs in the dittybag. Really looking forward to the Gardens! Thanks again.

Columbia, South...
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4. Re: Botanical Gardens questions

Marly, I agree with your assessment. We did take most of the trails and some were very difficult (and I supposedly don't have mobility issues). But you are correct that there is plenty to see and enjoy without attempting the tougher trails.

By the way, the bug repellant they will sell you (pretty cheap) at the entrance was the best stuff I've ever used.

San Francisco...
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for Sacramento, Puerto Vallarta
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5. Re: Botanical Gardens questions

You're very welcome. bcamp reminds me of me when I used to backpack around Lake Tahoe but those days are long gone. It didn't bother me to not be able to take all the trails though and I'm sure you will have much enjoyment, with the ones you do take.

Make sure to go up to the restaurant on the second floor of the hacienda. You get stunning mountainous views from the terrace -- of the terrain bcamp is referring to. I can't remember if there is an elevator in the hacienda but the stairs have a railing so I was able to get up there OK. You will also see, on the tiles of the staircase, how much work/fundraising went into establishing the Gardens.

Also, some days they have tours --- we took one on our last trip as my buddy is a tour guide there. She's back in California for the summer though so I'm not sure if others are doing the tours now.

And, the rest rooms are a treat --- don't miss them. Seriously. They are right by the area (flat) with all the orchids --- so there is plenty to see without steep terrains. Yeh, I'm sure we missed a bit by not taking those back trails but it was way better to be able to see half of it (the easy half -- haha) than to not go at all.

Oh --- I remembered one more thing. Don't forget to read all about the history of the Gardens, in the hacienda ---- they are so new (about 7 years old, I think) that every time you go there, more has grown. I first went in July of 2010 and then again in November of 2011 and things were different, either because they had grown or because of the different seasons.

Have fun! I can't wait to get back there soon myself --- to see whatever is new since we were last there.

PS: bcamp --- let us know what you saw on the back trails and I agree on that insect repellent (in the blue container, right?) --- better than OFF or any of the other stuff I've tried.

Edited: 23 July 2012, 11:04
Columbia, South...
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6. Re: Botanical Gardens questions

I would also plan on eating in the restaurant. I thought the service and food were delightful, and it was a great place to rest after all the walking. Also, make sure you have some iced hisbiscus tea. It was so refreshing. And they bring you a plate of seasoned sliced cucumbers and a damp, cool town to cool you off as well. It was really a treat.

Chicago
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7. Re: Botanical Gardens questions

Highly recommend the Garden. There is plenty to see and learn without having to go on the steep trails (and the trail down to the river is one of them). We have one of the premier Botanic Gardens in the world in Chicago, and we have visited a number of others on our trips, and while the one in PV is nowhere near as large it is definitely worth the time to see it.

We felt that the lunch we had was one of the best of our trip. The view from the balcony overlooking the ponds added to the enjoyment.

The only problem with taking a bus back is they only run about every half hour and there is no shade by the bus stop, so a taxi may be worthwhile.

Surrey, England
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8. Re: Botanical Gardens questions

We have just returned from PV and visited the Botanical Gardens whilst out there. The bus stops right at the entrance (20 pesos from romantic zone) and then there is an downhill incline to the reception/ticket office. Entrance costs 60 pesos each. Each trail within the gardens is graded according to difficulty - easy, medium and strenuous. The medium ones do go up and down a lot and can be slippery especially if you visit after a heavy rainfall. They recommend to wear trainer type shoes and not flip flops! The trail down to the river has a lot of steps. I can recommend the restaurant, the entrance fee included a free drink at the restaurant, a very refreshing hibiscus tea. As stated, the view is superb. It was a lovely place to sit and relax. We decided to have some lunch there, the tortilla soup was good, as was the guacamole (very large serving). Upon leaving, go up the entrance slope to the highway, then turn right, the bus stop is about 50 yards up the road. There is shelter at the stop and benches to sit on. The buses come on the hour and half hour, the last bus is 6pm.

Toronto
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9. Re: Botanical Gardens questions

I also recommend the restaurant. The food is good and there is a lovely view, and a library which is available to you.

San Francisco...
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10. Re: Botanical Gardens questions

They built a shelter at the bus stop? Good news. When I sat out there waiting for a bus two years ago (on the plank on the ground, by the statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe), it was scary as so many cars were pulling over to ask directions (in Spanish, of course --- fortunately I speak a little) but every time a vehicle pulled over, my blood pressure went up. You never know, since I was sitting out there all alone.

Sounds like they've made it a more formal bus stop, from your post. That's good for everyone.