Just outside of Manzanillo, in the town of La Central, is an 8.5-hectare orchid farm owned and run by Elsa and Fidel of VivePlants. Along with their excellent staff, they grow, pack and sell thousands of orchids each year throughout Mexico.
With an early departure from Melaque to avoid the heat and humidity of the tropical nursery, we head to VivePlants in La Central for a tour of part of the incredible 9 hectare orchid farm hidden up a smaller seasonal river bed. We are greeted with tasty organic coffee from Chiapas as we hear about Fidel and Elsa’s story in how they came to set up their tropical plant haven on the Pacific coast.
We learn about the difficulties and considerable time and effort involved in growing orchids commercially and what has made VivePlants a growing success in a competitive market. After this very interesting talk, we visit Fidel’s ‘Hidden Paradise’ where you can appreciate roughly 5,000 orchids all blooming at once! From the shade net covered growing areas we then visit the cold room where the cut stems are prepared to be shipped out all around the country by air and land to arrive in perfect condition thanks to the specially designed boxes invented in Japan, and who’s secret was passed to Fidel out of respect by his Japanese contacts for the way he works.
The final stop at VivePlants is to the store area where you can purchase potted orchids of many colours and types that we have seen on our tour.
Leaving VivePlants we then head to the town of El Chavarin to the wonderful home-cooked food of La Casa de la Abuela for a choice of the many meals and traditional delicacies that the restaurant has to offer.
Finally after this stop we make our way back to Melaque for a well-deserved siesta!