Imagine walking through a beautifully landscaped lush garden with butterflies of different colours flying all around you. This is a dream come true for me at The Simply Butterflies Conservation Center located in Bilar, Bohol. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t exaggerating. Truth be told, this is my first time visiting a real butterfly garden, I mean a big one . I love butterflies so this was indeed a treat for me.
How did we get here?
After a short stop at the Man Made Forest ( I will blog about it soon), we stopped by at the Simply Butterflies Conservation Center. It is only 5 minutes away man-made forest and just 15-20 minutes away from Loboc River. From Tagbilaran City it will take you about and 30-40 minutes getting here.
Simply Butterflies Conservation Center is the first butterfly livelihood breeding program in the island of Bohol which aims to protect the butterfly population through breeding and releasing and plant research.
Since this was included in our Package Tour, we didn’t have to pay for the entrance fee. We went inside the Visitor’s Center directly and we were welcomed by a beautiful display of preserved collections of butterflies, moths, and other insects around Bohol. We just roamed around while waiting for our tour guide.
It took a while before the tour guide appeared but he was so worth the wait. We weren’t only informed and educated about butterflies and other insects but we were also entertained at the same time. The local tour guide they assigned to us was very funny. He would crack jokes all the time. Moreover, he wasn’t just our tour guide; he also volunteered to take our pictures. He literally made our day.
‘The family that wear fuschia pink together stays forever’. 🙂
We were ushered into the orientation area and we were shown the preserved specimens of the biggest moth and butterfly in the country. There are also exhibits of eggs, brown and green cocoons, jewel like chrysalis, and of course the life cycle of the butterfly. There are also other informative displays about the insects and other wildlife in Bohol. They also would allow you to hold caterpillars but you have to be careful because they are so fragile and you wouldn’t want to hurt them.
Within the large meshed enclosure you can see butterflies flying freely overhead – some resting and others feasting for nectars. Though I do understand that it’s for the sake of the butterflies, I still felt a little sad that they do not allow visitors touching or have a photo op with these beauties anymore. (heard they allowed it before)
Most of the butterflies I saw are the very friendly Tree Nymph which is very common in the island and in the whole country as well and the Monarch butterfly as well. Honestly though, I was a little disappointed that there are only a few species I found. I just hope they would try to breed as many different species they could find.
The guided tour lasts approximately 20-30 minutes, including the obligatory picture taking with the preserved butterfly enclosed in a glass. Yes, that short, but you are welcome for as long as you like. You can take a stroll in the garden if you prefer. You can also enjoy snacks and drinks at the restaurant located at the Visitor Center which overlooks the garden. Or you could also check out the souvenir shop and avail of butterfly-made products and other art pieces hand produced by the local residents
The best part of the visit wasn’t only my dream coming true and that we had a nice time but also knowing the fact that you are supporting the livelihood of the local residents in the island who were trained to take care and breed and preserve these lovely creatures.