- Location : La Guacima, Alajuela
- Area : 3 acres
- Hours : 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily
- Telephone : 2438-0400
- Entrance Fee : $19 adults, $12.50 children 4-11
The Butterfly Farm opened its doors to the public in 1990, offering unique tours that focus on the farm's daily commercial activities, maturing caterpillars, and more than 50 butterfly species.read more close
Known locally as La Finca de Mariposas, the Butterfly Farm delves into the biological and mythical aspects of butterflies. From 2004 to 2008, the farm ran a contest for local artists to create depictions of these ethereal insects. The 42 winners painted murals on buildings and walls throughout La Guacima, creating a colorful and creative path to the facility.
Fine mesh encloses the facilities and allows rain and sun to filter through. The gardens are divided into two sections: host plants and food plants. Host plants give refuge to butterfly eggs and newly hatched caterpillars, while food plants supply needed nutrients to ravenous caterpillars beginning their journey to becoming butterflies. In addition to being functional, many of the host and food plants display a rainbow of colorful flowers to attract butterflies.
Knowledgeable guides lead visitors through the gardens, weaving through the prismatic plants before heading into the chrysalis and birthing rooms. Guests learn to spot transparent butterfly eggs camouflaged under leaves, let caterpillars crawl along their arms, and interact with a kaleidoscope of fluttering butterflies, including metallic blue morphos, owl butterflies, monarchs and blue wave butterflies.
The final stop on the butterfly tour is at the Gallery of Human Transformation. Butterflies occupy an important niche in mythology, and many cultures have associated the insects' metamorphosis with the journey of the human soul. In fact, the Greek word "psyche," which today refers to the mind, once meant "butterfly" in ancient Greek – an elegant metaphor for the human condition. A short video and beautiful paintings explore butterfly myths in Costa Rica's pre-Columbian cultures and other civilizations.
Average daily temperatures range from 72º to 85º F. Since the butterfly farm is outdoors, always take an umbrella or rain coat during the green season months of May-November.
Guided tours are given at 8:45 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. The farm has a small gift shop and a commercial packing room, where guests can watch employees prepare, label and pack butterfly chrysalis for export.
The Butterfly Farm is located in La Guacima, approximately seven miles southwest of Alajuela. The farm's address is five blocks south and one block east of Los Reyes Country Club; enter through a gate on the left-hand side of the road.
The farm also offers a private shuttle from San Jose three times daily. The service costs $40 for adults and $25 for children and includes a guided tour.