Last Monday in November, we were hanging out at the side of the highway waiting to flag down the bus for Boca. The idea was to hang out in the town plus maybe take a water taxi to one of the secluded coves. However, the first bus careening into view was bound for El Tuito which led to a quick change in plans. Figured we may as well hop on and spend part of the day at the Botanical Gardens rather than wait until later in the week. Twenty minutes later, we arrived right at the gates about 10:05 just a few minutes after opening but it is still locked up tight. Met a couple who had arrived on an earlier bus plus a tour SUV with another two people. It seems we all miscalculated as the Gardens are closed on Mondays from April to December.
Sure enough! Checked the notes on my Nexus 7 to discover this was true. For a moment I wondered why I research things if I can’t be bothered to read it later. Lucky for us the tour guide phoned somebody connected with the gardens, so moments later one of the staff showed up to spring the locks on the gate (he also accepted the entry fee). Pretty special for just six people to have the run of the place without the usual hordes of tourists arriving by the busload. For the low price - 60 pesos - it is well worth the visit. Besides the gardens and restaurant (it remained closed), there are also a network of hiking trails and a swimming area in the river. Just before we left, we managed to convince one of the staff to let us buy some local coffee beans and a bottle of vanilla, of course.
If you head out from PV the El Tuito bus is only 20 pesos each way, stops very close by and seems to run quite often. Just remember to check the schedule for the Gardens - they may not always be so kind on closed Mondays.