Utopia Orchid Park at Kibbutz Bahan is a unique botanical garden. You can visit the tropical rainforest, animal area, and other attractions.
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Utopia Orchid Park is located at the entrance to Kibbutz Bahan. Enter “Utopia Orchid Park” into the navigation app, and it will take you there. Moreover, there is plenty of free parking near the entrance.
Map of the area:
Sunday – Thursday, Saturday and Holidays: 8:30-17:00
Fridays and Holiday eves: 8:30-15:00
Toddler (0 – 2) – free
Child (2 – 12) – 59 NIS
Adult (12+) – 69 NIS
You can also purchase a family ticket that costs 222 NIS for two adults and two children.
You can purchase the tickets at the official site.
Currently, I see only one coupon. American Express credit card owners can purchase two adult tickets 1+1 for 69 NIS (and 650 points).
Note: opening hours and ticket prices were updated in July 2021. In any case, recheck the official site before visiting.
On One Foot
Utopia Orchid Park opened more than a decade ago, and the first time I visited this attraction was about a decade ago. Last weekend we decided to re-visit it with our daughter and see what changed.
What is Utopia?
A unique botanical-ecological garden that includes a spectacular and expansive outdoor area filled with mazes, a topiary, a musical fountain, and more.
It is a unique botanical garden mainly due to the tropical rain forest:
An enchanting tropical rain forest grows with thousands of orchids from around the world, tropical plants, a myriad of animals, and even carnivorous plants.
Source for both quotes: official site
Utopia Orchid Park Entrance
We arrived on a Saturday morning, and the closest parking was already full. Thus we were directed to a nearby (probably 200 meters from the entrance) free parking.
At the entrance, we saw different plants.
But only after taking several steps back, we saw the writing. It says Utopia both in Hebrew and English.
After purchasing the tickets, we went into the Tropical Rain Forest.
Tropical Rain Forest
Tropical Rain Forest is a two-level building, fully air-conditioned with plenty of water and several small waterfalls. Inside this building, which is the size of a basketball stadium, they created a tropical ecosystem.
Inside, you can find many different types of orchids. And sear some plants, you can find explanation signs.
At the far end of this building, you can find Carnivorous Plants.
I took the photo above from the second level. So we continued on the second level and returned to Carnivorous Plants later.
Several additional photos of Orchids:
During our previous visit, there were short sessions where a guide talked about different types of Carnivorous Plants. These sessions took place every hour. And there was a guide at this place. My daughter did not have the patience, so we did not ask whether there are still such sessions.
And some more Orchids 🙂
There are different Carnivorous Plants. Here is the explanation about probably the most common ones.
Nepenthes drives insects by smell, and once they enter the pitcher, they can get out. Insects cannot hold onto the pitcher’s interior and fall into the water at the bottom of the pitcher. And the insect’s movement is what stimulates Nepenthes’s Gastric Glands.
Drosera is one of the largest genera of carnivorous plants. It traps insects using sticky leaves and then turns the leaves up.
Closeup of the Nepenthes.
One more thing that I have not shown is a big walk-in cage. There were different birds (mostly the Phasianidae family, i.e., chickens, quails, and so on).
We finished at the Tropical Rain Forest building and headed outside.
There are two plant Mazes on the premises. There is a two-floor maze and a regular one (shown in the photo).
Musical Water Fountain
Pretty much in the center of the outside area, you can find Musical Water Fountain.
Every half hour the music starts and the fountain starts working. The show lasts about 10-15 minutes and is quite nice if you do not expect much.
Musical Water Fountain is something new. Another thing that did not exist during our previous visit is the Animal Area.
In the animal area, we saw mostly goats. And they lived in colorful houses.
From the animal area, we continued our round trip. Here we are passing through the Cactus garden.
Some of the pathways are shaded using flowers. And I think is a good and aesthetic solution to Israeli heat.
The last complex we visited was the parrot one. There were several dozens of different parrots. And about a dozen of them were free. You could pet them and let them sit on you.
Though we spent only about 20 minutes with the parrots, besides the fountain, this was the most memorable part from my daughter’s perspective.
While we were walking towards the exit, the Musical Water Fountain played again.
The previous shots were made from the elevated deck (on the other side of the fountain). The deck is probably the best viewing point.
As you exit from Utopia, you pass through a big store where you can find different things for your garden. You can find different plant and garden sculptures:
Overall, Utopia is a pleasant attraction for the whole family. You can spend several hours up to a half-day there. Moreover, Kibbutz Bahan is not too far from the center. The only downside is the entrance fee. For a similar price, you can visit Jerusalem Biblical Zoo. Thus I am not sure regarding value for money.
That’s all for today, and I’ll see you in future travels!
Additional ResourcesHere are several resources that I created to help travelers:
- Israel Trip Planner is the page that will help you to create your perfect travel route.
- National Parks And Nature Reserves page lists and put all national parks on the map. There is also a top list, information about ticket types and campsites.
- If you are looking for things to do, here are the pages for Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Sea Of Galilee, and Makhtesh Ramon.
- Wondering what events are there in Israel? Here is the Events And Festivals By Season guide.