Cotacachi Botanical Garden

It was a great morning for a walk with high overcast clouds allowing me to see the tops of the mountains unobscured.  Chuck and Susan and I headed out towards the outskirts of town to locate the botanical gardens.  We weren’t exactly sure where they were, but eventually we found them.

Behind the large wooden gate we came across a somewhat well cared for garden with many displays of native plants.  It starts out with a walkway covered by an arbour with Granadilla vines that were lush with fruit.

I recognized the Granadilla fruit from the first ever trip we took to Ecuador.  Our guide Wilson introduced it to us calling it “Alien Babies”.  I picked one and brought it back to the apartment so I could cut it open to show why it is so called… It is gross looking but actually pretty sweet tasting.  You eat the gooey seeds in the middle.

At the end of the covered path, the garden opens up with displays of medicinal plants, grains, herbs, vegetables and fruit trees.  It was lacking care, but somebody had been doing their best to keep the weeds down and the display signs up.  We wandered around looking at the large variety of plants before heading back into town.

It was still early and on a Sunday, not much is open in town with very little traffic.  I took some photos of some of the main streets in town.  It is so clean compared to many other smaller communities in Ecuador.  The municipality is one of the few that hires street cleaners to help promote the cleanliness to the tourists.