In many vacation destinations gardens pop-up to lure tourists from the beach to spent some money elsewhere. Most of those gardens are not that great, but the Jardin de Cactus in Lanzarote is a lovely exception. Actually the whole of Lanzarote has much more to offer thanks to one man : César Manrique. This all-round artist made it his goal to protect his beloved island from terrible commercial development, as you see in many other holiday destinations. And although Lanzarote is a real holiday island, it has a lot to offer if you are not only aiming for the beach. Almost all the highlights of the island have Manrique’s signature. The Cactus garden, situated in an old quarry, is one of his last big works. He worked on it for about 20 years and it was finished in 1990, two years before he crashed with his Jaguar on his way to the airport. The garden contains over 4500 specimens from all over the world.
Entering the cactus garden is like entering an amphitheater. You come in on top and have a lovely view on the whole right away. At the other side of the garden you see an old mill that now also features as a viewing platform. It is lovely to wander around in the garden and enjoy all those very different kind of cacti, some of them evens stranger than the other.
Manrique also designed the cool bar and shop in his typical organic style. Even the toilets have some quirky details that will certainly put a smile on your face. If you want to enjoy all this cactus galore in a pleasant way it might be a good idea to come early or later in the afternoon. You are on a holiday island after all and this garden is a popular bus excursion trip. Don’t forget to visit also all the other creations of Manrique.
Jardin De Cactus : Carretera General del Norte, s/n, 35530 Guatiza, Lanzarote
Opening hours: 10:00 to 17:45. Summer opening hours (1 July – 30 September)09:00 to 17:45
Entrance Fee : 5.80 Euro