cicy-jardin-botanicoIf you like nature, breathing fresh air, and observing plants and animals in their natural habitat, you can’t miss one of the most important vegetation heritage sites on the peninsula, the botanical garden Jardín Botánico Regional “Roger Orellana”, which is right in the north part of the city of Mérida. Incredible.

Where is this amazing place?

Located at an old henequén planting site of 2.7 hectars at the Centro de Investigación Científica de Yucatán (CICY) (center for scientific investigation), since its founding in 1983 its objective has been to preserve the flora of this region, promote contact with nature, and the educational goal of helping children and teens learn about and value the vital role played by plants.

It was declared a live plant museum (Museo Vivo de Plantas) by the Secretaría del Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (secretary of environment and natural resources) in 1999, and since 2002 it has been registered as a management unit for the conservation of wildlife (Unidad de Manejo para la Conservación de Vida Silvestre). It is an official member of the Mexican association of botanical gardens (Asociación Mexicana de Jardines Botánicos AC) and of the Botanic Gardens Conservation International organization.

What will I see?

Today it has 700 plant species native to the peninsula, 68 endemic species (those which are exclusive to this region), and more than 100 exotic plant species from other states or countries, which are habitat for birds, squirrels, turtles, possums, and other animals who have found a natural refuge in this green island in the middle of the city. Here you will find typical Yucatecan plant species such as the breadnut (ramón) tree, the ponytail (despeinada) plant, various palms, the “balché,” and the “ceiba”…each one with its own particular beauty and significance to the Maya.

How to visit?

The ideal way to visit the botanical garden is with a guided tour. By appointment, for all school group levels, as a family, as a tourist, or for more specialized purposes. During the one-and-a-half-hour tour, you will have an unforgettable experience where you can appreciate collections of plants including palms and magueys; spaces that recreate natural vegetation regions of Yucatán including the humid forest, the dry forest, and the coastal dune; aquatic, medicinal, ornamental, and succulent plants. In the nursery you can acquire certified plants which comply with environmental rules.

To set up a tour in Spanish, English, or French, all you need to do is get a group of at least five people together and call (999) 942 8330, extension 234; tours are available Monday-Friday from 9 am – 1 pm. The tour fee is only $25 pesos per person. Groups of minimum 10 people and maximum 30 people.

You’ll be able to obtain detailed descriptions of the plants, their uses, and be able to touch them, an ideal experience for children and teens, families, visitors, and anyone seeking an encounter with nature.

Wear comfortable clothes and shoes, a hat and sunscreen, take drinking water, and above all take along a desire to freely enjoy harmony and respect for nature. Make a point of it this summer or on a Saturday! It’s a great chance to discover this live garden museum, unique to the region.

Entrance Fee

Its free for all
Monday to Friday
9 am to 1 pm

Tour Fee

Minimum of 10 people and maximum 30 people
$25 pesos per person
Monday to Friday
9 am to 1 pm
Must reserve in advance
Tel. (999) 942 8330 ext. 234


Jardín Botánico Regional “Roger Orellana”
Calle 43 #130, Colonia Chuburná de Hidalgo
Right at the entrance to Fraccionamiento Francisco de Montejo
Tel. (999) 942 8330 ext. 234


Editorial by Violeta H. Cantarell

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