Enjoy the Yucatan’s Beautiful Tropical Flora and Exotic Fauna

flower in in Dr. Alfredo Barrera Marin Botanical Gardens
One of the most amazing things about being in the Yucatan is enjoying the beautiful tropical flora and exotic fauna. There is no better place to experience this than Dr. Alfredo Barrera Marin Botanical Gardens or Jardin Botanico, located just outside Puerto Morelos.

Jardin Botanico stretches over 65 hectares with environments ranging from mangrove swamps, to rain forest to semi-evergreen tropical forest. There are 3 kilometers (2 miles) of marked trails. It is the only garden of its type in Quintana Roo and one of the largest in all of Mexico.

Visitors can often see wild deer, iguanas, spider monkeys, parrots, toucans and hundreds of other birds. If you're lucky, you might even spot an agouti or a coatimundi. There is no bigger thrill than seeing spider monkeys swinging through the trees. If you walk quietly while touring the gardens you will increase your chances of seeing wildlife.

chicle tree
The groomed trail is a large loop with easy walking for all ages and allows you to visit the various collections of plants. You'll find local medicinal and culinary herbs identified by their Mayan, Spanish, and Latin names. The garden also has a collection of wild orchids and a section of cacti. The scenic lookout tower can be a bit of a climbing challenge but worth the effort when you take in the breathtaking view of the jungle and the mangrove stretching out to the ocean in the distance.

The garden was first established in 1984 and later, in 1990, was dedicated to Dr. Alfredo Barrera Marín, a scientist who devoted part of his life to the study and preservation of the Maya, their way of life and their knowledge of the region's medicinal plants. In the garden you will also find a small ruin, “The Alter” which dates around 1400 AD. On the site is a traditional Maya home and a re-created chiclero camp. The chiclero camp was where sap from the “Chicle" tree was drained and boiled down to produce the base used for chewing gum, hence the name "chiclets".

Further information about the birds and animals found in the park can be found in the books “Maya Nature” and “Birds of Mexico and Adjacent Areas” both available at Alma Libre Books in Puerto Morelos. Dr. Alfredo Barrera Marín Botanical Garden is located near the turnoff to Puerto Morelos on Highway 307 at Kilometer 38. It is open daily from 9am-4pm, birders may be admitted earlier upon request. Bug repellent and long pants are recommended.


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