The Yaaxche-Alfredo Barrera Marin Botanical Garden in Puerto Morelos celebrates its thirty-sixth anniversary this June. With 65 hectares of jungle and wetlands, it is the second largest botanical garden in Mexico.

Trees and plants native to the Yucatán Peninsula grow in the garden, in addition to species from other tropical regions. There is a herb garden full of plants that the Maya use for healing and an exhibit about chicle, the gum harvested from the chicozapote tree that is the original raw ingredient for chewing gum. Wooden observation towers offer great views across the jungle and wetlands to the sea.

A visit to the Botanical Garden is a must for nature lovers. It is home to spider monkeys, coatimundi, deer, agouti and a variety of bird species ranging from parrots and motmots to forest falcons, toucans and hummingbirds.

The Botanical Garden is located just south of Puerto Morelos on Highway 307. It is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. Take a camera, binoculars and use eco-friendly insect repellent to ward off biting insects.