Medellin, the city of Eternal Spring, has excellent weather, indeed. Besides the nightlife, the music business, and the cultural destinations, you can also enjoy nature. Therefore, if you want to escape the city’s buzz, you can visit Medellin’s botanical Garden.
The Botanical Garden offers a variety of ecosystems, which are of great interest to scientific researchers, gardening enthusiasts, and visiting tourists.
By the year 2020, the Botanical Garden of Medellín had a total of 165 families of plants, 673 types, and 1,373 species. As you see, it has a variety of plants and animals from local flora and fauna.
Keep reading to know in detail what makes this botanical Garden so unique.
The story behind Medellin’s botanical Garden
The history of the Medellín Botanical Garden dates back more than a century. By the end of the 19th century, the area the Garden stands in today was a bathhouse called El Eden. Don Victor Arango owned these baths and later passed them to his daughters Emilia and Mercedes Arango.
The city’s social life around the bathhouse
The Arango family rented the farm and its baths to local families in the city, which at the time had 40,000 inhabitants. The El Edén farm was a space for natural recreation, where families met and enjoyed traditional cuisine.
According to a record from the Botanical Garden, gentlemen of the town traveled to these baths in cars or on horseback to drink with beautiful and generous women, talk, do business and even get engaged.
The city needs recreational spaces: The Independence Park.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the first centenary of the independence of the region, called Antioquia, was approaching.
Civil and state organizations were looking for a way to celebrate the region’s independence in style.
After many procedures and procedures, the Organizing Board of the Centennial Celebration and the Society of Public Improvements of Medellin, the organizing committee of the centennial celebration, acquired the funds for the purchase of the land belonging to the El Edén farm.
For 50 years, the inhabitants of Medellín enjoyed the gardens, a hippodrome, and a lake. This place was known as Bosque de la Independencia (Spanish for Independence’s woods) since the local government opened it to the public on the centenary of the independence of the Antioquia region.
Recent renovations 2005-2007
In 2005 the mayor of the city of Medellín began a project to renew the park. Two years later, the Garden had received the entire necessary budget, and the following spaces were open to the public:
- Courtyards of the Azaleas
- Scientific building
- The orchidorama
- The primary access to the Garden
- The Suramericana Theatre,
- The butterfly house
- A small parking lot
- The public space that surrounds the Garden
Modern Botanical Garden
The Garden has the following areas:
- Tropical forest: it’s a collection of different tropical species. It has numerous species of Colombian tropical forest; you will see a stratification, meaning all the plants of various sizes in a forest. Since it has different tropical forest species, you will also see its fauna. It has a small water stream and a bridge for people in wheelchairs. For the safety of the ecosystem, you can’t eat food or drink while walking in it.
- Palm garden: the landscape designers created a beautiful design with small hills to highlight the beauty of palms. The local guide will explain all the uses the locals give to Palm trees: oil, craftsmanship, and building houses. The palm garden has a collection of 120 species.
- Francisco José de Caldas Lagoon: it is a trace of old Medellin. It is part of the natural ecosystem of wetlands. Unfortunately, due to the urban development of Medellin city, this ecosystem disappeared. It is the natural habitat of different species, and you can also navigate it.
- Desert Garden: it exposes species wild from the desert. The species can live with little rain in deserts and semi-deserts. The species present in this Garden are Cactaceae, Crassulaceae, Aizoaceae, Liliaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Asclepiadaceae, Chenopodiaceae, and some legumes.
- Orchid Garden: a permanent exhibition of Colombia’s protected species: the orchid. You will also see bromeliads, carnivorous plants, horns, and tree ferns, among other species. Additionally, there is a small lake with its ecosystem.
- Medicinal Garden: this collection goes back in time. Traditionally, locals have used different plants for allergies, fever, flu, headaches, etc. This Garden has an exposition with all the plants locals have used and the plus of the guide explaining it.
- Patio de las Azaleas: it’s a square with different species of azaleas and floras.
- Vertical Garden of the Teatro Suramericana: it has an innovative plating technique. The architects created an 8.52-meter-high plant wall with varying species of orchids, shrubs, and hedges growing. The plants are established on a natural substrate and require permanent watering. The secret of this Garden is in the ability of nature to grow in all kinds of conditions.
- The butterfly house hosts a collection of plants to support the conservation of a group of butterflies. The plants in this place serve butterflies as food sources due to their high nectar content and as a host to lay eggs or perch. In addition, native tropical forest herbs, trees, shrubs, and lianas.
- Eras of the restaurant: it has a collection of edible plants like rosemary, chives, basil, chili pepper, mint, thyme, and oregano.
- Labyrinth: the children’s favorite. It has high bushes, and it forms small paths.
- The scientific building: it’s a building designed for educational purposes. It has workshops for locals and tourists and guided tours to learn about scientific research and development concerning Medellin’s ecosystem.
Botanical Garden FAQs
What should I wear?
The city has warm weather all year, so you are comfortable with your summer clothes and perhaps a light jacket.
What is not allowed?
To keep the beauty and health of this ecosystem, you cannot leave any garbage or enter with expanded polystyrene. Also, It is not allowed to stick signs, nails, rope, handles, nylon, wires, or similar that may damage the walls, trees, plants, metal columns, or the general appearance of the Botanical Garden. Please do not use or enter elements made of styrofoam since it is a non-degradable material and highly contaminated.
What are the rules?
It would be best if you kept the ecosystem intact. Therefore, do not collect or remove seeds, flowers, fruits, or any other part of the plants. If you see an animal, do not feed it or try to pet it.
How much is the ticket?
One of the best spots to enjoy nature and great weather is the Botanical Garden of Medellin. The entrance is free, and to visit, follow these steps:
- Enter the official website to book your visit www.jbb.gov.co
- Click on the banner to select the time and date.
- Check your email to confirm your visit.
How many people visit the Botanical Garden?
Approximately 20.000 people per month.
Is it COVID-19 safe?
Colombia relaxed the safety measures for COVID-19. So there’s no need to wear face masks or use gloves. However, if you feel more comfortable this way, you will need to keep our trash inside your bag to avoid contamination.
What else can I do while visiting the Garden?
You can visit other natural landmarks in Medellin near the Botanical Garden; only a 30-min ride is Arvi park, a buzz escape.