The Botanical and Acclimatisation Garden
On the road out of town we have one of our historical and cultural gems , a product of the Spanish Enlightenment. The Botanical and Acclimatisation Garden of La Orotava was created in1792 by the Marqués de Villanueva del Prado on the orders of King Carlos III to establish on Tenerife plantations to acclimatise plant species arriving from the Americas and Asia, since the experiments carried out in the Royal Gardens in Aranjuez and Madrid did not achieve the success hoped for , due to the rigours of winter. The Gardens contain an interesting collection of 1,500 subtropical species and receive over 300,000 visits every year. It is also home to a specialised library, a herbarium with 30,000 specimens, a germoplasm bank, a nursery and other facilities , making it an important research centre. The Canary Government plans to duplicate the area of the Garden in the near future. From a historical point of view, the Botanical Garden was Puerto’s first tourist attraction, because from the XIXth Century it was an obligatory visit for travellers arriving on the fruit company steamers.