‘Where colours fly…’ is the slogan for one of the Costa del Sol’s quieter attractions, a butterfly park inside a wonderful Thai temple-like building, just outside Benalmádena pueblo off Avenida de Retamar.
With its gold decorated roof and distinctive design, it’s easy to spot – especially as it sits next to the impressive Buddhist Stupa offering spectacular views across the coast, which means you can conveniently tie-in a visit to both.
This is the perfect trip out of resort in search of peace and inner calm, and perhaps respite from the searing sun. The sound of trickling water and ambient music set the tone for over 1,500 butterflies flying freely, representing species from across the world.
In addition to butterflies and moths the park has wallabies, also iguanas and chameleons kept in a terrarium so they do not eat the butterflies! Visitors, however, do get up-close to these beautiful, multi-coloured creatures as they settle on hands, or anywhere else they choose! Some are very large, so stay away if you are squeamish.
Rivalling the butterflies for colour are many exotic and flowering plants – both ornamental and used for butterfly feeding and reproduction – but for patterning, the exquisitely marked winged insects are unbeatable. The park also allows you to pry on caterpillars and hanging chrysalises, any of which may erupt with a newly born butterfly before your eyes.
Information boards are provided in English and Spanish, but while learning a few facts it is the hands-on nature of the experience that will leave indelible memories of wonder and excitement with butterflies and moths from all subtropical continents to marvel at. The visit can be completed in about half-an-hour as it is compact.
From Select Benal Beach you can reach the Mariposario and Stupa in about 10 minutes by car. Alternatively, you can catch the the L2 bus from outside the Arroyo de la Miel/Benalmadena train station. There are buses from the coast too, please ask at Reception.
Entry to the Stupa is free and €10 per adult, €7.50 for children 3-12 years, for the Mariposario, with concessions available. Visit www.mariposaiodebenalmadena.com/English for more information.