Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - Mexico, the world's third most biodiverse country, boasts well over 1,200 different native orchid species. More than 200 have been recorded in the state of Jalisco alone, and of those many are found in the jungles and highlands around Vallarta.
Sadly, many of these natives are under near-constant attack and are being plundered - to the point of extinction - and brazenly sold in a thriving black market for illegally collected wildlife. Fueling this totally preventable and catastrophic orchid extinction are both the native Mexican and expat communities here, who provide a customer base for unscrupulous poachers of endangered plants and wildlife.
Although it may be tempting to buy orchids cheaply from street vendors, please bear in mind that such purchases are not only illegal but highly unethical, as they diminish our local biodiversity and natural splendor.
Also be aware that the majority of orchids taken from the wild are doomed to slowly languish and die in dark, airless corners of homes, shops, bars and restaurants. Unfortunately, dead and dying wild-collected orchids are readily seen today all around Puerto Vallarta.
Orchid poachers collect wild orchids by the hundreds by trespassing on private property and by robbing other natural areas, stripping and gathering for sale entire populations. An environmental tipping point is now rapidly approaching, when native orchids that have been severely depleted will not remain self sustaining.
Preserving our area's biodiversity - its plants and animals - here in our beloved Mexico is everyone's responsibility. No environmentally responsible person should ever buy illegally collected wildlife such as wild parrots or native orchids.. Cultivated orchids can be found for sale in many places around town. If you wish to collect orchids, please do so responsibly.
Located 30 minutes south of Old Town at Km. 24 on Highway 200, Vallarta Botanical Gardens offer something to keep every age group happy; from a Rose Garden for the romantic to jungle trails for the adventurous and a Carnivorous Plants area for the younger generation! The Botanical Gardens' vibrant and elegant settings also offer the perfect venue for weddings and special occasions. For more information, call (322) 223-6182 or visit VallartaBotanicalGardensAC.org.
Click HERE to learn more about Vallarta Botanical Gardens.