Through The Lens; Vallarta

   Mariposario Garden Magico

New to Vallarta this year is an amazing opportunity for individual and family exploration. Located on the northeastern outskirts, about 5 miles from the Marina, is a hidden jewel called Mariposario Jardin Magico. A beautiful oasis devoid of the trappings of civilization, you will find yourself in a truly special place that exudes tranquility and natural harmony.

Mariposario Jardin Magico is a butterfly sanctuary surrounded by untapped natural beauty. With a body of water, tons of wildlife, and all kinds of beautiful flora and diverse fauna, it sets the stage for what is truly a magical experience. Before you even enter the garden, you are surrounded by many different species of lush trees and plants. There are several ponds in the area that are teaming with wildlife, including exotic birds, turtles, and fish.

The owner and man who created the butterfly garden, Chris, is a man of true character and clearly has a passion for his work. He has taken the time and care to acquire the knowledge of the butterflies and convey it in a manner that is sure to keep your interest.

The garden is decorated with colorful and whimsical up-cycled materials. The vibrant colors of the diverse plants and flowers sets a sense of wonder. Everywhere you look you will find an abundance of life; the different types of caterpillars and chrysalises for the butterfly species that exist here, for which there are well over 100. From the Reina, which is very similar in appearance to the Monarch Butterfly, to the Zebra, which has stripes reminiscent of those of their namesake, it is a festival of colors sure to please visitors of all ages.

Biologists are strategically growing flowers and plants within this sanctuary to feed the butterflies and provide them a place to reproduce. They also offer complimentary tours to share their expertise with you. If you are lucky, you may have the opportunity to have a butterfly or two land on you. If you are even luckier with your timing, you may have the opportunity to release the butterflies that have newly emerged from their chrysalises that day, which is an incredible experience.

There is even a small outdoor restaurant next door if you want to stop and have some drinks and food before or after your visit with the butterflies, as well as settings for Tamazcal, DiscGolf and Camping at the Ranch. The Mariposario is also home to our new Macro Photography workshops! Join us to learn how to create stunning floral images and learn tricks to catching shots of the amazing butterflies.

This is a magical experience that will leave you feeling more informed about the various butterfly species that live in Puerto Vallarta and the surrounding area and more in touch with nature. The work that Chris and Mariposario Jardin Magico does is extremely important and I was excited to have the opportunity to visit this natural haven.

Photos by Nomad Family Photo Group