We recently visited an orchidarium here in Cuenca. I didn’t even know there was one until my father in-law told me about it. Bryans parents are visiting from Canada and have been looking into “things to do” here in Cuenca.
When they told me that they would like to go see the orchidarium, I was surprised because the only one I had heard of is near Gualaceo, about a 45 minute drive from Cuenca. It seems to always be that way, when you live in a place you often don’t know about all the “tourist attractions” because you are no longer a tourist. 🙂
The Cuenca Orchidarium (Video)
Finding The Orchidarium (Orquideario)
The orchidarium is a little hard to find and doesn’t really look like much, but the orchids (orquídeas) are beautiful.
On Ordoñez Lazo you turn left at the first set of lights, after Hotel Oro Verde. After you cross the bridge, drive straight onto the dirt driveway (rather than following the road which turns left along the river).
You keep to the left of the buildings, taking a little driveway to some small building in the back. You will see a sign that says “Orchidario” then you go down the little driveway between the buildings. The orchidarium is at the end of the driveway.
We paid $1 per person (well, my in-laws paid $1 per person, for each of us – “thanks mom and dad!”) We were assigned a guide who told us that there were over 360 different varieties of orchids in the orchidarium and that they are all from Ecuador.
What We Saw at the Orchidarium in Cuenca
The greenhouses were set up according to climate zones. It was really interesting to see so many different orchids from the same climate zone in one room. There were many plants not in bloom, so I asked if there was a better time of year to visit. The guide said that the best time to visit is in May and December.
My favorite orchids are the ones that look like they have little monkey faces. I can’t believe how much they look like monkeys!
Our guide didn’t tell us many of the names of the orchids, but this one was named after the University of Cuenca so he was excited to tell us about it. The orchidarium is part of the University of Cuenca and the man that discovered this orchid was teaching there at the time.
A couple of others that really stood out to me were, one that looked like a little shoe and the wine colored one that we were told is very rare.
I had only seen a few verities of orchids before visiting the orchidariun. I was surprised to see such a big difference in their sizes, some were so big and others were really tiny. The variety of colors was amazing.
About the Orchidarium in Cuenca
- Horario: De 08h00 a 12h00 y de 14h00 a 18h00 de lunes a viernes. (Schedule: 8am to 12pm and 2pm to 6pm Monday to Friday).
- Dirección: Av. Víctor Manuel Albornoz, Quinta de Balzay.
- University of Cuenca: contact the University for up-to-date hours and contact information.
Have you been to an orchidarium here in Ecuador? Let us know where it was and what you thought of it by sharing your comments on this post.