One of the benefits of living in Colombia is the beauty and diversity of the flora and fauna. Not only does Colombia have 10% of all the plant species in the world but it also boasts such a wide array of birds making it a popular destination for serious birdwatchers. In Calarca, Quindío the Botanical Garden and Butterfly House of Quindio is a wonderful place to go where you can see and learn about both of these for a small fee and a two hour tour.
Botanical Garden and Butterfly House of Quindio Tour Experience
Our tour guide Alejandra was a young, vibrant and funny tour guide who told us captivating stories about the plants animals and past visitors as she led us through the pathways of the gardens. We learned about the different palm varieties including the Quindío Wax Palm which is the national palm tree of Colombia.
We also learned about some of the other native species of grass such as Guadua a type of tropical bamboo that is so strong it is used as a building material for houses, scaffolding, bridges and even furniture. When we entered the Guadua “forest” there was a noticeable drop in temperature because the Guadua tree draws water up into it during the day and at night drains back out making the early morning ideal for cutting because the tree is hollow. This water is potable and can be drank if you are lost in the jungle.
Colombia is also home to a massive number of exotic flowers including the national flower which is the Orchid. Here is a picture of a species of tropical flower that was growing in profusion in the Botanical Gardens.
nests in the spaces and branches high above…
Finally we ended the Botanical Garden and Butterfly House of Quindio tour, with a walk through the butterfly house where over 1,500 different species are housed. Our tour guide said that the total estimate is that the house has over 5,000 butterflies in it at any given time. And they were everywhere like shimmering fairies – refusing to pose for my camera.
Click on this link to see a short video of the butterfly house…GOPR0470
Touring the butterfly house and botanical gardens was an amazing, romantic and eye opening journey into the flora and fauna of Colombia. The tour group was small and personable with people attending from Italy, Colombia and the USA. The work that is being done at the botanical gardens is very valuable both for visitors and Colombians alike by teaching respect and knowledge of the biodiversity and ways to continue to preserve it for future generations. Overall it was very well done, well maintained with clear walking paths and the guide was very educated and personable.
Botanical Garden and Butterfly House of Quindio: For more information follow this link to the Spanish language website for directions, fees and hours of operation here: http://www.jardinbotanicoquindio.org/