Most beautiful Costa Rica Morpho butterfly
Most beautiful Costa Rica Morpho butterfly

Did you know that Costa Rica is home to a massive population of butterflies? These colorful creatures float delicately through the canopies they are truly a sight to see! I've made friends with some butterflies throughout my travels, because I am so intrigued by their patterns and life cycle. You know what else is really cool? The species in Costa Rica make up about 90 percent of all Central American butterflies and 18 percent of the world's species! You can learn so much about these interesting creatures at one of the many butterfly farms and conservatories throughout the country. I'll share some of my favorite places to visit with you maybe you'll love them just as much.

Butterfly Garden in la Paz Waterfalls
Butterfly Garden in la Paz Waterfalls

Butterflies of Costa Rica

As you probably know, Costa Rica is ripe with biodiversity, which lends to the large variety of butterfly species throughout the country. And they make their home in almost every climate here! From the tip-top of the Irazu Volcano National Park to the humid lowlands of Tortuguero National Park, there are more than 3,000 different species fluttering around. Whether you're going through a hike in the rainforest, or walking through town on your way to dinner, there's a great chance you'll see a few butterflies flapping their jewel-like wings.

Some of the most popular species are the orange barred tiger, rusty-tipped page, longwing or tiger heliconian, common blue morpho or crimson patch. How many different colored butterflies did you see while staying in Costa Rica all inclusive resorts?

Morpho butterflies having party with fruit!
Morpho butterflies having party with fruit!

The Butterfly Farm

The Butterfly Farm may be my absolute favorite in Costa Rica, because it was the first live butterfly exhibit in Latin America! The Butterfly Farm opened in 1990, and has been offering in depth tours to guests ever since. You'll first view an introductory film that explains the various stages of a butterfly's life. Then, you will go through the butterfly garden, which is my favorite part of the tour because it's an enclosed gardens where butterflies fly around, lay eggs and go about their typical daily life. After, you'll walk through the laboratory where the eggs are laid and the larvae emerge. It's weird to see the beginning of life for butterflies when they are just caterpillars! If you're visiting during the morning, you may just see a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis.

If you get a chance, take a look around the town of La Guacima, as the locals are just in much in love with the beauty of butterflies as the founders of the farm. You'll find beautiful murals and paintings depicting these unique creatures throughout the community.

Beautiful crisalid at Butterfly farm in Heredia
Beautiful crisalid at Butterfly farm in Heredia

Butterfly Conservatory

Located in El Castillo, the Butterfly Conservatory is home to largest exhibition of butterflies in the country. Here you can go on a metamorphosis tour and watch the entire process a butterfly goes through to become a vibrant, beautiful creature. Founded as a Rainforest Regeneration Project, the Butterfly Conservatory sits on a 13-acre piece of land slated to be a cattle ranch, which allows for constant and continual growth.

You know why I love visiting here? There is also a frog exhibit where some of my close friends live! It's so exciting that they were able to be a part of this unique project that teaches its guests about the great nature and culture of Costa Rica.

Butterfly came out of a crisalid in a butterfly farm, Heredia
Butterfly came out of a crisalid in a butterfly farm, Heredia

Monteverde Butterfly Garden

Located in Cerro Plano, Monteverde Butterfly Garden is one of the region's most popular attractions. Because the founders of this garden are passionate about hands-on experiences, the Monteverde Garden's biodiversity center has displays of local insects and arachnids. This allows guests to learn about breeding and feeding habits that make butterflies so interesting. You'll go on a tour that is about an hour and a half, and takes you through the medicinal plant garden and the leafcutter ant colony. I know this garden is dedicated to butterflies, but the any colony is so neat! Through their network of trails, ants carry leaves and cultivate a fungus from the decomposing vegetation.

Butterfly feeding from orange in La Paz Waterfall Garden, Heredia
Butterfly feeding from orange in La Paz Waterfall Garden, Heredia

La Paz Waterfall Gardens

I don't have to tell you that La Paz Waterfall Gardens is well-worth a visit, but did you know that this park also has a butterfly farm? The on-site laboratory is a breeding ground for more than 25 different species and more than 4,000 creatures. Because Costa Rica weather can be fickle, the acrylic design of the observatory makes it a perfect rainy day adventure! The Butterfly Observatory only houses species of butterflies that are native to Costa Rica. Fun fact: the International Association of Butterfly Producers voted this conservatory the best in the world!

Now that I've shared my favorites and you've learned how important butterflies are to Costa Rican culture I'd like to hear from you! What's your favorite place to visit in Costa Rica to learn about or watch butterflies?