Jardín de Cactus


Built into an old quarry, just north of tiny Guatiza, the Jardín de Cactus is said to have been Manrique’s favourite personal creation. Opened in 1991, it was also his final great project. It feels more like a giant work of art than a botanical garden, with gorgeous terraced slopes home to nearly 1500 different labelled varieties of cactus from all over the world (Mexico to Madagascar!). The stylish on-site bar-restaurant serves Lanzarote wines and tapas (€4 to €6).

The gardens' location between Guatiza and Mala is no coincidence, for while cacti are spotted across the island, here they were once the backbone of the economy. The cochineal insect is particularly attracted to the prickly pear cactus and, up until the late 19th century, the insects were harvested and dried, then used to produce a vivid red dye. Although cochineal fell out of favour with the advent of synthetic dyes, some hardy local farmers still make a living from the bugs and you'll notice an abundance of cacti all over this region.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Lanzarote attractions

1. Charco del Palo

1.58 MILES

If you fancy bathing (or even shopping!) in the buff, the naturist resort of Charco del Palo is bordered by pleasant sandy beaches and glimmering rocky…

2. Playa de la Garita

3.42 MILES

Arrieta's main attraction is small, golden, sandy-rocky Playa de la Garita, home to a couple of buzzy beach restaurants where you can relax over drinks,…

3. Casa-Museo César Manrique

4.52 MILES

Frozen in time, complete with Manrique's clothes in the cupboard and personal art collection adorning the walls, the palm-shaded final home of the island…

4. Piscinas de Punta Mujeres

4.59 MILES

One of the most magical swimming spots on Lanzarote, this cluster of glittering turquoise natural pools dots the coast in the tranquil whitewashed fishing…

5. Museo de la Piratería

4.71 MILES

Perched 396m high on the Montaña de Guanapay, 1km east of town with sweeping views across the plains, the 16th-century Castillo de Santa Bárbara doubles…

6. La Caleta de Famara

4.98 MILES

One of Lanzarote's most magical beaches, wild, sandy, dark-gold Caleta de Famara is a sweeping all-natural throwback, where surfers tackle some of the…

7. Museo Diocesano de Arte Sacro

5.22 MILES

Rebuilt after a 1618 fire, the 17th-century Convento de San Francisco houses a modest collection of religious art, a lovely artesonado ceiling and a fine…