Butterfly World is an overwhelming sensory experience, as visitors are greeted by a kaleidoscope of colors. Thousands of butterflies fluttering over flowers and plants recreating what could be a drawing of an overly imaginative child. The sound of birds chirping and water flowing from the ponds as well as the scent of flowers filling the air make the experience an even more complete one.
It is recommended to start by collecting a map of the park at the entrance to guide you along the way, especially as one can only move forward along the route to control visitor movement and protect butterflies. In fact, expect checks after each butterfly enclosure to ensure that no butterflies are stuck to your clothing.
The setting of the enclosures is remarkable with ponds and falls creating a surreal environment. Visitors can also cross over the Finlandia bridge which is a replica of the one in Ecuador. Given that it is a suspension bridge it can move so don’t be alarmed and hold your belongings close to you. Visitors can pass through the botanical and tropical gardens and see unique trees like the cocoa bean tree. The Vine Maze is equally special with informative signs highlighting the names of plants and important facts along the way.
Other enclosures include the Lorikeet Encounter which brings you up close and personal with these fascinating creatures. In the Bird Aviary birds are accustomed to visitors and may even land with you, one can also buy nectar to feed the birds. If the sight of creepy crawlies doesn’t freak you out, the bug zoo and museum are a stop to consider, where you can check out the insects in a more controlled environment. There is also a small enclosure where one can watch as butterflies emerge from pupae. On the way out visitors can stop at the Gift shop and garden shop to buy plants that attract butterflies. Currently, there is an exhibition of painted butterflies with pieces for sale.
Butterfly World’s goal is to recreate an environment by planting host plants to serve as home to caterpillars and eventually butterflies. The female butterflies are attracted to the plants as they move towards them to lay eggs, while the male butterflies follow the females. In fact, there are great efforts across all of America to build gardens to reverse the decrease in butterfly populations and recreate appropriate habitats for them to thrive. For farmers who are interested to host plants that attract butterflies the ‘Butterfly World’s Regional Gardening Guidebook List’ offers a list of host plants that are easily available.
Butterfly World is worth allocating two to three hours to visit, and while tickets are not cheap at $32.50 per adult, it is a mesmerizing environment nonetheless. It is a park for all the families moving children and adults alike. One also has to give a nod to the outstanding work they are doing to protect and preserve these gorgeous yet fragile creatures who are imperative to our ecosystem.