Bogota’s Botanical Garden: A biodiversity park
Bogota’s Botanical Garden
In the heart of the capital you’ll find Bogota’s Botanical Garden, a place where you can experience a little sample of the country’s biodiversity. ColombiaByBus brings you a tour of this amazing destination
Strategically located next to Simón Bolivar Park, one of the oxygen lungs of the city, the José Celestino Mutis Botanical Garden, or simply – Bogota’s Botanical Garden – is a sanctuary dedicated to the research and conservation of natural species of the altiplano (highland zone) and paramos of Cundinamarca and Boyaca.
Bogota’s botanical garden opened its doors to the public in 1955, becoming the first public botanical garden of the country. Currently it has an area of approximately 20 hectares dedicated to natural conservation and spaces for research and development of environmental education programs.
How to get to Bogota’s Botanical Garden?
The entrance to the garden is on the Avenida Calle 63 No. 68-95. That is approximately 15 minutes from the Airport and the International Center. It is an area with a large influx of public transport. Also, a taxi trip is worth approximately $ 6,000 COP. (A little more than 2USD) from the central hotel zone of the city.
The entrance ticket to the park costs $2,700 for adults and $1,400 for children up to 12 years old. The schedule is from 8:00 a.m. at 5:00 p.m. except the last Friday of each month where the garden opens for a cultural evening that extends until 9:00 p.m.
Attractions in the Garden
When you come at the garden you can take a tour on your own or join the guided groups that are organized every hour from the opening and until 3:00 p.m. The tours organized by the Botanical Garden are guided by experts who will give you more details about the species you will find along the way. Some guides have come to create an entire story about the nymphs and goblins that inhabit the place.
Fear not if you decide to tour on your own: you’ll find signs and guides written about the species of the place along the park. Here is a small list of the must-see places during your visit:
One of the reasons that most attracts visits to the Bogota’s botanical garden is to find a small oasis with an artificial waterfall. This small artificial waterfall creates an atmosphere of tranquility in which many people decide to approach and take a couple of minutes or a couple of hours to relax with the sound of falling water. Here you can reconnect with feelings of peace and serenity might have taken away.
This zone of the Bogota’s botanical garden it is totally ornamented with palms of different lengths. Approximately 500 palm trees among which you will find around 50 species of palms. Here you can find the flagship tree of the country: the Quindío wax palm.
The collection of exotic plants:
A few meters from the Palmetum is the collection of exotic plants where different types of plants are exhibited that are striking for their flowers. Some of these plants are easily found in the gardens of the city, like the flower of “borrachera” (drunkenness) others require more ornamental care, but can be reproduced optimally in the city’s climate.
El Robledal (The oak grove):
Oak is one of the tree species that can be found within the Andean area. This tree is a symbol and synonym of strength given its size and longevity. The Botanical Garden has a small oak forest that reproduces an autumnal landscape.
A perfect place to sit and read a book and disconnect from the city with these millenary giants.
The Herbal is a designated space for crops of native medicinal, aromatic and seasoning plants. Condiments that have been fundamental in the gastronomy of all kinds of typical dishes of the region and of gastronomy in general. It also house of different species of medicinal plants, some are currently used for the production of drugs and others used in an artisanal way by the indigenous people of the region to create their own type of medicine 100% natural. This place is a paradise for the senses where you can not only see, you can also enjoy the natural wonders smells offered by the herbal.
La Rosaleda (The garden of roses):
In the rose garden visitors can transport themselves to a dream place surrounded by different species of native and hybrid roses that create a magical space. A place where, wherever you look, you will find a different type of rose. Here the roses and vines help complement the fairytale image that only the rose garden can evoke. La rosaleda is considered one of the main attractions of the garden. Due to here you can find around 70 varieties of roses. There is a rose for each ocasion!
The maloca is a typical ancestral construction built by the indigenous tribes of the amazons. In the botanical garden you will find a replica of this sacred place that was the “mecca” of knowledge for the Indians. La Maloca was built to highlight the strongly indigenous culture of the country and as a memory to the botanical expedition of the wise Mutis.
It was Don José Celestino Mutis who in his travel diaries counted the importance of protecting and conserving in its natural state the species of the area of the Amazon. Also Mutis highlighted how they were protected and venerated by the indigenous people of the amazonas.
In this replica of the Maloca there are usually screenings of films and documentaries about biodiversity. For more information consult the botanical garden schedule.
The Paramo area:
This zone destine his efforts to the conservation of the typical species of the zone of páramos. Here you will find different types of plants such as frailejones that only reproduce in the heights. Thanks to the effort and development of the botanical garden, we can find in this area a space that simulates a páramo environment. In addition, given the height, this place is perfect for bird watching. The recommended hours for this activity is early in the morning and at the end of the afternoon.
A Friday night plan:
The last Friday of every month the botanical garden opens its doors at night and organizes different cultural evenings. Also you can enjoy the program that includes jazz concerts to poetry recitals. At night the garden transforms and becomes a totally different place. In the night, the main source turns on its lights. The lights play with the water in such a way that it becomes a spectacle for visitors.
General recommendations for your visit at the Botanical Garden:
- Do not affect the ecosystem of the park (do not cut flowers or branches of plants).
- Wear comfortable clothes.
- Do not bring food at the botanical garden.
- Pack warm clothing in your backpack.
- Wear sport shoes.
- Use sunscreen during the summer.
- Do not trash inside the park, use trash cans
For more information and travel plans visit our travel blog for more recommendations.