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Mariposario Nosara

We are looking forward to your visit at our Butterfly Sanctuary and Tea Garden in Nosara, Costa Rica...

Butterflies are some of the most beautiful, dynamic and interesting creatures on Earth!


Providing a lush refuge for Nosara's Butterflies, Moths, Micro Biodiversity and Conservation efforts with a protected environment where species may propagate and proliferate year round.

Offering a unique opportunity for people of all ages to experience the beauty and curiosity of a delicate wild insect from the tropical jungles, up close. We need butterflies to remind us that positive change is possible, that there is magic to life, and that we have to be mindful of our surroundings, because if we destroy nature, we destroy ourselves. Butterflies awaken our spirits and open our hearts. They give us a sense of hope and the possibility of our own transformation and evolution..

Butterflies are our early warning indicators of the deterioration of the environment. They are significant actors on the ecological stage, serve as food for other animals and act as pollinators for many plants. Additionally, they represent beauty, freedom, and the human soul to many cultures, civilizations and they have a direct positive effect on future generations.

Carte Du Jour


We aspire to impart the noble mission of conservation and devout care for Mother Nature


A safe environment for butterflies and moths in all stages

Life Cycle

Butterflies have a complicated life cycle called complete metamorphosis


A person who studies or collects butterflies and moths is called a Lepidopterist


The word Butterfly comes from Old English butorflēoge, also found in Old Dutch and Old High German


Complex coloration fools predators by allowing a butterfly or caterpillar to hide in plain sight



Since ancient times, the winged form of a butterfly is considered a symbol for the human soul, and in fact many cultures relate the butterfly to the human soul.

In Egyptian hieroglyphs, the butterfly was considered one of the pleasures that awaited the deceased in the afterlife, reflecting the Egyptian belief in the immortality of the human soul. The Aztec associate the morning star with the butterfly, which represents the soul of the dead. They also believed that the happy dead, in the form of beautiful butterflies, would visit their relatives to assure them that all was well. In Rome butterflies appeared on denarii coins, to the left of the head of Juno, goddess of weddings and marriage.
In many cultures the soul of a dead person is associated with the butterfly, for example in Ancient Greece, where the word for butterfly ψυχή (psyche) also means soul and breath. In Latin, as in Ancient Greece, the word for “butterfly” papilio was associated with the soul of the dead. The skull-like marking on the thorax of the death’s-head hawkmoth has helped these moths, particularly A. atropos, earn a negative reputation, such as associations with the supernatural and evil.

In Germany, Butterflies are thought to be souls of children.

In Ireland during the 1600’s, killing a white butterfly was prohibited since it was believed to be the soul of a dead child.

For Christians, the butterfly’s three steps of metamorphosis – as caterpillar, pupa and then winged insect, are reminiscent of spiritual transformation.

In the ancient Mesoamerican city of Teotihuacan, the brilliantly colored image of the butterfly was carved into many temples, buildings, jewelry, and emblazoned on incense burners in particular. The butterfly was sometimes depicted with the maw of a jaguar and some species were considered to be the reincarnations of the souls of dead warriors. The close association of butterflies to fire and warfare persisted through to the Aztec civilization and evidence of similar jaguar-butterfly images has been found among the Zapotec, and Maya civilizations.

In Ghana’s traditional folklore, butterflies represent inconsistency, probably due their quick flight from flower to flower. A person who is a flirt may easily be referred to as a “butterfly”. A small town in Mexico also sees butterflies as souls, and it is to that town that the monarch butterflies migrate every year on and around the holiday known as the Day of the Dead. They are seen as the returned souls of the deceased. A form of the Russian language refers to butterflies as “dushichka” which is derived from “dusha”, which means “soul”. The Russian word for ‘butterfly’ is babochka, a diminutive of baba, (old) woman. Butterflies were thought to be witches in disguise in Russian folklore.

The significance of the butterfly in Irish folklore attributes it as the soul and thus it has the ability to cross into the Otherworld, they’re known for the ability to pass easily between this world and the next.

In the Western, people hold butterflies in their palms at ceremonies and say their wish, then release the butterflies, it is believed that the butterflies carry the wishes to God.


The number of wild jungle species significantly lowers during the dry season of the Pacific lowlands, approximately 40 - 50% and these numbers decrease more with length and severity of each dry season. These past years have been very dry, and may continue in this trend making it all the more difficult for delicate species to survive.

Butterflies are disappearing at an alarming rate, as are many insects, because of urban development and environmental toxins, with not many clean and natural places left for them to lay their eggs, nor safe havens for the caterpillars to survive. Raising butterflies, and then releasing them into the wild once they transform, is one of the best ways to help save the species.

Our gardens offer an intimate way to see a wealth of butterflies and to help them proliferate. Many of the natural butterfly habitats have been lost to human activities (like the construction of homes, retreat centers, hotels and roads). Our focus has been on creating a natural habitat by growing the many types of plants that caterpillars eat, as well as flowering plants that adult butterflies feed on.