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José Celestino Mutis Botanical Park

The José Celestino Mutis Botanical Park, inaugurated on March 15, 1993, is named after the most renowned Spanish botanist, José Celestino Mutis (Cádiz). He organized and directed the most famous scientific expedition to the New Kingdom of Granada (currently Colombia), which, under the approval of King Carlos III, lasted for 33 years. This expedition resulted in a significant herbarium of over 20,000 species and a collection of 6,000 sheets that were sent to the Royal Botanical Garden of Madrid.

The project was promoted by the Institute for Nature Conservation, the Provincial Council of Huelva, and the City Council of Palos de la Frontera, with the aim of showcasing the richness of Spanish and Ibero-American flora, collecting the characteristic elements of both geographical areas.

The park covers an area of ​​12 hectares, crisscrossed with paths or pedestrian routes that lead to two routes: a perimeter one that runs through the park’s watercourses, and another interior one through the different squares of the enclosure.

The characteristics of this Rabida park make it a landscaped space, adapted to an irregular terrain that favors and justifies the watercourses that run through it. The welcoming sound of water, in motion or calm, accompanies visitors from the entrance to the park, with a geyser-shaped fountain welcoming them.

Plazas, acting as nodes between paths, are dedicated to some of the American countries that showcase their flora in the park. Each country offers its most characteristic species in its square. There are true botanical gems in them, specimens that have managed to adapt to this new location in the Old World.

We can travel through Mexico and learn about its “cypress of the swamps,” through Cuba and admire the exotic “royal Cuban palm,” get to know the “ombú” that crowns the Plaza de Argentina, or the “feathered coconut tree” that watches over the Plaza de Brazil. From the Plaza de America, guarded by a “magnolia,” you can observe the central part of the park, known as the Valley of America.

There are also plots dedicated to the characteristic flora of the rest of the continents. The “Buddha tree” from Asia, of large proportions and hanging roots; the “cedars” and succulents typical of the African desert; or the “eucalyptus” and other myrtaceae from Oceania, mark the botanical variations between climatic zones and continents.

The botanical park also has a glass-enclosed space where species of special interest thrive. Accessing the greenhouse is entering a tropical forest full of exuberance.

In the park, the color of the represented flora is combined with the sound of water. Lakes with beautiful aquatic species, streams, waterfalls, or artificial streams bring life to this leisure destination. A beautiful garden located between two protected natural areas, Marismas del Odiel and Estero Domingo Rubio, that contributes to making La Rábida a privileged space of history and nature.

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