Diversification rates and evolutionary trajectories are known to be influenced by phenotypic traits and the geographic history of the landscapes that organisms inhabit. One of the most conspicuous traits in butterflies is their wing color pattern, which has been shown to be important in speciation. The evolution of many taxa in the Neotropics has also been influenced by the closure of the Panama Isthmus and the dynamic uplift of the Andes. Using a dated, species-level molecular phylogenetic hypothesis for Preponini, a colorful Neotropical butterfly tribe, we evaluated if diversification rates were constant or varied through time, and if they were dependent on color patterns or biogeographic events. We also estimated the rate of forewing color evolution and ancestral geographic ranges. We found that Preponini originated approximately 28 million years ago and that diversification has increased through time dependent on Andean uplift. Even though some clades show evolutionarily rapid transitions in coloration, these traits seem decoupled from diversification regimes. Preponini apparently originated within South America and range evolution has since been dynamic, congruent with Andean geologic activity, closure of the Panama Isthmus and Miocene climate variability. The potential involvement in mimicry rings with other butterfly groups might explain rapid changes in dorsal color patterns in this tribe.