In the heart of Medellin, the Medellin Botanical Garden is the city’s green lung and a living museum with plants from around the country as well as birds, turtles, reptiles, insects and fish.
At the end of the 19th century, the area was a private farm used for recreation. In the late 1960s, the idea of a botanical garden began to take shape, and by 1972 the Botanical Garden was established as a place for investigation and education and to exhibit Colombian plants. Part of the Cultural Patrimony of Medellin since 1985, the botanical garden works with other worldwide organizations such as WWF and UNESCO to conserve and manage plants for a sustainable future.
About 40 acres (0.4 hectares) of outdoor park with 5,000 plants and 1,000 different species provides ample space for recreation. As part of a major renovation in 2005, the Orchideorama, a graceful wood structure that houses orchids, bromeliads, ferns and other species, was built.
There is a cactus garden, a pond, a large vertical garden and a butterfly garden with plants that attract butterflies. The palm garden shows off 120 different types of palm trees in this country, known for its varieties of palms that are used for food, medicine, construction, biofuel and crafts. There is also a medicinal garden with plants, spices and teas useful for curing ailments. There are also plenty of activities like biking, hiking, horseback riding and water sports on the pond.
The botanical garden is open Monday through Sunday, 9am to 5pm. The metro is perhaps the easiest way to get to the garden, since the Universidad station is close to its entrance. There are also buses that go by the garden, and taxis can drop you off near the walkway at Carrera 52 and Calle 73.