Nestled in the rainforest of northern Costa Rica, the Butterfly Conservatory lets visitors discover diverse butterflies and flowers via a network of trails and gardens. Dedicated to the preservation of butterflies and other tropical rainforest species, the conservatory has a learning center and educational exhibits.
A convenient location outside of Arenal Volcano National Park mean that tours often stop off at Butterfly Conservatory on the way to Arenal park. Once there, you can join an educational tour that details the life cycles of butterflies and focuses on the frogs, insects, and plants of the conservatory. In addition to visiting laboratories, greenhouses, frog habitats, and gardens, you can follow the Rainforest River Walk along a creek that runs through the reserve.
Things to Know Before You Go
The Butterfly Conservatory is a must-visit for nature lovers and biology enthusiasts.
The interactive and educational exhibits are suitable for children.
The conservatory offers volunteer programs for students, teachers, and other visitors.
Bring your camera for close-up photos of butterflies and distant shots of the Arenal Volcano.
How to Get There
Butterfly Conservatory is in the village of El Castillo, which is 5 miles (8 kilometers) from the entrance of Arenal Volcano National Park and 15 miles (24 kilometers) from the town of La Fortuna. The conservatory is an easy excursion for visitors staying in either location. From La Fortuna, you can take a taxi or hire a car; follow Route 142 toward Arenal, and then take El Castillo to the conservatory.
When to Get There
With indoor and outdoor observation areas and rainy climates year-round, a visit to the Butterfly Conservatory is possible in any season. It’s open every day from 8:30am to 4:30pm.
More than Butterflies
The conservatory is dedicated to the regeneration of all native jungle species, hosting not just butterfly habitats but also a ranarium for frogs and a conservatory that houses an insect museum. In addition, the preserve maintains a regeneration plant nursery, medicinal herb garden, and botanical gardens. The vast array of environments and species provide a great opportunity for studying and learning about a dynamic range of species.