The Cactus Garden is located at an old ash quarry, in the middle of an agricultural area of prickly pears in Guatiza town. It is Manrique´s last work in Lanzarote and was inaugurated in 1990, 2 years before he died. (C.M died on september 25th, 1992 due to a car crash) but the idea of the cactus garden goes back to the 1970s and was an original idea from Eloino Perdomo. Cesar asked Lanzarote Island Council to buy the plot, wall it up and fix the mill inside. The artist designed the garden maps in 1970, and nineteen years later he was finally able to execute the project on behalf of the government of the island. The construction started in 1989 and the garden was officially inaugurated two years later.
This Cactus Garden is different from the gardening tradition in the world and although César Manrique found out in Japan the inspiration the final result is original and unique to Lanzarote style. There are over 7,200 cactus of over 1,100 species from Africa, America and the Canary Islands and there are still more new cacti coming to the garden.
The cactus garden is a magnificent example of an architectural intervention in the landscape. Cesar Manrique designed the cactus garden keeping a harmony between art and nature, like he did in all his works. Outside the garden, on the main road, it is a large sculpture of a cactus which is the symbol of the cactus garden. The entrance made of carved stone and the surprising access to the interior are striking, after which you suddenly discover the exuberant panorama of the Garden.
The architectural work looks like a Roman amphitheatre. It is built with hand-carved basalt stones, laid out on terraces.
The visitors can take different itineraries, appreciating the strange beauty of the plants, of different shapes and sizes. In the central area there are several natural monoliths resulting from the extraction activity. A pond with fish gives freshness to the space. The garden reaches its maximum splendour with the flowering of the cactus.
In the center of the garden there is a small pond with small aquatic plants and a souvenir shop. There is also a coffee shop and a windmill that can be visited and from where there is a wide panoramic view of the landscape. The mill is where roasted grain was ground to obtain gofio, a popular Canarian food used by the people who lived on the islands before the conquest in the 15th century, and which is still very popular.
Info about Cactus
A cactus burger, please!
It is highly recommended going up to the 19th century mill and sitting in the bar, which offers a spectacular view of the labyrinthine plant amphitheatre. Two lagoons with two monoliths of rofe, water lilies and orange fish give an orienting freshness to the surroundings. We could say goodbye with a local cheese and some classic wrinkled potatoes, but no. Not at all. We want more green and we order a cactus burger, an idea that the executive chef of the Centro de Arte Cultura y Turismo of Lanzarote, Alberto Nieto, took from a stall in the neighbouring market of Teguise, which every Sunday concentrates a multitude of people looking for vermouth.
He said: «It is made of 50% prickly pears (a cactus that grows all over the island) and 50% typical Lanzarote products: potatoes, millet and onions». A goat yoghurt sauce and some rocket leaves finish off this vegetarian burger. The feeling of having walked through a science fiction site is intensified when we take the first bite and see the fuchsia colour of the crumb. «The bun has a tomato concentrate on it,» explains the chef, who is now looking for the perfect recipe for a cactus flower ice cream.
Opening Hours: The Garden opens from 10:00 to 17:00 except on December 24th and 31st which is closed. Price: 6.50 euro. Telephone: +34 928 529397
If you want to visit all the Tourist Centres on Lanzarote, we recommend you take advantage of the VOUCHER FOR 6 CENTRES and benefit from discounts. In addition to saving up to 20% on fees, it will speed up access at some of the centres. The Voucher for 6 Centres includes the admissions to: the Timanfaya National Park, Jameos del Agua, Cueva de los Verdes, Mirador del Río, Cactus Garden and the Castle of San José. All of them constitute the main tourist references, being a must to understand the true essence of Lanzarote. Click here to buy the Voucher for 6 centres.
Getting to the Cactus Garden
You can get to the Cactus Garden by Public Bus (Linea 9 from Arrecife Bus Station), Coach Tour or Car.
Let us guide you and You will not regret it !