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Jardin de la Marquesa

April 16, 2013
Las Hesperides Tropical Garden

Do you like to get out and about on your travels? At Gran Canaria Local, we travel the length and breadth of the island to share with you our favourite places and spaces. Like Jardin de la Marquesa in Arucas.

Here are five random, and not-so-random, observations we made on the journey to and from there. And everything inbetween. Without no further ado:

  1. We love Global trotting on Gran Canaria
  2. The Canary Islands are Europe’s Caribbean
  3. Jardin de la Marquesa’s GC’s Eden Project in miniature
  4. Around the world, around the world
  5. Introducing Las Hesperides

1. We love Global trotting on Gran Canaria

Another Friday, another date with Global buses at Parque San Telmo bus station. This time we know where we’re going: Arucas’ Jardin de la Marquesa on the 206 via Bañaderos. Except the 206 we get on insists we’re off to Ba?aderos, clearly the bus’ computer system is English, and makes no mention of Arucas at all.

Las Hesperides Tropical Garden
Botanical gardens in Arucas

2. The Canary Islands are Europe’s Caribbean

It’s a typically muggy north-coast day. There are clouds but they’re doing little to keep the temperature down. We’ve never been to the Caribbean, but whenever we head to Arucas with its banana plantations we feel like we should have our passports stamped. A 10-minute drive from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, aka Little Havana, sees you island-hop to Jamaica.

3. Jardin de la Marquesa’s GC’s Eden Project in miniature

On approaching the Marquess of Arucas’ garden, it seems to have little in common with Tim Smit’s Cornwall tourist magnet. Neither is the similarity that clear after we’ve each paid 6 Euros to enter, as there are more staff than punters. However, there are 2,500+ species of tropical and subtropical flora in the Jardin de la Marquesa. And, unlike at the Eden Project, there’s not a greenhouse in sight.

4. Around the world, around the world

The island’s temperate climate means that species from a number of continents can flourish, growing naturally without any need for hothouses. And so there’s papaya from Colombia, bird of paradise flower from South Africa, and hibiscus from China. To name but three.

5. Introducing Las Hesperides

Another name for the Jardin de la Marquesa is Las Hesperides. In classical Greek mythology, the Hesperides were nymphs who tended an idyllic garden in the far west of the world, a location many believe to be the Canary Islands. Sadly, there are no nymphs on our visit although a peacock (the Spanish call them the royal turkey, the pavo real, which seems fitting in this noble setting) flashes us as we make our way out. All in all, an odd end to an odd start.