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“Interesting and rustic”

Aprovaca (The Orchid Nursery & Conservation Center)
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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!
Reviewed April 24, 2014

This is a place where orchids are grown to replenish the forests with native plants. The guide was knowledgeable and pleasant. There is a small fee to see the ongoing work project.

Thank TheRevs02
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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59 - 63 of 143 reviews

Reviewed April 23, 2014

This local grassroots organization is worth supporting with a visit. The guides are dedicated women volunteers who have been working for more than a decade to conserve endangered orchids and re-introduce them into their natural environment around El Valle. Grounds are beautiful and there are many orchids as well as other flowers and medical plants. Tour is available in either English or Spanish and is short but informative. A very nice hostal run by the same group is adjoined and proceeds help support the organization's work.

Thank Vanessa K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 27, 2014

We LOVED visiting this orchid nursery and conservation center. A guide walked us through the gardens and talked about all the different types. It was gorgeous, informative, and so peaceful! Highly recommended to swing by here as you are either coming or going from El Valle!

Thank PuppiesAndRocks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 27, 2014

In contrast to a lot in the area you feel you are paying for something really worthwhile here; not only are there things to look at but they are doing something beneficial by replanting orchids in the wild. We went in February - probably not the best time as most of the species are not flowering but you can see a large variety of orchid from the large showy ones to the minute types. There are other species in the gardens you can walk round as well or go inside the poly and net tunnels. We had I suppose less than an hour there but would have spent longer had there been more flowers.

Thank Kevin F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 13, 2014

Since El Valle is only a small town I wasn't expecting very much but was really surprised at the work going on here. The tour was short enough not to be boring and long enough to get sufficient information about the projects they are working on. Basically they are trying to re-populate the forests with endemic orchids that have been plundered by ruthless plant hunters. The number of different orchids grown here by the dedicated staff is amazing and the tour we had in perfect English was both interesting and informative. Orchids other than those grown in Panama are also grown and the garden sand bird feeders encourage a lot of beautiful birds. I really enjoyed my visit here

Thank valgardening
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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