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Cobán, Guatemala

Vivero Verapaz

This orchid sanctuary protects countless varieties of the flower ranging from huge to microscopic. 

Guatemala’s Vivero Verapaz nursery is devoted to nurturing and preserving as many species of orchid as they can, including blossoms that cannot be found anywhere else on Earth, and even some that are so small you need a magnifying glass to appreciate them.

Orchids are known for being extraordinarily delicate and difficult to cultivate correctly, but the Vivero Verapaz does not seem to have any trouble. Their lush greenhouse is regularly filled with the odd, swooping forms of orchid blossoms of every shape and color. The center grows hundreds of varietals of the plant including Guatemala’s rare national flower, the monja blanca or “white nun orchid.”

The flowers range in size from big enough to give a date, to so small a magnifying glass (which can be provided to visitors) is required to even take in the blossom.

It is suggested the visitors try and plan to visit the space between October and February when everything is in bloom, although the national orchid show takes place at the nursery each year, and it is said to be spectacular as well.