Exotic Plants, Fruits Part of Hagia Sofia Experience in Mexico

For more than 30 years, Armando Canavati lived his father’s dream – working in the family-owned shirt factory in Monterrey, Mexico designing shirts and buying fabric on trips around the world. While in Thailand and other parts of southeast Asia, he was captivated by the variety of fresh fruits and flowers that he had never experienced before.

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Exotic Plants, Fruits Part of Hagia Sofia Experience in Mexico

For more than 30 years, Armando Canavati lived his father’s dream – working in the family-owned shirt factory in Monterrey, Mexico designing shirts and buying fabric on trips around the world. While in Thailand and other parts of southeast Asia, he was captivated by the variety of fresh fruits and flowers that he had never experienced before.

But, on his vacations, Armando would backpack into the jungle in the Mexican state of Oaxaca to live and work with the Zapotec Indians while learning about the flora and fauna of the jungle.

Finally, in 2003, Armando began living his own dream. He bought 300 acres of jungle on the Magdalena River and began building a botanical garden and destination for those who, like he, are enthralled by the raw beauty of this region.

The result is Hagia Sofia that now includes more than 300 kinds of plants, miles of walking trails, a variety of gardens, forests and waterfalls – all designed and planted by Armando and his staff of a dozen or more gardeners.

Oaxaca, the most biologically diverse state in Mexico, was the natural choice for building his dream. It took Armando and team nearly three years to clear the land and cut trails that highlight established trees and plants while planting new ones to complement the experience.

Hagia Sofia in Mexico For more than 30 years, Armando Canavati lived his father’s dream – working in the family-owned shirt factory in Monterrey, Mexico designing shirts and buying fabric on trips around the world. While in Thailand and other parts of southeast Asia, he was captivated by the variety of fresh fruits and flowers that he had never experienced before.

But, on his vacations, Armando would backpack into the jungle in the Mexican state of Oaxaca to live and work with the Zapotec Indians while learning about the flora and fauna of the jungle.

Finally, in 2003, Armando began living his own dream. He bought 300 acres of jungle on the Magdalena River and began building a botanical garden and destination for those who, like he, are enthralled by the raw beauty of this region.

The result is Hagia Sofia that now includes more than 300 kinds of plants, miles of walking trails, a variety of gardens, forests and waterfalls – all designed and planted by Armando and his staff of a dozen or more gardeners.

Oaxaca, the most biologically diverse state in Mexico, was the natural choice for building his dream. It took Armando and team nearly three years to clear the land and cut trails that highlight established trees and plants while planting new ones to complement the experience.

Hagia Sofia They planted about 100 mangrove trees because of their ability to hold water during the rainy season and release it to neighboring plants during the dry season. He also introduced teak and bamboo, pink cedar and Melina trees because of their sustainability.

The Flower Trail, identified in the Zapotec language as Nesa Stil Guie, winds for about 1500 feet alongside a bubbling creek and across bridges under the jungle canopy. Abundant growths of ‘Rainbow’ wagneriana (Heliconia wagneriana) flourish beside purple morado orchids (Cattleya skinneri) and other orchids.

by Diana Lambdin Meyer A highlight of the path is the massive fern tree and the gentle textile pleasure of a ‘She Kong’ (Heliconia vellerigera), a plant collectors dream with purple backed leaves and woolly pendant flowers.

As we walked, the jungle filled with the call of black-billed magpie and other song birds, accompanied by the click-click of the white-tailed hummingbird and giant hummingbird. Armando told us that more than a dozen species of hummingbirds have been documented at Hagia Sofia and as many as 400 kinds of butterflies.

Hagia Sofia, which translates to Holy Wisdom, boasts nine kinds of banana trees and six kinds of avocados. A rambutan forest (In the family Sapindaceae), a tropical fruit that resembles a hairy covered grape, and numerous mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana) and noni (Morinda citrifolia) fruit trees contribute to the menu served for breakfast and lunch at an outdoor café.

Armando plans on building cabins for overnight guests and a more comprehensive full-service restaurant. He and his wife Lorraina, a yoga instructor, plan to host yoga retreats and other wellness seminars in the future. Admission, which includes breakfast or lunch and all of the time you like to explore the property is 700 pesos or about $35US.

Hagia Sofia is located about 30 minutes from the Hautulco International and a similar distance to the hotel district of Hautulco.

You’ll find dozens of good hotels and resorts here, among them the Montecito Beach Village Resort, a 12-acre property designed into the landscape of one of the nine bays that distinguishes Huatulco. Each villa all but disappears into the hillside and foliage, creating a private, remote experience. Pots of basil, mint and other herbs contribute to each villa’s décor while providing flavor for those who choose to cook in their villas or have the chef prepare a meal from his own garden. A medicinal garden is another highlight of Montecito Village.

Just a few miles farther along Highway 200 from Hagia Sofia in the Santa Maria township is the village of Pluma Hildago. Nicknamed by some as Coffee Town, this hillside community is surrounded by 10 coffee farms. The aromatic village includes a number of coffee shops and gift shops from which to purchase freshly roasted, locally grown coffee beans.

Otherwise, Hualtuco is recognized around the world as a surfer’s paradise. Snorkeling, sport fishing and just about any water sport is popular for most who visit the area.

Oaxaca is the largest producer of peppers in Mexico, which means you’ll enjoy them in abundance in just about any dish. Green onions are also typical of Oaxacan cuisine. If you love a good mole sauce, you’ll be delighted to learn that it originates in Oaxaca, as does mescal, a type of tequila.

Featured image: Rambutan fruit / Hagia Sofia Recuoerado de: http://www.gardendestinations.com/exotic-plants-fruits-part-of-hagia-sofia-experience-in-mexico/

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By Brooke Gazer

The organic gardens of Hagia Sofia offer a remarkable contrast to Huatulco’s sun and sand environment. Located about 30 minutes from the airport and well into the mountains, the temperature can be considerably cooler and with the help of irrigation it is green year round. This sustainable agro-ecological development has some 30,000 plants and trees in addition to hosting a broad range of butterflies, birds and other wildlife. Read More

Vistas de 360°

 

Vista de 360° Vista Panoramica

 

Vista de 360° Viveros

Quienes somos

Jardín Botánico Hagia Sofia es un desarrollo agroecoturistico de más de 130 hectáreas. Está ubicado entre los 260 y 390 metros sobre el nivel del mar. En este lugar pueden apreciarse las distintas fases del cultivo orgánico de frutales, hortalizas y maderables, así como una gran diversidad de flora y fauna silvestre.

Tambien somos productores de nuestros propios fertilizantes orgánicos.

Hagia Sofía ofrece una alternativa al turismo que visita Bahías de Huatulco y zonas aledañas, es un espacio para disfrutar con la familia y los amigos la inigualable belleza y sabiduría sagrada de la naturaleza. Con el objetivo de compartir y difundir las bases del desarrollo sustentable y contribuir al desarrollo regional a través del agroecoturismo, este proyecto de vida comienza su historia hace más de 8 años.

Atrévete a vivir un inolvidable encuentro con un paraíso natural!!!

Hagia Sofía cuenta con un equipo interdisciplinario en el que se complementan las ideas y se llevan a cabo acciones que tengan como base los principios del desarrollo sustentable. Comprometidos con las generaciones futuras, hemos dado paso a la puesta en práctica de la agricultura orgánica, la creación de compostas, la utilización de las energías alternativas, el uso de productos biodegradables y la máxima reducción del consumo de los recursos naturales.

Hoy estamos listos para compartir este espacio construido para ti...

¡¡Visítanos!!
 

Ubicación

Ubicación: Se encuentra en la localidad del Apanguito, en el municipio de Santa María Huatulco, Oaxaca a 38 km. de la zona hotelera de Huatulco y a 20 km del aeropuerto.



Acceso: Por la carretera de Santa María Huatulco  a Pluma Hidalgo hasta el km. 6, para desviarse hacia la comunidad de Magdalena por una brecha de 2.5 km. de terracería

Huatulco es un paraíso ubicado en la costa sur del pacífico mexicano del estado de Oaxaca, con 35 km de litoral a lo largo de las cuáles se conforman 9 bahías: San Agustín, Chachacual, Cacaluta, Maguey, El órgano, Santa Cruz, Chahué, Tangolunda y Conejos con 36 playas de brillantes y cristalinas aguas delimitadas por la imponente Sierra Madre del Sur al norte y por los ríos Copalita y Coyula al este y oeste respectivamente en una superficie total de 21,000 hectáreas de las cuales 16,400 están destinadas a la regeneración y conservación del equilibrio ecológico y dentro de las que encontramos el Parque Nacional Huatulco, área nacional protegida desde 1998.

Cuenta con un clíma cálido, subhúmedo y una temperatura promedio de 28 grados centígrados y 330 días de sol al año, condiciones que permiten una vegetación exhuberante con las principales especies arbóreas de México inmersas en una selva caducifolia, una fauna típica neotropical, una rica y abundante flora y fauna marina caracterizada principalmente por los arrecifes de coral, el caracol púrpura y la anidación de la tortuga golfina.

Desarrollo del siglo XXI el cual se envuelve en una gran conciencia ecológica y de servicio adoptando programas internacionales con los más altos estándares como lo son el Green Globe 21, Agenda 21, Empresa Límpia y Stars & Diamonds convirtiéndose con esto en el principal proyecto de desarrollo integral sustentable en México. Dentro del desarrollo bahías de Huatulco, se incorpora infraestructura urbana de alto nivel y bajo un estricto apego a las normas de calidad y ecología internacionales, así como con un gran respeto a la arquitectura del lugar y su entorno natural. Cuenta con una infraestructura hotelera de más de 300 cuartos que van desde posadas hasta hoteles gran turismo, entre plan europeo y todo incluido.

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