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“I expected more”
Review of Butantan Institute

Butantan Institute
Ranked #45 of 755 things to do in Sao Paulo
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Frogs and spiders and snakes, oh my! The Instituto Butantan, a biomedical research and zoological center founded in 1901, has all these creepy crawlies and more. The institute was instrumental in controlling scores of tropical diseases and now focuses on developing vaccines and researching venomous animals. Brazil's largest serpentarium is on-site, as is a convenient anti-venom clinic, just in case things get out of hand. In any event, the kiddies will get a kick out of handling the cool-blooded things, or at least peering at them through reinforced glass. Once you've had your fill of scales and rattles, take a stroll in the lovely landscaped gardens.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children, Stairs / elevator
Reviewed December 29, 2012 via mobile

Some good collection of snakes and educational material on vaccines and epidemics. Total impression was that they could do more to catch the interest of the visitor. Felt sorry for the monkeys.

1  Thank MattiasLotta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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47 - 51 of 1,145 reviews

Reviewed November 8, 2012

I would say this is a must while you visit são paulo specially with kids. There is a nice educational museum and on some hours of the day they show you how they take venom of the snakes

2  Thank wuduland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2012

I went because it has good reviews on tripadvisor, but that was deceptive.

First of all, they have monkeys trapped in cages which are alone. It says that they used to be used for experiments, although it seems to me they are probably still experimenting on them. And if not, why keep them there? They are set in separate small wire cages, with only a concrete floor, some food, and if they are lucky a rope that is strung along the top of it. No toys, no companionship, and they clearly depressed and lonely and it's extremely cruel to keep them like that. Disgustingly, people generally seem oblivious to this.

I am including a photo with this post so you can see their living conditions for yourself.

Secondly, there's nothing really interesting to see there. The slightly interesting thing is that it is a biological museum, so they have a vast array of snakes (most of the species that are in south america). And although I love snakes, after you have walked by 20 of them, the next 80 really don't stay in your mind or catch your interest.

It's pretty far out of town so tends to kill your day, and is not interesting, and if you go you are supporting them while they mistreat their animals. So it's definitely best to avoid it.

6  Thank ben t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 22, 2012

This place is awesome to get to know all about snakes. It's intriguing and very, very curious. This institute is famous and highly respected as a scientific example and also is responsible for the production of almost all brazilian antidotes for snake bites. That's why there are some many species here and in such large concentration.

Thank ValsFun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 7, 2012

It might be thrilling if you are a biologist, but otherwise this place is not more then average. It is located in a park, but there are better parks in Sao Paulo. The Butantan Institute is all about poison. The founder set it up in this once rural place to find antidotes against snake and spider bites. Several buildings are scattered around and at first its difficult to find your way. The Museum of Biology hosts roundabout 60 vivaria with any kind of snake you can imagine. Since snakes have the habit of "hanging around" most of the time, its not exactly thrilling. Also, several spiders are hosted but they do pretty much the same as the snakes: nothing. In the weekends the place can get crammed, during the week it is most likely that you will disturbed by hoards of children on school excursions. Most of the time, I found them to be annoyingly loud, inconsiderate of their surrounding and especially badly behaved. The best time to got is early afternoon on a weekday.
The other buildings host an ovary (for breeding snakes), old stables full of old laboratory equipment, a library and some cages with monkeys. They serve the purpose of getting injected the various snake and spider poisons at a non-lethal dose so that later the antidotes they build up can be extracted from their blood. It might be medically necessary but it made me profoundly sad to see these poor monkeys sitting around.

1  Thank Miseducation
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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