Orquideas Moxviquil (Periferico Norte 4) is a botanical orchid garden and plant rescue center located in the highlands of Chiapas, just outside the historic center of San Cristobal de las Casas.
The organization was first established in 1994 as the Jardín de Orquideas San Cristobal (San Cristobal Orchid Garden). In 2002 they partnered with Pronatura Sur, an NGO that works to safeguard the biodiversity of Southern Mexico, to establish Orquideas Moxviquil.
Orquideas Moxviquil works to rescue and preserve orchids and epiphytes (non-parasitic plants living on the bark of trees and shrubs) from areas suffering from deforestation as well as to educate the public about the region’s biodiversity.
Orquideas Moxviquil has rescued more than 3,000 plants. The organization’s impressive collection includes more than 400 of the recorded 700 species of orquideas flowers that are found in the Chiapas region, including several species that are nearing extinction in their natural habitats.
In addition to a rainbow of plants and orquideas flowers, there are greenhouses, a visitors’ center, amphitheater, sculpture garden and a large man-made lagoon that collects rainwater used to irrigate the grounds of the reserve.
You’ll also have the opportunity to learn about many of the traditional medicinal herbs and regional flora that are used by the indigenous Maya in the nearby villages of San Juan Chamula and San Lorenzo Zinacantan.
The Orquideas Moxviquil botanical orchid garden is part of the larger Moxviquil nature reserve that helps to protect and preserve the forests and natural areas surrounding San Cristobal.
You might consider a hike along wilderness trails leading from the reserve into the surrounding forests and visit the unexcavated Moxviquil Maya archaeological site located nearby.