Among the finest getaways that large urban centers offer to their residents and visitors are its botanical gardens. They’re informative, enlightening, colorful and relaxing. In tropical climes, they’re also necessary, required escapes from the city’s heat and humidity. Like the Jardín Botánico de Medellín, or Botanical Garden of Medellin, a 14-hectare expanse north of the city center.
It’s not large by any means, but it packs a punch into those 35 acres. It’s home to more than one thousand species and 4,500 flowers, and known regionally for an important orchid collection housed in a 65-foot high wooden mesh-like structure dubbed the Orchideorama, which itself plays host to the occasional film, lecture or yoga jam session.
There’s a pond, cactus garden and butterfly house, too, and the home to one the best coffees I’ve ever had at botanical garden. That’s saying something, because I’ve been to quite a few.
Best of all –to me anyway, at the time coming after nearly four-and-a-half months of non-stop travel from South America’s southernmost reaches– was the space it allowed to simply sprawl out with a blanket and relax. Lying on a freshly-cut field of green under the shade of enormous hardwoods watching iguanas stomping to and fro proved to be the most memorable moment of a five-day stretch in Colombia’s second largest city.
I wasn’t alone. At one corner, a family enjoyed an afternoon picnic. At another, a young couple read to each other. In another spot, a baby sitter chased her young charge who was briefly chasing an iguana, pictured below.
A few more images, all shot in June 2013 and finally (!) given a permanent home here today. If you can help with an ID of any these flowers, by all means, please do in the comments.
And to help get your bearings:
Jardín Botánico/ Medellin Botanical Garden
Calle 73N #51 D-14 Medellin
transport: Universidad metro
Admission is free