Taking a cruise around some of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean is sad and wonderful at the same time. Wonderful because I have a chance to see a lot and get a taste of what it’s all about. Sad, because once I step ashore, all I want to do is stay — but I can’t. Given the limited time, I also need to make a choice of what to see and to visit, a decision I found extremely difficult to make in St. Thomas.
The island isn’t that big, but there is a lot worth visiting. A definite must is the Butterfly Farm.
It’s conveniently located close to the cruise ship dock, so there is no waste in time getting there. Admission is a rather steep $15 per person, but it says on the ticket that the money is not an admission fee but a contribution to protect the species and the environment, so it’s for a good cause. $5 can be redeemed towards any purchase you may want to make at the gift shop.
Entering the farm proper is quite funny. I stepped through a sort of channel with doors opening one at a time to prevent any butterflies from leaving their habitat. Strangely, the butterflies bred and cared for on the farm are illegal in the country. They have only permission to stay where they are and they are all imported.
When leaving through the same channel, I had to look carefully into a floor length mirror to make sure no adventurous butterfly tried to hitch a ride. Visitors are also required to tread carefully, as butterflies like to sit on the ground, especially if it has been raining and they feel sort of drowsy.
The farm is not big and can be visited in about an hour, but the variety of butterflies that flutter around in the most amazing colors and shapes is stunning. A lot of information about butterflies and how they turn from cocoons into the delightful beauties we love to look at is given by a tour guide.
What I liked best is the Butterfly Bar. The life span of the butterflies is only a few days and all they do in that time is multiply. The females have the most work to do, but the males, after having done their duty and before they go chasing more girls, rest at the bar, have a drink or two and recharge batteries so to speak. They like bananas best, preferably when they are nearly rotten.
The butterflies’ life may be short but they probably have a lot of fun as any visitor to the butterfly farm will also have.
Inka is German and used to be an international attorney with offices in London and Spain. Retired two years ago because I wanted to be a traveler and writer and now live between Didim/Turkey and Miami with plenty of travel in between. Next destinations: Istanbul, New York and Petra/Jordan. Inka’s first novel has just been published and can be found here
Amazing that they host the butterflies when they’re illegal in the country. Interesting !