Ian, the owner of Hickatee Cottages, is also the manager of a Butterfly Farm. Apparently there are only 5-6 Commercial Butterfly operations in the world that supply pupa to all the Glass House Butterfly exhibits around the world. His is one of those.
In order to get a tour you MUST stay at their cottages, and the tours are held on Fridays only, and are limited to only 4 guests. The reason is that the facility is quite small, and they need to control access. They have problems in the past ranging from corporate espionage to people wearing bug spray and wiping out entire crops of butterflies! Unfortunately, Ian’s tour for today is booked up. But I ask about the limits of only 4 people, and that is because that is all the 4×4 truck holds. So, I push a bit more to see if it would be possible to follow the 4×4 with the motorcycle. Ian inspects the bike, and says “I make no promises. The road up there is very steep, bumpy, and sometimes muddy.”
So, off comes as much luggage as possible to make the bike more off-road friendly, and we follow the truck. There are certainly some challenging moments, and one of those makes Rebecca scream in terror… but we make it to the farm.
Once there we have an amazing tour, and learn a lot about the process, the life cycle, and just how much work is involved in producing butterflies for market. The biggest limiting factor, beyond just whether or not they’ll breed in captivity, is providing the caterpillars with enough (and correct) food sources.
We get back to the cottage and grab a relaxing afternoon siesta. I’m woken up to a strange sound in the trees behind our cottage and discover a troop of howler monkeys slowly moving through the canopy. They’re fun to watch.
Then, after dinner, we relax chatting with Ian and Kate, while enjoying some Belizean chocolate along with some Cocoa Liqueurs. Heaven!