Monarch Butterfly ~ Tour of the Sanctuaries

A fairy tale or a miracle?
your choice…

Come and join us everyday to share the experience of watching not hundreds or thousands or tens of thousands, but millions of Monarch Butterfly ~ Tour of the Sanctuaries ~ hanging from the trees in just a few acres of forest.


MARIP14

Tours:

  • Everyday at 8:30 am
  • November through March.
  • In certain conditions the tour will start earlier
  • $900.00 pesos per person
  • Including: Transportation, admission and English speaking tour guide with a federal licence.
  • The tour will be a group trip with a minimum of two passengers or the equivalent payment.
  • Reservations have the preference.
  • Tours are available any day of the week and are arranged by appointment only.
  • Our tours are only delivered using our trams.

Butterfly Sanctuaries

There are seven sanctuaries in Michoacán but only three are opened to the public: Rosario Sanctuary and Sierra Chincua Sanctuary, Cerro Pelón Sanctuary is shared with the neighbouring Estado de México. The difference between sanctuaries in regards to the amount of butterflies is hardly perceptible to the untrained eye, as a tourist you will enjoy the experience of witnessing this unique and vast wonder of nature just the same. Our collective tours visit one of the first two reserves.

We provide comfortable transportation to any of our destinations throughout, including through the rough stretches of road in between these and Ocampo or Angangueo Towns. On arrival to the destination, we will personally guide you to the viewing area. Each sanctuary is many square miles in diameter, Monarch Butterflies choose where to land each year,  it will be in a different spot of the forest almost every year, the spot they choose will still be moving all along the season, making this spectacular migration even more interesting. Sometimes they will hibernate closer to the entrance of one of our destinations, thus making it more convenient to visit that particular sanctuary. This is the reason we will highly recommend to visit the reserve chosen by us.

Monarch Butterfly ~ Tour of the Sanctuaries

Duration

It will take on average about 1 hour to walk from the entrance of the reserve, up a steep path at high altitude to reach the butterflies area, walking it in less time and easier is a matter of knowledge and experience. We will endeavour to make this trek as easy and relaxed as possible for you, however please take into consideration your own level of fitness and endurance. But still, even if you’re over 90 you can do it! Just save your energy, it’s not a competition. It’s a lovely walk through the forest amongst friends to have fun and learn.

Season

Monarch Butterfly ~ Tour of the Sanctuaries
There are seasons when Monarch Butterflies settle at the more remote corners of the huge sanctuary area, in those occasions it will be necessary to use an extra vehicle to be taken on rude dirt roads. If this is the case we´ll let you know at the start of the tour.

A very common mistake is to believe that butterflies are in Michoacán only up to February, they are here all through March and sometimes during the very first days of April you still can find them. So you can program your trip perfectly from November up to late March.

Further Relaxation

If you prefer a different and more relaxed experience, Sierra Chincua and Rosario Sanctuaries offer Horse Riding for Butterfly tours ($15.00 average fee). These horses have been trained and are very tame; the employees, or sometimes the owners themselves, will always walk the horse holding the rein for you. This makes the trek very relaxing and not tiring at all, in fact, it´s not riding a horse but rather being carried comfortably while you enjoy the views.

Recommendations:

  • Take with you a light but warm sweater or jacket and a good pair of walking shoes. Trousers, instead of skirts or shorts are recommended due to branches on the forest´s ground.
  • Avoid the use of perfumes or deodorants on the day of your tour. Littering will not be tolerated.
  • Do not use flash.
  • Bring some candies or chocolates to snack during your walking, and carry a bottle of water to keep hydrated, you can buy bottled water next to the parking area.

• Remember that you are walking up and at 10,000 feet altitude, you may experience dizziness at the beginning, this is normal and you will be fine after a few minutes, however do not ignore your symptoms should they not improve or feel sick, in this case contact your tour guide immediately. Do not run, or engage in an exhaustive activity during your tour, regardless of age. Unfortunately we have witnessed young people collapsing due to lack of hydration and altitude sickness. Please act sensibly.

• It is regulation to be accompanied by a local guide inside the Sanctuaries, irrespective of your Agreement to your guide. Be respectful to him or her, they may be more helpful that you think, their knowledge of the woods is vast and important. This is also a way of self employment for local communities, and a tip of yours will help them.

• Follow your tour guide instructions. And do not try to walk on your own in this huge mountains; there are dozens of paths and you could easily get lost.