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BUTTERFLY FARM

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The Butterfly Farm is at Guácima, where several dozen species of the insect are raised for live export to European exhibitions. The part open to the public is a hillside rain forest under protective netting. A dammed stream tumbles into a pond, ferns and fronds and violets and impatiens step up and around the boulders, trees tower above. And, of course, there are butterflies, several dozen species or more, according to the season, along with ants and spiders and lizards that the netting doesn’t keep out, and displays of leaf-cutter ants under glass.

The butterfly exhibit opens every day at 9 a.m. Tours operate continuously (the last starts at 3:30 p.m.), terminating at a stand where T-shirts and mounted butterflies may be acquired. The earliest hours are best for watching butterflies emerge from their cocoons.

The farm also offers a "bee tour" aboard a traditional oxcart, a two-hour excursion that includes a look at hives, explanations of bee life cycles, and insights into Mayan apiculture in ancient America.

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