We stumbled upon the Monteverde Butterfly Garden by chance. Chris had read about it in the wonderful, inspiring book “One Year Off”. During the first week we were here, we stayed at Los Pinos, and we saw a sign for the MVE Butterfly Garden as we were walking towards breakfast. I randomly said we should go and I am so glad we did!
First let me tell you that I do not like bugs. Butterflies are OK as far as insects go, but I would rather keep as far away as possible from any bug. I intellectually appreciate their importance, as I was a biology major in college, but that does not mean I have to like them. My children and husband, on the other hand, love creepy crawlies. I think Kara is the only kid who had a toy fly when she was younger. She loves bugs. She is actually obsessed with ants.
Travel Tip: Wear closed-toed shoes to the Monteverde Butterfly Garden. Rubber boots are the best.
Kara went head over heels in love when she realized that the “Butterfly Garden” is a euphemism for “insect zoo”. They have a “live museum” with any bug you can imagine including Hercules beetles, hissing cockroaches, and gigantic walking sticks. Bryna and David, the owners, have all sorts of creepy crawlies for your viewing (and touching!) pleasure. The folks at the Butterfly Garden do research and are very involved with community sustainability. They also have a great educational presentation and guided tour of the gardens that are specifically designed to house various types of butterflies.
Despite my fear of bugs, I have to admit I do enjoy watching the butterflies.
The highlight for Kara was when the intern who gave us the tour showed us their leaf-cutter ant colony. Kara was able to launch into a discussion of the leaf-cutter’s gardening abilities. They don’t actually eat the leaves. They use the leaves to grow fungus in a garden and that is what they eat.
Travel Tip: As always, take your rain jacket where ever you go in Costa Rica. Even if the sun is shining when you walk out the door.
We spent a full morning at the Monteverde Butterfly Garden that day and then had lunch at Restaurant De Lucia, which is very close by. We have since returned many times to the Butterfly Garden. Each visit I learn something new. But no, I still will not touch any of the bugs. I prefer to love them from far away….as far away as possible.