Freedom. Fly freely. Like the butterflies.
If you happen to be in the state of Michoacán or Estado de Mexico between December and March, please please visit one of the Mariposa Monarca Sanctuarios. Reserves for the monarch butterflies. We can guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
It’s once in a lifetime experience. It’s the lack of oxygen above 3000 metres. It’s the light touch of the butterfly wings on your skin. It’s orange colour everywhere.
It’s the fragility of their wings. It’s the strength how they are able to fly up to 8000 kilometres from Canada to Mexico.
This is not a regular touristy experience. This is a spiritual feeling. This will stay within your heart forever.
We will advice you how to do it on your own (more or less) so you support local business and don’t spend ridiculous amount of money.
How to get the most of your visit of monarch butterflies
- You will find several sanctuaries in the states of Michoacán and Estado de Mexico, we picked El Rosario as we were advised by a local it’s the best one.
- Choose own transport, not an organised tour, you will save loaaaads of money. You can rent a car or get a bus to Angangueo and then colectivo (minibus for 8-10 people) or a taxi up to El Rosario. You can even cycle up there but be warned: it’s steep, narrow, cobbled road. For us the climb to Angangueo was enough.
- The fee is 50 peso/person and for that price you’ll get a local guide to accompany you up to the butterflies. You can’t go on your own (probably due to butterflies being too disturbed by misbehaving visitors).
- Be prepared to hike up about 300 metres elevation on few kilometes. If it’s too much, you can rent a horse that will carry you and you hike only the last part.
- Be quiet when you come to them, by that you’ll be able to achieve most spectacular experience.
- Respect your guide and his advice, they are there to protect the butterflies.
- And the most important thing: pick a SUNNY day for your visit, otherwise the butterflies don’t fly in such numbers that you can see on our pictures and video.
Interesting facts about monarch butterflies and their journey
- not every butterfly has got the same life span
- the journey is completed in 4 generations
- it’s the 4th generation of the butterflies that does the longest migration, it’s called generation Matusalem
- it starts the journey in September-October from Canada and flies all the way to Mexico
- here it overwinters, mates and begins the flight back in March
- on the way back the butterflies lay eggs (that will become the 1st generation in the cycle) and die
- 1st, 2nd and 3rd generation each lives 2-6 weeks as they continue the migration north
- once in Canada the 4th generation is born in September – October and the cycle repeats itself
Isn’t it exciting? Nature is such a powerful magician.
We spent about 2-3 hours in the sanctuary, just admiring, taking pictures and breathing in this miracle. If you want to know more about the butterfly journey, watch this interesting documentary.
We hope we’ve showed you one more beautiful location in Mexico, worth visiting. Share it among your friends, so more people know about this miracle of nature and remember: The butterflies need the sun to fly around 🙂