All Of A Flutter In Icod de Los Vinos

Mon, December 27th, 2010 - By Colin

At one stage I thought they were ganging up on me for my childhood indiscretions of keeping their relatives in jam jars, but it turned out these hordes of butterflies weren’t vengeful, just beautiful. The Mariposario del Drago in Icod de Los Vinos may be overshadowed by the famous Tenerife dragon tree but the old, slightly worn façade gives little indication of the natural wonders that await inside.

A tropical garden spreads out below as I passed through the plastic drapes that keep the colourful creatures in their 25 to 29 centigrade home with 80 % humidity. A whirlwind of colour swirled through the air and winged wonders perched in every possible spot. Plants draped from the roof, a small stream trickled through under a bridge and small trees and plants provided natural food for the butterflies.

Dishes placed at key points contained small chunks of sweet fruit as further treats. I saw an attendant rubbing liquid from a cup on the ends of twigs and flower stems, when her colleague passed me with a plastic cup of colourful liquid I asked her if this was a high protein food, she laughed and said this was her cup of fizzy coke – whoops.

Don’t touch is the rule of the house but the butterflies landed on many of the visitors. Seeing their intricate colours in close up is one of the rewards for entering their special world. Some large butterflies lounged with wings spread on the walls and I wondered if they were artificial to make the others feel at ease but with a sudden flutter they dispelled that idea. Likewise a large lizard draped around a tree branch seemed static and turtles by the stream looked almost plastic but they also sprang into life to catch me and others out.

All of the butterflies in the house are bred there in captivity, they don’t imprison any wild ones. Downstairs there is a nursery where you can see the pupae incubating and there is a strong emphasis on learning and understanding these creatures rather than just admiring them. It’s a long way from the Cabbage Whites I used to chase with a net in my garden but then these are the pick of a very colourful bunch.

Mariposario Del Drago, Avenida de Canarias, Icod de Los Vinos; tel 922 815 167; open every day from 10 am to 6 pm in winter and until 7 pm in summer.
Adults 8.50 euros; residents 7.50 euros; children (3 to 12 yrs) 5 euros

Posted : Monday, December 27th, 2010 at 10:21 am
Category : days out
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2 Responses to “All Of A Flutter In Icod de Los Vinos”

  1. […] way, this tree is a “must-see” if you come to Icod. And while you’re there, why not pop into the butterfly farm next door and make it an even better day […]

  2. […] by colourful bunting and the gardens were in full bloom attracting a few escapees from the Butterfly Park below. The big event of the Icod calendar is San Andres ( 30th November) when brave souls hurtle […]

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