"The Rio Grande Botanic Garden" New Mexico Things to Do Tip by traveldave

New Mexico Things to Do: 276 reviews and 604 photos


The Rio Grande Botanic Garden is one facility of Albuquerque's large BioPark, along with the Albuquerque Aquarium, the Rio Grande Zoo, and Tingley Beach. It is situated on 52 acres (21 hectares) along the banks of the Rio Grande, which flows past the gardens to the west. The world's largest cottonwood gallery forest is located at the edge of the river.

Over 90 species of plants are displayed at the Rio Grande Botanical Garden in several themed exhibit areas. The 10,000-square-foot (929-square-meter) conservatory has two wings, each one featuring different types of plants. The Mediterranean Conservatory contains plants from the areas of the world with a Mediterranean climate, including the Mediterranean region, South Africa, coastal Southern California, coastal Chile, and Australia. Featured plants include rockroses, bottlebrush trees, olive trees, myrtles, oleanders, and several varieties of mints and sages. The Desert Conservatory contains plants from the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts of the American Southwest and northern Mexico. Featured plants include saguaro cactus, numerous other varieties of cactus, palo verde trees, creosote bushes, yucca, and elephant trees.

The Spanish-Moorish Courtyard and Walled Gardens re-creates a Moorish garden from the era when the Moors occupied Spain. The garden contains tilework, wrought-iron fixtures, and water features. Featured plants include aromatic species such as rosemary, Spanish lavender, fig trees, pomegranate trees, and roses.

The Sasebo Japanese Garden was designed by master landscape architect Toru Tanaka, and features koi ponds, waterfalls, an arched moon bridge, stone lanterns, and a pagoda.

The Curandera Garden features herbs and other plants used by traditional Spanish folk doctors (curanderas) to treat illnesses and wounds.

The Children's Fantasy Garden features a 14-foot (four-meter) dragon; a two-story, walk-through pumpkin 42 feet (13 meters) in diameter; giant insects; and large pretend vegetables that give children a mite's-eye-view of the world.

The ten-acre (four-hectare) Heritage Farm re-creates a 1930s-era New Mexican farm, complete with adobe farmhouse and barn, apple orchard, vineyard, field crops, vegetable gardens, and farm animals.

The botanic garden's central lake is the site of an annual summer concert series.

Directions: The Rio Grande Botanic Garden is located at 2601 Central Avenue NW, just west of downtown Albuquerque.

Was this review helpful?

  • Updated Dec 7, 2010
  • Send to a Friend
  • Add to your Trip Planner
  • Report Abuse


traveldave Visits Here Frequently!


“"....For I must be traveling on now, 'cause there's too many places I've got to see...." (Lynyrd Skynyrd).”

Online Now


Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 1 9 2

Have you been to New Mexico?

  Share Your Travels