Housing a variety of flora in a naturalistic environment, this English-style garden is a perfect spot to have some time away from the buzz of the town center.
At a glance, Jardin de Orquideas de Sitio Litre is stunning with its amusing nooks and crannies. The garden is an abode to an extensive collection of tropical and subtropical plants from America and Africa. It also hosts a variety of impressive and colorful orchids, the queen of fragrant flowers. In the middle of the garden sits the eye-catching 600-year old Dragon Tree, the oldest in Puerto de la Cruz.
Aside from the rich flora, it is also brimming with exotic fauna. Walking around the park, listen to the love birds chirping sweet nothings to each other, or relax by the pond and watch the koi carps swimming here and there. The favorite among the visitors is Nelson, the three-legged iguana, which is usually perched up on a patch of bamboo.
Furthermore, Jardin de Orquideas de Sitio Litre owns a private mansion that dates back to 1730. The colonial-style architecture adds an elegant touch to this delightful garden. With the course of time, the site played a prominent role as a place of stay for many foreigners who visited the island.
A Look into the Past
The oldest garden in Tenerife, Jardin de Orquideas de Sitio Litre’s walls, and buildings have over 200 years of stories to tell.
When it was first built, the mansion served as a headquarter and wine cellar of a Dutch wine exporting company. The first owner, Archibald Little, bought the property in 1774 and named it Sitio Litre or Little Site. Over a hundred years and two owners later, the garden was established.
The house served many well-known personalities over the years. Among them were German botanist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt and William Wilde, the father of Oscar Wilde.
But the most famous and well-loved of them all was Marian North, a renowned botanical painter. Many of her remarkable Tenerife masterpieces were painted in and inspired by this garden.
At present, copies of these paintings are placed around the garden. This painting exhibit has been maintained and kept in its original state even after 130 years.
Things to Do
Although smaller compared to other attractions in Puerto de la Cruz, there are a couple of things to do and see in Jardin de Orquideas de Sitio Litre. Instead of exhausting visitors, these activities only add up to the easy-going and serene atmosphere of the garden.
Morning or Afternoon Tea at the Cafe
Four generations of descendants of the original colonists who built the mansion run this cafe. The homemade English cream tea and a variety of delicious cakes are a treat to the tastebuds. Feasting on these delights while savoring the views, this experience is as refreshing as it should be.
Admire Marian North’s Works of Art
Aside from the cafe, the garden also has an exhibition of Marian North’s impressive masterpieces. The Royal Botanic Gardens of London in Kew collaborated with and gave these paintings to the garden. At present, visitors have the chance to marvel at these awe-inspiring paintings without having to visit a museum.
Stop and Smell the Flowers
Jardin de Orquideas de Sitio Litre is a tranquil oasis for visitors who wants to take a break from the seafront. Here, guests may stroll around the gardens and feel one with nature. The colorful, fragrant orchids, fantastic installations, and overall serene atmosphere bring contentment and peace to anyone visiting. There are also some seats where visitors may enjoy some blissful alone time while reading a book or admiring the lush tropical garden.
Getting to Jardin de Orquideas de Sitio Litre
Tucked away in the streets of Puerto de la Cruz, first-time visitors can easily overlook Jardin de Orquideas de Sitio Litre.
The easiest way to get to the garden is by renting a car or taking a cab. For visitors coming from Santa Cruz, take TF-31 and TF-312 road going to Puerto de la Cruz. Then, take a right turn to Camino Sitio Litre where the garden is located.
Alternatively, guests may take a 10-minute uphill walk to Camino Sitio Litre from Calle Valois.
Operating Hours and Entrance Fees
The entrance fee to Jardin de Orquideas de Sitio Litre is 4,75 Euros for visitors of all ages. Guests may visit daily from 09:30 to 18:00 during the summer season and from 09:30 to 17:00 during the winter months. Tickets must be purchased in the garden; online booking is not available.
Jardin de Orquideas de Sitio Litre’s location is ideal for visitors who want to stay longer after the visit. Perched up on a hill near the town center, there are many different hotels and apartments nearby.
Hotel El Tope
This hotel takes visitors from day to night with its pool, buffet restaurant, and evening entertainment. Hotel El Tope is a 4-star cliff-side hotel that offers sweeping views of Mount Teide and the sea. Book Now!
Hotel Elegance Miramar
This traditional and charming hotel offers casual comfort in a relaxing environment. Located on the beautiful Taoro Hill, this hotel blesses visitors with superb views over the sea and the Orotava Valley.
This place is ideal for a relaxing break by the sea. The apartment has a big outdoor terrace and large swimming pool. Tenerife’s black sand beaches are also just a 20-minute walk away.
A Gem of Puerto de la Cruz
Spending a few days in Tenerife, it’s easy to think that the island is all sea and sand. However, for curious travelers wanting to see more of the island, Jardin de Orquideas de Sitio Litre is a gem they will most likely cross paths with.
For guests looking for a momentary escape from the congested beach scene, this Garden is the place to be. The perfect blend of history, dose of arts and tranquility this garden brings never fail to captivate the hearts of its visitors.