Interesting attractions can be found in the area surrounding Alajuela. The highlight of this region is the well-known Butterfly Farm.
Open since 1983, the Butterfly Farm was the first commercial butterfly farm in Latin America. One of Costa Rica's top attractions, the farm presents the ecology of the delicate insects and allows visitors to observe and photograph them up close.Hundreds of butterfly species fill the tropical gardens, and interesting information about the complex stages of the butterfly life cycle is offered.The butterflies live in a large enclosed garden similar to an aviary and flutter about the heads of visitors during tours of the gardens. Other attractions at the farm include a bee garden and ox-cart rides. Many tropical birds can be spotted in the gardens.
Address: Box 2132-4050, Costa Rica
Opening hours: 8:30am-5pm
Useful tips: It's best to visit the farm when it is sunny (mornings in the rainy season), when butterflies are most active. Guided tours run continuously from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Guides: Guided tour available as optional extra.
Facilities: Restaurant or food service
Several tropical bird species, including over 60 species native to Costa Rica, are displayed in the park-like setting of Zoo-Ave. All four species of Costa Rican monkeys, iguanas and a few other mammals can also be seen.However, the brightly-colored birds are the main attraction with some of the featured species being scarlet macaws, owls, raptors and various toucans. Zoo-Ave is known for housing injured, donated and confiscated animals and there is a program to breed endangered species and reintroduce them into the wild.
Water Eye Springs
La Paz Waterfall Gardens
La Paz Waterfall Gardens includes several trails through the forest along the La Paz river offering lookouts over a series of waterfalls. The most dramatic is the park's namesake, Catarata La Paz (Peace Waterfall), where a short trail leads behind the falls between the cascading water and the side of the mountain.Other attractions found here include a large butterfly garden, and orchid garden and several hummingbird feeders. Local legend claims the La Paz waterfall is charged with negative electricity "that helps reduce the stress of modern life".
Alajuela Surroundings Pictures