Av. Progreso 1, Del Carmen, Coyoacán, 04100 Ciudad de México, CDMX
For a truly relaxing stroll with a “middle of the forest” kind of feel, the “Viveros de Coyoacán” in the Mexico City borough of Coyoacán is an excellent option, or you can also prefer to pick up the pace and jog among the dozens of joggers that can be found doing laps around the premises. This massive 39-hectare tree nursery produces all of the trees that are found around the entire city, it produces more than 20 different forest species, among them ahuehuete, white cedar, ash, jacaranda, Chinese pine, white pine, stone pine, and common thunder pine. If you visit, enjoy the coolness under the trees canopies that cover the complete area of the park, but please, don’t feed the squirrels, as even though they look cute and friendly, they can damage the trees and eat the seedlings of baby trees.
The arboretum was conceived by notable engineer and environmentalist Miguel Angel de Quevedo at the start of the XX century, as a small 1-acre nursery (that he donated personally) to grow new seedlings and provide them for the reforestation of Mexico’s forests, especially around Mexico City. He promoted the protection of Mexico’s forests and is known as the “Apostle of the tree”. The nursery was declared a national park in 1938 and currently produces 1 million seedlings per year. It’s estimated that it receives 3,000 visitors daily. Access is free.
Morning means fitness madness in Viveros, as hundreds of joggers lap around the edges of the nursery, and in the open grass areas there are yoga, meditation, karate, capoeira, any kind of fitness class imaginable; these classes are not provided by the park, but by the entrepreneurial instructors themselves, so if you’re interested in one of them, just approach the instructor at the end of the session. There’s even an expansive round clearing right in the middle of the park, the only one not covered by the tree’s foliage, that hosts “bullfighting” classes, here you can see aspiring future “matadors” practicing their best bull avoiding movements, while their instructor pushes a (fake) bull’s head, horns and all, on a wheeled contraption towards the student.
Viveros de Coyoacán has its own dedicated Metro Station, “Viveros de Coyoacán” on Línea 3; and also has a big plant and flower shop right outside (ask one of the guards about it). This place is an ideal location to connect with nature or check off your daily exercise in a beautiful place with fresh air; oh, and in case we forgot, please don’t feed the squirrels.
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