At first glance Gran Canaria comes across as a very dry island. However, it is dotted with lovely gardens and parks and the Járdin Botánico was one of my absolute highlights of our trip there. Originally, I had planned to go for a hike in the mountains, but traveling from San Telmo in Las Palmas the Botanical Garden seemed easier to reach and was just a short bus ride away. And, in hindsight, the visit was an absolute highlight of the trip. So much so that some of the photos I am sharing below are now the centerpiece of a picture wall in our little flat.
Starting at the top of the park we slowly descended turning left and right into various little paths and down some steep steps. The paths are lined with beautiful cacti, palm trees, olive trees (mhhh, olives!) and dozens of other plants I could not possibly name. The views were spectacular and I had great fun playing around with the macro lens on my SLR. I especially loved these plants below. Do any of you know what they are called?
I was impressed by the sheer size of some plants. There were walls of cacti as large as a small building. Nothing I'd want to accidentally trip into! And then there were trees so dense you almost could not see through the leafless branches.
Once we reached the bottom, we got to a little pond with ducks and beautiful vibrant dragonflies in bright shades of red and blue. This one sat still for an eternity which gave me a chance to take a few close ups. What a beautiful insect it is. Families were enjoying picnics on the lawns and others were lugging around bags of camera equipment.
Then we continued on to my favourite part of the garden: the cactus garden. I know I showed of a few cacti already but this one below with the pink has got to be one of the most wonderful plants we saw. I also thought the little round cacti were adorable. As long as you stay far away from them. Those spikes are mean.
All in all we probably spent a good three or four hours walking around and resting on benches. The entry to the park is free and even on a cloudy day like the one we had there is plenty to see and enjoy. If you are in Gran Canaria or going there and especially if you are in or around Las Palmas I can definitely recommend driving up to the garden and enjoying a day out.