Located in Guatiza, towards the ancient town of Teguise, the Jardín de Cactus is easy to spot with its giant metallic cacti sculpture outside the entrance. We were heading southward having spent time in Teguise, it was too tempting not to stop and have a look. There’s so much to explore in Lanzarote when you have a hire car and the freedom to travel around the island so I honestly didn’t think we’d make it here. Added to which cactus gardens probably aren’t that interesting to six year olds. But the Jardín de Cactus, built on the site of a disused quarry, offers so much more as we discovered. It is said to have one of the best collections of cacti in the world, showcasing some 10,000 plants and over 1,000 species.
Wrought iron gates at the entrance are adorned with a cacti motif which is visible in different guises across the Jardín de Cactus. The artist and architect Cesar Manrique has an undeniable talent in making his creations merge into the scenery. In this case the stone walls echo the surrounding cacti plantations providing an ideal surround for the cacti. Standing on the steps as you enter the bowl, you can’t help but notice the wonderful Gofio mill which stands tall at the back of the garden. Behind it the familiar volcanic landscape Lanzarote is known for.
The Jardín de Cactus is amphitheatre-like in the way it looks. The variety of cacti is quite astounding and while I’m no expert on the species, it’s impossible not to be impressed by what’s on offer. Some of the cacti are just huge with others resembling a weird and wonderful collection of vegetables. The environment is a sight to behold what with paved paths, levelled terraces, pools and bridges with that unmistakable black soil in abundance. There’s even a restaurant/bar and a shop in keeping with Cesar Manrique’s design.
We’d arrived at the Jardín de Cactus quite late in the afternoon following a day of exploring. While I could have loved to have lost a few hours here, it was superb we made it at all. It really is quite something.