The tropical climate and rich variety of plant life help Costa Rica provide a home to 2000 species of butterfly and even more varieties of moths. So it wasn’t too surprising that our first excursion in Manuel Antonio brought us quickly to the Butterfly Botanical Gardens, a 30-acre research sanctuary on the busy main road not far from our hotel.
Fifteen bucks got us a knowledgeable guide and the run of the place for the better part of an hour.
The butterfly tent has enough room for a resident hummingbird who keeps a tidy little eye-level nest. She kept an alert eye but allowed us to get pretty close before flitting off.
Heliconius getting it on
Near the end of our visit one freshly-minted butterfly stretched its wings on the back of Melanie’s shirt. If it was thinking of sneaking a ride out the tent flaps it soon thought better and hopped off to find a flower.