Butterflies & Moths Monteverde

I saw one really cool and new-to-me moth at Santa Elena Reserve, two butterflies at Selvatura Park and all the rest were at Monteverde Lodge & Gardens where they have a really nice small butterfly garden indoors. There is one dining table for up to 4 people that can be scheduled for a private Butterfly Dinner!   🙂   Kind of neat! And two of the moths I photographed on my little private room terrace/patio.

Selvatura claims to have the largest butterfly garden in Central America and the huge dome looks like it but this trip it was horrible with only two (2) species of butterflies. There is a Monteverde Butterfly Garden operated by a couple of nature lovers but I did not go this time. Three years ago it was great! There were a lot of butterflies, especially blue morpho, flying around in all four reserves, but difficult to photograph there.

Butterflies & Moths

See also my Butterflies & Moths Gallery – a growing collection!


I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming I am a man.      ~Zhuangzi

¡Pura Vida!

Selvatura Park, Monteverde

Selvatura Park is (or was) a great combination Nature Park next door to the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve AND an Adventure Park (which part is now taking over).  It was a super place when I visited 3 years ago with the biggest and most impressive Butterfly Garden I had ever seen and they claimed it to be the largest in Central America. Well this time the butterfly garden had only two species of butterflies – my hotel has more in their tiny butterfly garden! Their Hummingbird Garden is flowers & feeders attracting wild hummingbirds, so what seemed like fewer this year may just be what is happening in the wild (or what they are feeding them and fewer butterfly-attracting plants). I refused to pay extra for the serpentarium or insect exhibit, expecting they had gone down like the butterfly garden.

The hanging bridges seemed to be about the same and like before I saw one Bellbird and one Quetzal. So they are more about the forest than birds and I enjoyed the bridges the most, but I do not recommend spending the high amusement park prices if you just want a nature visit. The adventure business of zip lines, tram ride, a new “Superman” zip and other such has taken over here. For nature lovers and birders I recommend sticking with the four nature reserves in Monteverde. Here’s 4 slide shows of what I saw there which was still nice as I hope the photos show.

Hanging Bridges

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“Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

¡Pura Vida!

Planning a Weekend Trip

Reserva Monteverde

The Birding Club is going to Monteverde this weekend and I responded early enough to get to be included in the group of only 15 because of limited cabin space available. And as usual, I am going a day early to explore on my own Thursday and Friday before the club activities Friday afternoon until Sunday morning.

You can check out the links to see my plans for my first trip to Monteverde, originally a Friends Community of mostly dairy farmers, thus the cheese capital of Costa Rica in one set of mountains.


  • I take bus to Alajuela  to get a rent car at San Jose Airport, early. 
  • I drive by my house for bag and camera. Then a 2.5 to 3 hour drive to Monteverde. As my Spanish gets better I will go places like this by bus, usually going through San Jose. But everyone in the club has a car and it usually works better to have rent car, though much more expensive. 
  • Check into Los Pinos Cabinas for my first night only in the edge of a forest preserve and rated internationally as a Sustainable Tourism location. 
  • I have made acquaintance with the owner and director of the Monteverde Butterfly Garden,  so that afternoon I plan to visit it. It is supposedly one of the best in the country. We will see!
Butterfly Garden at Selvatura Park
  • I plan to spend the morning through lunch at Selvatura Adventure Park which will not includ zip-lining which I’ve already done and once is enough for a 75 year old!  🙂   But I may walk

    the canopy bridge of 2 miles and will see as many of the animal gardens as time allows: Herpetarium & Frogs, Hummingbird Garden, and another Butterfly Garden. Lunch at the park and 20 minutes back to Monteverde and . . . 

  • Check in to Cabanas La Pradera where the birding club has reservations. I plan to look for birds on their property that afternoon and meet club members for brought appetizers before going to dinner. Then we have a . . . 
  • Night Hike  into surrounding 14 hectares of forest belonging to the cabanas for owls, bats, and frogs + who knows what else!  🙂  We have a local guide for that tour. 
  • 6 AM Breakfast and . . .  
  • Morning hike/birding in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve which I’m expecting to be very good with hopefully some new birds for me!
  • Lunch at Caburé, an Argentine Restaurant and Chocolate Shop. 
  • Afternoon birding at Curi Cancha, a private reserve near the public Cloud Forest Reserve seen in the morning with usually different birds we are told. This will be a full day of birding in some different mountains than the Talamanca Mountains I have visited three times and I may also get a photo of the Resplendent Quetzal here too! Looking forward to a new place! 
  • Check our birding lists with guides and have evening bocas at Janelle’s house who lives nearby.
  • Early morning birding around the cabins with one of the authors of our Costa Rica birding guidebook, Bob Dean, before breakfast. 
  • Drive home to dump bags, then to airport to drop off car and back on foot, bus, and taxi!  🙂