Best time to travel to Peru

Butterflies Drinking Turtle Tears in Peru 2024-2025

Can you imagine a more beautiful symbiosis in nature than the one between wise turtles and tiny gentle butterflies?

Best time: all year round

Butterflies Drinking Turtle Tears
Butterflies Drinking Turtle Tears

The region of the Amazon River hides numerous natural mysteries or unbelievable animals, just think of pink dolphins and piranhas. Another phenomenon definitely worth seeing is butterflies that drink the tears of turtles.

One may think such a sweet thing can only happen in Disney cartoons, but in fact this is a very common event near Amazon River. The reason why butterflies are looking for such a close acquaintance with turtles is because they lack sodium and the latter have plenty of this element and excrete it with tears.

The Peruvian part of the Amazon region is located in the middle of the continent, hiding behind the Andes, so that all precipitation there lacks some nutrients. As a result some animals have to look for other sources of sodium: macaws lick clay on river banks, and butterflies drink the tears of turtles.

Practical info

When can I view the butterfly and turtle interaction in Peru?

The butterfly and turtle interaction is best seen between June and October in Peru's dry season. During this time, lower water levels make the turtles more visible to the butterflies. There are also fewer mosquitoes, making it easier to observe this unique behavior. Show more

Which areas in Peru are home to butterfly and turtle behavior?

Butterfly and turtle behavior is observed in different parts of the Peruvian Amazon such as Tamshiyacu-Tahuayo Reserve and Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. Tambopata National Reserve in southern Peru is also known as a popular location. Visitors are advised to take guided tours with local experts to get to the right spots for observing this behavior. Show more

What kind of unique animals can be seen in the Peruvian Amazon?

The Peruvian Amazon boasts a variety of unusual animals that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Animals include pink river dolphins, jaguars, anacondas, macaws, tarantulas, and poison dart frogs. Additionally, travelers can see various types of monkeys such as spider monkeys, howler monkeys, and tamarins in the region. Show more

Why do butterflies drink turtle tears and what is the benefit to both parties?

Butterflies drink turtle tears because of their high sodium content, which is scarce in other Amazon sources. Sodium aids in the butterflies' reproductive health and is important for their survival. In return, the butterflies clean any debris or parasites on the turtles' skin, benefitting both species in the mutualistic relationship. Show more

What measures are being undertaken to conserve these creatures and their environment in Peru?

The Peruvian government has designated several national parks and preserves as protected areas to safeguard the Amazon region's unique animals and ecosystems. NGOs such as The Amazon Conservation Association and Rainforest Trust collaborate with local communities to protect habitats and advocate sustainable livelihoods. Travelers are also encouraged to choose responsible tour operators who prioritize conservation and responsible tourism practices. Show more

Ask a question
Last updated: