The Cadereyta botanical garden was opened in 1991 by the regional government of Querétaro as a space to display the botanical biodiversity of the country, and to conserve rare and endangered plants.
Despite being one of the smallest states in Mexico, Querétaro is one of the most biodiverse in terms of plants and animals. This is largely a result of the abundance of micro-ecosystems formed by the mountain ranges and valleys of the Sierra Gorda, Trans-Volcanic belt, and the Sierra Madre Oriental.
However, the primary focus of this garden is undoubtedly the cacti and agave succulents that inhabit the Querétaro Semidesert ecosystem, an extremely arid region that covers more than 20 percent of the state.
Many of the cacti on display are in fact endemic to the deserts of Querétaro (found nowhere else on earth). Among these are species that are critically endangered due to over-harvesting, climate change, and land-use changes. The garden ensures the continued survival of such threatened species by both research and in-situ conservation of remaining wild populations and the ex-situ propagation of these plants in captivity.
Other cacti on display that are found in other states of the country include the peyote, with its famous hallucinogenic mescaline protoalkaloids, the towering saguaro, and agaves from which tequila and pulque are derived.
The botanical garden is not just a refuge for plants, it is also a great spot for seeing several bird, reptile, amphibian, and insect species.
Know Before You Go
The botanical garden is open everyday from 9 am to 5 pm.
The entrance fee costs $40 pesos and includes an optional guided tour.