There are two of them in Mindo, but only one has an excellent reputation. The other just has a reputation. Of course, the excellent one is over 4 miles out of town, but we are prompted to go early in the morning, as butterflies are more active during the sunny morning, but relax just as we do in the drizzly, cloudy afternoons. We must have been butterflies in previous lives.
The taxi stand in Mindo has one taxi. The ride was more horrific than any roller coaster we have been on in the last decade. There were holes in the road that may have been volcano craters. It took us close to 20 minutes to go four miles, but we were delivered to the entrance of the hotel/restaurant/butterfly sanctuary. I often wonder who would stay in a place like this off in nowhere. The section of river across the street has less force than our kitchen sink in the cabin. To have dinner anywhere other than the hotel would require a taxi ride both ways. Thinking of that ride after a full dinner makes me nauseous.
Admission to the butterflies is $6 per person. Rosie, our
guide, gives us a five-minute orientation on the lifecycle of butterflies. I wanted to tell Rosie, this is not our first rodeo or butterfly sanctuary. We have been to a half dozen in as many countries. Just then, she shows us the cocoon of butterflies that live near water. It looks like a water drop to blend in; no, we have
never seen this before. Others look like a leaf bud. Rosie finishes her mini-speech and we are set free among the butterflies in their natural (man-made) surroundings. Freeing some into the wild helps them maintain their balance, while others are kept to reproduce increasing the numbers.
Remember the movie Butterflies are Free?