By Sabrina Lear – Article from Los Cabos Magazine – Issue #8
The removable white vinyl roof with its graceful sail-like shapes is the first thing that strikes you upon arriving at Cacti Mundo. The architecture is sleek and contemporary, creating a visually stunning overall effect, unlike anywhere else in Los Cabos. Still, the impressive exterior is no match for what awaits one once inside.
Cacti Mundo is a unique botanical garden with the most important collection of cacti in México, including species never exhibited publicly until now. Cacti and succulents from the entire world have been assembled in an artful circular fashion around a soothing central fountain. The facility is also a haven for numerous endangered species close to extinction in their natural habitats.
Cacti Mundo is the creation of Señor Pablo Gonzalez Carbonell, owner of the conglomerate Grupo Costamex, an avid collector of cacti from the world over. In 1992, he met a fellow cacti aficionado, Engineer Josef Schrott, whose love affair with cactus began in Austria, his native country, after visiting a botanical garden in the early 1970s. World traveled, Schrott came to México in 1979, and has spent the past twenty years in exotic locales studying the diversity of the world’s cacti and succulents. With Schrott’s knowledge of the species and Gonzalez Carbonell’s vision, Cacti Mundo was born.
Cacti Mundo was founded to promote, conserve and reproduce the desert plants of México and many other species from all over the world. Schrott oversees the daily botanical operations on-site, and has a broad amount of knowledge of every one of the 850 species represented in the gardens. During the last ten years, Cacti Mundo’s nurseries have successfully reproduced the most diverse and important collection of cacti in the country today.
Their collection features rare species including the Mexican Gold Barrel Cactus, which, according to Schrott, is extinct in the wild in México. Together Schrott and Carbonell are reintroducing the species to its native habitat in the state of Queretaro.
Plans to cultivate and exhibit more cacti and succulents endemic to the Baja peninsula are in Cacti Mundo’s future, however, seeds must be obtained from Baja’s many species to reproduce them. Ecologically sensitive and committed to conservation practices, Carbonell and Schrott are not about to relocate plants from the wild to Cacti Mundo, unless they are being rescued due to development and sub-sequent loss of natural habitat.
If you are at all curious about the unusually beautiful world of cactus, a visit to Cacti Mundo will be a rare treat indeed, and well worth the price of admission. Once inside the airy space, you’ll be impressed by the sheer beauty of the exhibition, totaling some 5,000 plants.