La Ceiba has its very own Butterfly Museum! And if we are going to talk about the La Ceiba Butterfly Museum, we must talk about Professor Robert Lehman, the man who created this museum. Professor Lehman is a US citizen who has lived in La Ceiba most of his life. He was a teacher at the Mazapan School, one of the best bilingual schools in Honduras. Bob, as his Friends call him, always had a passion for butterflies and insects. Over the weekends, and during holidays, he would go off to the diverse protected areas in Atlantida and trap insects for his personal collection. At one point, he had accumulated a huge collection of butterflies and insects that are native to the Caribbean Coast of Honduras. He then went on to visit other areas in Honduras.
Before he knew it, he had over 10,000 collected insects, and set up a building in the back of his home to display them. One thing leads to another, soon, he opened the La Ceiba Butterfly Museum at home. It soon became one of the biggest tourist attractions in town and was a popular visit for local schools. Soon Bob was overwhelmed with so many visitors and sought for a better option for his creation. Fortunately, the CURLA, the local branch of the National Autonomous University of Honduras was interested and jumped onboard the idea of the Museum. The museum moved to its current location and has been there ever since. It’s a perfect match, as students continue scientific research on the local insects and add specimens to the museum. Professor Lehmann continues to be closely involved with the museum and sometimes provides guided tours in English when present.
Yesterday, while visiting the CURLA campus, I made it a point of visiting the Museum in its new location. I was pleasantly surprised to find it very inviting and with a great disposition to accept visitors who have an interest in butterflies and other insects. At the same time, I was taken aback by the facilities at the campus. It is well kept up and offers very nicely manicured gardens that provide a nice setting for students between classes or for studying outdoors. My hat goes off to the local and national authorities at the UNAH for a job well done at the CURLA campus.
But let’s go back to our subject: The La Ceiba Butterfly Museum. As I mentioned, it is within the campus of the local public national university. It has a total of over 19,000 insects within its collection! Most are from Honduras, but the have specimens from 140 countries worldwide! Anything from colorful butterflies to nasty looking bugs. The persons in charge of the facility are very friendly, and the museum is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am till noon and from 1:00 pm till 3:00 pm. Getting there is quite easy. The University is very close to the airport. Take CA13 westbound from La Ceiba and then take the detour that’s across the Maxi Despensa green building. From there, just follow the road and you will get to the security booth within the premises. Just let them know that you’re visiting the museum and they will let you in.
The entrance fee to the La Ceiba Butterfly Museum varies depending on the size of the group. The fee is 75 lempiras per person, and there is a discount for Honduran citizens. If you are in a group of 10 or more persons, there is a discount. The same applies to school visits. As a norm, there are no bilingual guides, however you may be lucky and find that Professor Lehman is there and can be your own personal English guide! If you call in advance and make a reservation and mention that you need a bilingual guide, he usually makes sure to be there! For reservations, call: 9696 3420, 9729 1258 & 9575 0086. These numbers belong to different persons that work at the museum, so be patient if one of them does not answer!
A second alternative is to make your reservation via E-mail. The official E-mail for the museum is: firstname.lastname@example.org. The official website is: https://museoentomoligiacurla.wordpress.com. The museum also has its own Facebook page and is listed as an attraction on tripadvisor. A visit to the La Ceiba Butterfly museum is always a pleasant experience. You will be surprised at how colorful some butterflies can be!