About halfway between Cancun and Playa del Carmen is a botanical garden whose entrance faces the highway. Before heading to the airport to go home, we stopped at the gardens. It was a really hot and humid day and the gardens definitely require sunscreen and bug repellant. A few other tourists told us they saw spider monkeys in the gardens, but we never saw or heard them. Generally the gardens were very quiet, with few visitors, and a number of winding paths.
The most memorable section contained several dozen mounted orchids. There were a few tall tree houses… structures with tall narrow ladders that took you up off the forest floor and offered views of the ocean. Two tree houses were connected by a raised pathway. There were orchids tied to some of these trees as well as more at eye-level back on the ground.
I should also mention that mounting orchids is not just for aesthetic purposes. In the wild, some orchids are terrestrial, meaning they grow in the ground. Others are epiphytic, meaning they grow in trees. So when people mount orchids on pieces of wood or in baskets, it’s because they’re trying to imitate the orchid’s native habitat.