The Butterfly Conservatory in El Castillo of Costa Rica’s Arenal region is a Nature Regeneration Project. This project is dedicated to preserving, growing, and studying the region’s rainforest. There is a particular focus on the butterflies, as well as other species of the tropical rainforest, of the Arenal region of the country. The Metamorphosis Tour offered to visitors at the Butterfly Conservatory provides guests with an educational and interesting adventure focused around nature, with an array of exhibits about how plants, butterflies, insects, and frogs reproduce within the natural environment.

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This Nature Regeneration Project known as the Butterfly Conservatory features the largest butterfly exhibition in the entire country of Costa Rica. It is also a learning center devoted to broadening people’s understanding of the life-cycle of butterflies, as well as the fascinating metamorphosis experience. Nature enthusiasts and visitors of all ages are sure to enjoy the project’s interactive and educational demonstration of how nature and butterflies are being regenerated.

Visitors to the Butterfly Conservatory have the opportunity to take in an educational and practical experience with nature, including several exhibits of how the region’s butterflies, plants, insects, and frogs exist with the natural environment of Arenal. Six different atrium habitats offer a representation of the many butterflies, frogs, trees, and plants that live within Lake Arenal’s surrounding four micro-climates. Guests can also see the Butterfly Conservatory’s laboratories, reproduction greenhouses, plant gardens, orchid exhibit, and exotic frog habitat.

For even more fun adventures, visitors can take a stroll along Quebrada Mariposa, which is the creek that runs through the main forest on the ground of the Butterfly Conservatory, on the Rainforest River Walk. Along this walk, guests may get a glimpse of a variety of animals, such as parrots, toucans, monkeys, tayras, and sloths.Visitors can also choose to just sit and relax, taking time to watch the hummingbirds fly around the Volcano View Gazebo. The gazebo overlooks the site’s botanical gardens, as well as features views of Lake Arenal and the volcano beyond the grounds.

Glenn Baines, who is a retired engineer from the United States, started the Butterfly Conservatory as a Rainforest Regeneration Project. During a vacation in Costa Rica, Baines watched a spectacular eruption of the Arenal Volcano. The multiple lava eruptions he witnessed that day from the village of El Castillo left a memorable impression on him, leading him to move to Costa Rica. Recurring eruptions of the volcano are normal, and they have fortunately never affected the area of El Castillo. Not even after the Arenal Volcano re-awoke after being dormant for more than four hundred years with massive eruptions that created the New Arenal in 1968.

Around sixty years ago, the land around the volcano was mostly forest, however, much of it was cut in an effort to homestead the land into small cattle ranches. Baines purchased a 13-acre ranch near the remaining rainforest and established the Butterfly Conservatory. Since 2003, the project has expanded and been enhanced to include several nature exhibits and demonstration in biodiversity, providing a resource for education.

El Castillo, Costa Rica, Phone: 506-2479-1149

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