Botanical Gardens and Taino Experience
Puerto Rico is rich in history and culture. It also has a perfect climate to grow some of the prettiest flowers and plants imaginable. Renamed after a much-loved mayor, The William Miranda Marin Botanical and Cultural Garden offers a must-see natural museum that's a trip for all your senses.
In the city of Caguas, located about 45 minutes south of San Juan, we will visit 60 acres of ecological site, featuring over 30 varieties of trees, plants, tropical fish and beautiful palm trees, all on the grounds of a former sugar mill. For the next two hours, you will tour the gardens that now decorate the land once home to pre-Colombian Taino Indians. It is bordered by the Caguitas River, where Chief Caguax ruled Taino Indian communities. See the collection of Taino artifacts, the Taino Arboretum houses, and sculptures of the Taino women working on their conucos (raised gardens). You'll also see a ceremonial Batey with carved Taino monoliths, where they played ball and held their meetings. Enjoy fifty different indigenous tree species and indigenous agricultural plant beds. Breathtaking sculptures are in your trails, such as the fourteen-foot Samuel Lind sculpture.
Then, as we walk through the incredible landscapes, you will start to smell the aroma of firewood cooking. Follow this aroma and you will arrive to a wooden house where you can volunteer to participate in creating a native Taino dish using the Taino's own cooking methods. A delicious meal, one homemade natural juice and a dessert are included. The cooking demonstration and lunch take approximately 90 minutes. Join us at this unique tour full of herbs and vegetable gardens, fruit trees and lily ponds, and taste the flavors of our Taino Indians.
The typical menu, based on availability of fresh ingredients, may include: native Puerto Rican fritters, rice and beans, chicken or pork chops, homemade flan and natural fruit juice. Tour requires a minimum of four guests to operate.