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Introduction to the Botanical Garden in Bogotá, Colombia
If you’re in or planning to go to Bogotá, the Botanical Garden is something you don’t want to miss. The largest of its kind in Colombia is the José Celestino Mutis Jardín Botánico. This is easily somewhere you can visit and spend the entire day because there are so many different sections to see. There are also places to stop and have a snack or grab a bite to eat.
The Botanical Garden of Bogotá has an area for research but is also a place for everyone to enjoy. Due to the many landscapes across Colombia, there is a wide range of climates and therefore, plants. You can see many of these plants at the Botanical Garden in Bogotá. This is one of the best things to do in Bogotá.
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History of the Botanical Garden in Bogotá
The Botanical Garden in Bogotá is named after José Celestino Mutis (1732-1808). He was a Spanish mathematician, priest, and botanist. In 1763, Mutis asked the King to fund a trip to discover flora and fauna. It took 20 years for the King to grant permission.
Related: Salt Cathedral, Zipaquirá, Bogotá
Mutis and his team set up headquarters in Colombia. Although, most of Mutis’ botany work was lost or unpublished. However his name still lives on in Bogotá, where he eventually died. Also, named after Mutis, the flower mutisia clematis is the official symbol of the garden.
Enrique Pérez Arbeláez founded the park in 1955. He was a Colombian priest and botanist. The Botanical Garden spans 19.5 hectares with plants from the Andean and Páramo ecosystems. There are around 19,000 live plants and 2,300 cultivated plants.
The Botanical Garden in Bogotá is a member of the Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI). The garden is unique to Colombia in preserving flower species from the Andes.
Where is the Botanical Garden in Bogotá located?
The José Celestino Mutis Botanical Garde is located 11km from the center of Bogotá.
The address is at Cl. 63 #6895, Bogotá, Colombia. The listed telephone number is +5714377060.
What are the Sections at the Botanical Garden, Bogotá, Colombia?
There are two main sections in the Botanical Garden based on the ticket(s) you buy as listed below.
(i) GENERAL ENTRANCE
The main general entrance ticket gives access to 5 distinct sections at the Botanical Garden:
- Araceae Section
In the Araceae family, plants are generally flowering plants with decorative leaves. They are often used as indoor plants or, if in the tropics, outdoors.
- Bromeliaceae Section
Bromeliaceae are climate adaptable plants. The leaves take many different forms however, they tend to be patterned and coloured.
- Cactaceae Section
Cactus plants have shallow roots which allow them to absorb water quickly. Cacti grow in a wide variety of ways.
- Lamiaceae Section
The lamiaceae section consists of many aromatic and flowering plants generally used in culinary. Many of these plants are easily cultivated allowing for extensive growth. Some examples of these include basil, rosemary, and lavender.
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- Orchidaceae Section
This section consists of orchid plants which comprises of fragrant and colourful flowering plants with around 28,000 species.
(ii) TROPICARIO (TROPICAL) SECTION
A separate section in the Botanic Gardens in Bogotá is the the Tropicario (Tropical) Section there are 4 greenhouse areas as mentioned below.
- Super paramo / Superpáramo
- Useful Plants / Plantas útiles
- Dry Forest and Xerophyte / Bosque Seco y xerofitico
- Chocó Amazon / Chocó Amazonía
This video shows the various areas of the Tropicario section.
The next step is to download the map of the Botanical Garden in Bogotá, although it is in Spanish. You can also do tours with someone from the gardens when you go, again this is in Spanish.
However, you may contact them in advance to ask if they have any options for English tours. The guides describe the details of plants including names, history, where they are located and even their uses.
Note: There are no animal sections at the Botanical Garden.
Although any ticket provides access the restaurant area where you can grab a quick bite to eat or a proper meal.
Ticket Prices for the Botanical Garden, Bogotá
Age and nationality are the factors that define the price to enter the Botanical Garden. These prices can be seen below. For many places in Bogotá, you can find local pricing and foreigner pricing. In most cases, the foreigner pricing is still reasonable especially when considering the exchange rate.
You can buy tickets at the ticket office (taquilla) before entering. There is no need to purchase or reserve them in advance.
Schedule for the Botanical Garden, Bogotá, Colombia
The schedule for visiting is consistent unless there is a holiday on a Monday. It’s useful to know that most Colombian holidays move to Mondays. Be sure to look out for this before planning your trip to the Botanical Garden in Bogotá. Below you can see the days and opening hours:
Botanical Garden, Bogotá Alumbrado / Light Show
The Alumbrado or Christmas Light Show takes place every year from the start of December to mid-January everyday from 5:00pm to 10:00pm. You can buy tickets for $15,000 COP (US$3.80) on TuBoleta or at the ticket office. There are also many other apps for Bogotá and Colombia.
It should be noted that this ticket is non-refundable and does not provide entrance to the Tropicario / Tropical sections.
Remember to double check if alcoholic beverages, smoking, or pets are allowed at the time, but you can buy food and drinks at the Botanical Garden.
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You can enjoy the Botanical Garden, Bogotá alumbrado / light show, along with photo expositions, and artistic activities. Aside from this, the Tropicario (tropical) area, waterfall, and other ecosystems are also lit.
Things to do Nearby the Botanical Garden, Bogotá
When visiting the Botanical Garden in Bogotá, there are a couple other places very close by that I would recommend doing in one day if you’re trying to maximise your day.
- Parque Simón Bolívar (1km / 0.6 miles) – this is a large green park with a lake in the middle and a couple different sections. This includes a play area, a mini man-made beach, and auditorium. Parque Simón Bolívar is one of my favourite peaceful places to enjoy.
- Salitre Mágico (2km / 1.2miles) – is an amusement park with roller coasters, go kart racing, and rides for the whole family.
- Museo de Historia Natural (7km / 4.3miles)
Related: Visiting Parque Jaime Duque, Bogotá
Conclusion to Botanical Garden in Bogotá
A great way to see all of the different types of flora that Colombia has to offer is at the Botanical Garden in Bogotá. Being able to get a glimpse of the Amazon without having to go to the Amazon is such a special experience. Aside from this, having Parque Simón Bolívar and Salitre Mágico so close by makes for a great day out. Which area are you most excited to see in the Botanical Garden?