The Monarch Butterfly migration is a great spectacle that you need to witness at least once in your life. This phenomenon can experience between mid/late November to mid/late March; exact dates change year to year. Depending on migration patterns.
Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary
Visiting the Monarch Butterfly Sactuary its an experience you are never going to forget. the beautiful creatures travel all the way from Canada to hibernate an reproduce here, nobody knows how they are able to return each year, as the butterflies that return, are not the same ones that leave from here to Canada. To admire, you need to visit one of their 5 sanctuaries. Once that you get to any of the sanctuaries (el Rosario is the most popular) you will need to hike 2-3 miles up a mountain to get to where the butterflies are. You can also take a horse ride on the way up (about 75% of the way up) for about ten USD, but I don’t recommend it, these horses don’t look like they are well-taken care, and most importantly, the hike is part of the experience. People with limited mobility might consider skipping this tour as there is a lot of walking on irregular/steep terrain involved.
Once you walk all the way up, you’ll be rewarded with an amazing view of the hundred thousand butterflies, hibernating on the tress, you might even get a few to land on top of you, just remember to watch your step, as they also land on the ground, and you can step over them.
This migration repeats every year, a key to preserving this wonderful phenomenon is to respect these sanctuaries and the butterflies itself, your guides will remind you that there is no smoking, no shouting or even loud talking when you get closer to where the butterflies are. But most importantly, under no circumstances take a butterfly as a souvenir (even a dead one), they are sacred for the locals as some believe they are going to reincarnate in them in the next life, you’ll also be fined.
WHERE TO STAY
Stay in Morelia and do a day trip, (we recommend taking a tour).
The best way to get here is on tour; if you want to drive, you are looking at a 3.5 to 5-hour drive each way depending if you chose to use toll roads (highly recommended) or not. Just follow your tour’s itinerary.