My step-father used to spend a few months at a time in Costa Rica and loved the country. Sadly he died last year on July 3rd and so we have been remembering his various antics recently. I have a large batch of emails he sent to me a couple of years ago describing his favorite places to go in Costa Rica and rentals etc. One of his recommendations was The Butterfly Farm, and so a couple of days after Grandma arrived we visited. It is just west of San Jose in a town called Guacima.
The people running it are very friendly and helpful and our tour guide was really knowledgeable and sweet. We watched a movie about the farm and then wandered around an enclosed butterfly garden that was filled with hundreds of different butterflies. My favorite were the brilliant blue morphos that glitter almost an iridescent blue as they fly. It’s hard to capture pictures of them because when they land their wings are folded with only a rather dull brown side showing. The guide showed us all kinds of tiny eggs and newly hatched caterpillars on plants; most of which we would never have noticed or realized they were eggs.
Then it was on to look at the caterpillars and all the types of chrysalises for varying butterflies. The range is amazing and beautiful to look at. Many look like jewels hanging. We saw quite a few in mid-hatch or waiting for their wings to dry before flying off.
The last stop is the packing room where we watched women counting and checking (with a bright light) all kinds of chrysalises and then packing them into foam filled boxes ready to be shipped around the world. The butterflies take 10-15 days to hatch and so they can ship them quickly to exhibits in Europe and the US. They even said some were shipped to Tennessee and we remember seeing some identified as being from Costa Rica in the Chattanooga Aquarium butterfly garden.
We did think it a little sad that the butterflies won’t lay eggs unless they have the correct plants on which to do so and thus they simply die and are replaced by new ones in the worldwide exhibits. I guess it’s job and financial security for the Butterfly Farm.
Anyway it is a neat place with wonderful butterflies and a good chance to learn more about the whole cycle. The children really enjoyed this place so thanks Gramps!