For over 20 years, since 1990, The Butterfly Farm has been offering in-depth 2-hour guided tours to the public. Depending on the weather, what’s going on in the garden and the guide, every tour is unique and provides a broad perspective on butterflies, Nature and mankind’s fascination wtih these extraordinary insects.

In 2009 the farm introduced the Gallery for Human Transformation. Drawing upon the understandings of the ancient Greeks and traditional cultures, the gallery synthysizes the symbolic and mythological meanings of the butterfly and, metaphorically, suggests man’s need to complete his own metamorphosis.

The farm is located about 20 minutes southwest of the Juan Santamaria International Airport and 45 minutes west of San José. It´s well situated as an easy detour for people travelling from the Central Valley towards Puntarenas, Guanacaste and Arenal area, making a lifelong memory of your travel day.

In March 2010 the new San José — Caldera highway was opened. The Butterfly Farm is now an easy 20 minute drive by highway from San José!

The Butterfly Farm Tour


The Butterfly Farm – Butterfly Farm Costa Rica – Tour Information

Visitors receive a guided tour that lasts approximately 2 hours. Tours are offered four times daily at 8:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. The farm is open every day without exception. The butterflies are most active in the morning when the sun is strongest. Photography and close up observation is often better in the afternoons when the butterflies are more sedate and the contrast in light is less strong.

The Butterfly Farm’s Introductory Film

The tour usually begins with an introductory film that provides guests with a common vocabulary and understanding of the major concepts. that will be discussed in the tour Through the use of macro photography and perfect timing, the various stages and processes of the butterfly life cycle are shown in detail, normally unavailable to the human eye.

The Butterfly Garden

Accompanied by an experienced guide, the tour proceeds through The Butterfly Garden. In an enclosed tropical garden where perhaps over a thousand butterflies are flying, feeding, mating and laying eggs, visitors may observe many of Costa Rica’s beautiful butterflies going about their lives. Guides may point out an adult female ovipositing eggs on a host plant; explain how a tiny clump of gregarious larvae (caterpillars) are devouring a leaf or discuss the significance of the name “Morpho.” Visitors may touch the legs of a butterfliy and discover how they hold on to plants or understand the structure and signficance of the scales on their wings. The role of butterflies in nature, their defense mechanisms and those of their host plants are but a sampling of the many themes discussed.

The Laboratory

Once the eggs are laid, the larvae emerge and need to be reared on their specific host plants. In the laboratory one can closely examine the amazing features of the caterpillar as one’s guide explains how they breath, digest, molt and grow! H ere, the entire cycle of the metamorphosis is shown. Visitors in the morning tours often see the butterflies emerging from their chrysalides. In the afternoon, visitors may see them taking wing for their maiden flight.

The Gallery for Human Transformation

From the vantage of our minds we look upon nature as something “out there.” Through the lens of science we study the world around us and decipher how it works as an incredibly complex machine. We manipulate Nature, all that’s out there (what we refer to as “natural resources”) to accommodate our whims to presumably maximize our comfort. On the other hand, how often td we ponder what Nature can teach us about ourselves? Through the Gallery for Human Transformation we draw upon what the ancient Greeks knew quite well when they appropriated their word for butterfly, “psyche,” to describe the human soul and our own minds.

The Export Office (Costa Rica Entomological Supply)

Farming butterflies, an ecologically benign endeavor, has come to support hundreds of rural Costa Rican families. While perceived as a “quirky little industry,” it´s signifigance goes far beyond the numbers. It’s a special treat on export days (usually Monday, Tuesday and Thursdays) when the sorting, packing and export of the pupae can be seen. Questions such as, “Who buys butterflies?” “Who are the butterfly breeders?” “How is butterfly breeding beneficial to conservation?” are addressed.

The Costa Rica Corner Gift Shop

The tour culminates at The Costa Rica Corner Gift Shop, where guests are afforded more opportunity for questions and answers. Those people that wish to acqure souvenirs from Costa Rica may do so.

Guests are invited to spend the remainder of the day sitting among the butterflies, taking photographs or enjoying the setting.

Don’t miss this amazing experience when you visit Costa Rica!

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