The work

The place where today the Garden is located, was one of the most important "roferos" (sand mine) near Mala and Guatiza, the "rofe" (sand) that was extracted here was used by farmers to cover the fields where they planted cactus. These plantations were made since mid-ninenteenth century and went on advanced 30s. The depression left after the extraction of rofe, for a long time received the name of Cuevas del Molino, for the gaps left on the sides after extracting the rofe. This place, with time and abandonment ended becoming a dump.
César was a real investigator of spaces in Lanzarote and this one did not go unnoticed, so he did not doubt of the potential this place has. From the first moment watching the significant landscape values of a place entirely surrounded by cactus plantations (see article on the cochineal), supported by the Cabildo de Lanzarote, did not hesitate to make a work that fully integrate with the landscape, transforming a space downgraded into a place of great beauty.

entradajardinPC090491.jpgCésar conducted the fitting of this center with a group of workers who had been present at the performance of other network centers: same foreman, same stonemasons, bricklayers, electricians, etc.  This was a team that knew César in such a way that often did not need words to undestand what the artist wanted to convey.The Cactus Garden, although it was the last center of the network of Centres of Art, Culture and Tourism created by César Manrique, it was not the last one to be designed, since this was gestating in the year 60-70. The intervention in this area began with the restoration of the  windmill in 1973 (its construction was carried out in 1831). The it was in the 80s when the upgrading works of the Garden are taken seriosly, suffering along a decade different periods when eather for economic reasons or otherwise, the upgrading of this place is paralyzed. The words ended with the inauguration in March 17, 1990, becoming the las space work of César Manrique.

taquilla_rotulo.jpgArriving at the Garden, the first thing that strikes us is a large metal sculpture of a cactus (Pachycereus weberi) of huge proportions representing the family of cacti and anticipates us the greatness that is displayed inside.
During the visit we will see lots of nooks and forms that must be observed carefully: The box offive as a "taro" (simulates a refuge for shepherds), the carved stone stairs and door and window lintels, present at the box office, services, coffee shot, etc., the stone lanterns along the walls, iron lamposts, litterbins, dooknobs, with clear reference to the cactus, reasons of great interest that visitors should not miss.

taquilla_003.jpg Starting from the box office and past a stone wall strategically located that divides access to a first terrace, we are shown the full extent of the world's largest cactus garden. From this platform we offet two staircases that invite us to start the tour, but before that we must look at the panorama that presents The Garden, windmill stands atop a hill, the terrace of the coffee shot, stone walls or terraces that shows us on our right, the souvenir shop, large cactus, monoliths...
A typical pathway mey be starting the journey on the right side, up to the terraces where we can see lots of mamillarias, one of the most important genre of the family of cactaceae, the descend to the base by the right to stand at the side of the Euphorbia neriifolia and the Euphorbia candelabrum,  both planted by César Manrique, assisted by Guillermo Perdomo (partner of César in the population of cactus and caretaker of them as a gardener for over twenty years) and  Estanislao González, enthusiast and connoisseur of cactus.

vista_desde_sala_izqda_004.jpgFrom here, we continue to the small lakes where we see in the first of these, precious nenúfares and little beautifull fishes in the other.
Do not forget to visit the shop, where you can bay many souvenirs of the Garden, as well as information on the cactus ant typical objects of Lanzarote. From the shop we have two paths that can lead to the terrace of the coffee shot and from there to the windmill , these terraces can be accessed by a side staircase. It is important to access the terrace and the windmill because from these points has a good overview of the Garden. Once back from the windmill to the coffee shop we go down by the internat staircase that leads directly to the lounge bar and terrace, where besides good coffee, smoothies, etc., you can taste different "tapas".