How to Visit the Cactus Garden, Lanzarote (Jardín de Cactus)

Lanzarote is synonymous with the life and work of the artist César Manrique and the Jardín de Cactus is his crowning glory. Set in a volcanic crater, this terraced garden has more cacti than you can shake a stick at and is one of the island’s most popular sights.

I spent a wonderful few hours at the Jardín de Cactus, an easy bus journey from my Lanzarote base in Costa Teguise. Get the lowdown on visiting the Cactus Garden, Lanzarote, including how to get there and what to expect.

red cacti flowers seen in jardin de cactus in lanzarote

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What is the Cactus Garden, Lanzarote?

As much a giant work of art as a botanical garden, the Cactus Garden was César Manrique’s final gift to his beloved Canary Island.

In collaboration with the eminent botanist Estanislao González Ferrer, Manrique transformed the site of a volcanic crater, from where picon (volcanic gravel) was quarried, into a spiralling, terraced cactus wonderland. It is quintessential Manrique, integrating decorative and sculptural elements into the natural landscape.

Work began on the Jardín de Cactus in 1976 but wasn’t inaugurated until 1990, two years before the artist’s tragic death in a car accident.

close up of 3 low round cactus plants

Cactus plants are ideally suited to Lanzarote’s arid landscape. Cactus plants need little water and they can store what they require in their fleshy body or leaves.

The location chosen for the Cactus Garden was no accident.

The area around the Jardín de Cactus is rich with fields of cultivated cactus, from which cochineal is still produced. Cochineal, a red dye produced by crushing the beetle (Dactylopius coccus costa) was once an important money-spinner for Lanzarote.

What to Expect from a Visit to the Cactus Garden, Lanzarote

The view on entering the Jardín de Cactus has that wow factor. Its spiralling volcanic terraces form an amphitheatre that shows off the garden’s 500 species of cactus from five continents to stunning effect.

elevated view of the jardin de cactus lanzarote surrounded by low volcanic peaks

There are tall and phallic ones, round and squat ones and others that resemble small, furry animals. On a sunny, clear day, the contrast of the shades and textures of the cacti and their flowers against the volcanic stone and blue sky is almost poetic.

cactus plants in front of a volcanic landscape in lanzarote spain

It’s a photographer’s dream.

Pachypodium lamerei is a stunner. Long spines emanating from its sturdy base are topped with fragrant white flowers. 

white flowers with yellow centre in front of an old windmill in cactus garden, lanzarote

I also loved the little dumpy cacti known as Mother in Law’s Cushion (Echinocactus grusonii). They occupy a prime piece of garden real estate beneath the windmill (el molino) that crowns the Jardín de Cactus.

low round cacti in front of a small windwill at the top of a terrace

This windmill was once used to grind corn and is one of the best-preserved in Lanzarote. Climb its steps for a high-level view of the garden and to learn more about how grain was milled during the 19th century.

Fancy a cactus burger? This unusual culinary offering, made from tunera cactus, potato and maize, is available from the Cactus Garden’s café.

After strolling around the garden’s terraces, descend to ground level and take a look at its pond with its lively fish and striking stone sculpture.

pond with a small quirky rock sculpture of a face with eye acting as a fountain

Finally, don’t leave the Jardín de Cactus without checking out the artwork on the external walls of the toilets. These Manrique designs are as much of a crowd-puller as the prickly plants themselves.

quirky line drawing of a naked man
quirky line drawing of a naked woman

Guide to Visiting Jardín de Cactus in Lanzarote: Practical Information

Where is the Cactus Garden in Lanzarote?

The Cactus Garden is located in the northeast of the island, near the village of Guatiza.

Its address is Carretera General del Norte, s/n, 35530 Guatiza, Lanzarote.

map showing the location of the cactus garden in lanzarote
Location of the Cactus Garden in Lanzarote. Map data @ 2023 Google

How to get to the Cactus Garden, Lanzarote

By car

If you are hiring a car in Lanzarote, it is easy to drive to the Cactus Garden and you can leave your vehicle in the car park at the entrance.

From Costa Teguise, it will take you no more than 15 minutes along LZ-1. If you are travelling from Arrecife, you are looking at a journey time of around 30 minutes.

Jardín de Cactus is around a 30-minute drive from Puerto del Carmen or 50 minutes from Playa Blanca.

Bus to the Cactus Garden, Lanzarote

If you are using public transport in Lanzarote, it’s easy to get to the Cactus Garden by bus. Buses 7, 9 and 26 run between Arrecife and the Jardín de Cactus. You can check the timetables here.

Organised tours to Jardín de Cactus

But if you want to sit back and let someone else take care of the arrangements for you, consider an excursion from one of Lanzarote’s resort towns. This is an excellent option if you want to see more of César Manrique’s creations, allowing you to pack more into your stay on the island.

Here are a few options that other travellers have rated highly. They all include entrance to the included attractions.

César Manrique Full-Day Tour

This comprehensive tour exploring the legacy of Lanzarote’s favourite son includes Mirador del Rio, Jardin de Cactus, Jameos del Agua and the wonderful Fundación César Manrique.

>>> CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION

Lanzarote Coast to Coast Tour

This 6-hour tour combines a visit to the Cactus Garden and the LagOmar museum with a ferry to La Graciosa.

>>> CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION

a collection of cactus plants with low volcanic peak in background

Jardín de Cactus opening hours and ticket price

Jardín de Cactus is open daily from 10 am until 4.30 pm. The café and shop shut at 4.45 pm.

In 2024, it costs €8 to visit Jardín de Cactus.

What is the best time to visit Jardín de Cactus?

Jardín de Cactus is one of Lanzarote’s most popular attractions and it can get very busy, especially in the middle of the day. To avoid the worst of the crowds and the midday heat, try to visit the Cactus Garden first thing in the morning or later in the afternoon.

How much time do you need at Cactus Garden, Lanzarote?

You need at least an hour to do the Cactus Garden any justice. If you are a cactus fangirl or fanboy or want to take in the view from the café, spend upwards of two hours there.

Is the Cactus Garden, Lanzarote Worth Visiting?

As home to one of the best collections of cacti in the world, it is well worth adding the Cactus Garden to your Lanzarote itinerary. Its beauty is striking and whether you are a solo traveller to Lanzarote or have little ones in tow, there is something for everyone.

Finally, if you’ve found this article helpful, check out my other Lanzarote destination guides:

bridget coleman the flashpacker 2

About Bridget

Bridget Coleman has been a passionate traveller for more than 30 years. She has visited 70+ countries, most as a solo traveller.

Articles on this site reflect her first-hand experiences.

To get in touch, email her at hello@theflashpacker.net or follow her on social media.

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