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“small but interesting”

Aprovaca (The Orchid Nursery & Conservation Center)
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Attraction details
Owner description: APROVACA is an orchid nursery & conservation center. We display over 100 beautiful orchids, most of which are native to Panama. Entrance is $2, which include a 20-min guided tour of the center in Spanish or the free use of an English self-guided tour booklet. APROVACA is one of the few places where the National Flower of Panama, the Dove Orchid, is grown in the country. In the greenhouse dedicated exclusively to this endangered flower, you can see over 100 plants growing. In fact, each flower has a sponsor, who donates $20 annually to help us care for and protect this gorgeous orchid species. In our recently expanded garden, you can also see many unique orchid species, such as the vanilla orchid (vanilla is actually an orchid!), lady slipper orchids, the Vanda Miss Joaquim (the gorgeous National Flower of Singapore) and many cute little miniature species. As such, there is no better place to learn about the amazingly rich and unique flora of Panama!Apart from admiring the beautiful orchids, you can also buy the Moth Orchid (Phalaenopsis) and over 20 varieties of herbs and medicinal plants. We also run an internet cafe on our premise, where we offer high-speed internet connection through computers and Wi-Fi, good coffee, homemade cakes and fresh juice. The latest addition to our center is Hostel Orchid, the first genuine backpacker accommodation in El Valle. The rate is $12 per night, which include hot shower, free Wi-Fi and a free visit of the orchid center APROVACA. Please visit our renewed website to learn more about us. We are waiting for your visit!
Norfolk, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
80 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“small but interesting”
Reviewed March 7, 2012

such enthusiasum by lovely volunteer from Austria she took us around and told us all the information about not just orchids but everything here

Visited February 2012
Thank Nanadid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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136 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“A fun little trip”
Reviewed February 21, 2012

Worth the visit only two dollars to get in some really interesting orchids make sure to smell the vanilla and the walk is enjoyed not too far from the town Central about a half hour

Thank luxorgoods
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Nice way to slow down”
Reviewed February 14, 2012

We were looking for something to do in El Valle that wasn't along the lines of a nature hike, and decided to try Aprovaca. It's right off of the main road into El Valle, with a decent sign pointing the way. Go all the way to the end of the road, and it dead ends into the Conservation Center. You can't beat the price of admission ($2 per adult, free for kids 9 and under). We had a guided tour from a young Panamanian man - his english was adequate, but not perfect by any means. It was nice to hear the history of the flowers and take in a new appreciation for new things we didn't know. Our kids (7 and 8 year old girl and boy) especially liked that periodically the guide would pick some "grass" and have them smell it, because it was lemon grass, or cinnamon scented grass, vanilla beans (which are a type of orchid!) etc. They also like the small exhibit where the "safe orchid" and "non-safe orchid" bugs are displayed - the magnifying glasses were a nice touch for them. You can snap as many pictures as you want - the tour will wait for you. One disappointment is that the Flor del Espiritu Santo is only in bloom July - November. A special greenhouse is dedicated to the species, but when we were there, it was all green with no blooms, since we were out of season.

If you are looking for a nice, easy going, cheap activity, check out the Aprovaca. We spent about 45 minutes at Aprovaca.

Visited February 2012
Thank GerbDaisy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mississauga, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“wonderful place”
Reviewed February 3, 2012

Small but well run by knowledgeable staff. We had a tour in English and learned a lot about the flowers of Panama

Visited January 2012
Thank Jane M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, TX
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Great cap to a day”
Reviewed January 19, 2012

This small nursery has one of the most extensive comilations of plants I have ever seen. It is a perfect way to end a day of activities in El Valle. If the lady gives you the full tour and explains every type of orchid that they have (en Espanol only)
it will take you about 45 minutes and you will learn a ton

Visited January 2012
1 Thank Hunter S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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