It’s no secret that my sons like butterflies. Being boys they are fascinated by all insects and other more disgusting creatures, but a butterfly’s ability to transform from a glorified worm into a flying creature has them captivated. So, on our recent visit to Mindo, the boys requested that we visit one of the several Mariposarios (Butterfly Gardens) in the area.
The largest Mariposario is situated several kilometers outside of town on beautifully landscaped grounds with stream-fed koi ponds dotting the property. Even in the face of paradisiacal beauty, David was dubious and considered opting out of the experience, but once we stepped through the doors, even he had to admit that the place was “pretty awesome.”
We were first taken into a small room with three glass cases filled with different caterpillars. A guide briefly explained their life cycle and then led us into the main garden where dozens of chrysalises hung from corkboard. Several newly hatched butterflies also clung upside down while drying their wings.
The boys were shown that if they put a little bit of banana on their fingers the butterflies would land on them to eat.
But, it didn’t really seem necessary as these critters landed all over the kids!
The blue morphos especially seemed to like Justin’s shirt and my backpack which were the same shade of powder blue.
We were given free reign over the garden, with only one stipulation of not touching the butterflies’ wings and it was an amazing experience to get so close to some of the world’s largest and most colorful butterflies.
Overall, I would highly recommend this to families visiting Mindo, Ecuador. Very kid friendly and pleasant for the parents too. Admission is $6 (US) for adults and $3(US) for children.
The largest butterfly in the world is the Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing of Papau New Guinea.
The smallest butterfly in the world is the Western Pygmy Blue from Africa.
The rarest butterfly in the world is the Palos Verdes Blue in California.
There are between 12,000 and 15,000 species of butterflies in existence.
The only continent that is not home to any butterfly species is Antarctica.