El Rosario Monarch Butterfly Preserve

El Rosario Monarch Butterfly Preserve

El Rosario Monarch Butterfly Preserve
5
About
Located next to the tiny village of El Rosario, this sanctuary is the winter nesting grounds for millions of monarch butterflies that migrate from the U.S. each year.
Meets animal welfare guidelines
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
What is Travellers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travellers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travellers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.

Top ways to experience nearby attractions

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles171 reviews
Excellent
144
Very good
18
Average
4
Poor
4
Terrible
1

JP_and_Maria
Sofia, Bulgaria246 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
We went with Tekpan Tours as we didn't rent a car and couldn't find any buses to take us there. They were super sweet. If you rent a car, you can drive there on your own, just following the GPS. You can take a horse up - we are not big fans of that but did it and it definitely made things easier and faster going up to see the butterflies (keep in mind the high altitude - 3,400 meters). All along the way there are water sources where butterflies are gathering, so it goes crescendo until the place where they literally cover trees and branches and fly everywhere around you. It was sunny the day we went and it seems it's the best weather to see them in all their splendour. You can see them until March. It was an experience out of this world, completely unique...A must do if you are in Mexico City. It's a long drive, but it's definitely worth it!
Written February 20, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sundncr
Washington DC, DC1,130 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Friends
It is about a 3.5 to four hour drive from central Mexico City. If you take traffic into account, it could be more. There are plenty of tolls to pay along the route, so be prepared to pay in Pesos at some locations. Some of the route is on highways and once you cross Toluca, it becomes a narrow two lane route and there are plenty of speed bumps and you cross many small towns where you slow down. The parking lot of the sanctuary is about a mile walk along a steep incline to the entrance. There are many restaurants and souvenir stores along the way. Just politely refuse the call-outs from the stalls. The entrance fee is 100 pesos. From here, the fun starts. Realistically it is a mile and high hike up a steep hill. You can take the horse ride to halfway. It costs 170 pesos one way, around 10 dollars. The horses or mules, are well trained, sure footed, and know how to climb the somewhat treacherous path. The horse guide walks with you. Once you reach the halfway point, you have to climb another 3/4 of a mile up the hills as the butterflies nest at those heights. It took me around a hour and half to navigate the path. Some may do it a lot quicker. Be sure to have good shoes with grip as you may skid along the path. You walk on your own. There is no guide to take you up there. At the top you get to see the butterfly nests on top of trees. If the weather is warm, the butterflies may fly around. It is wonderful sight to see the natural attraction. Specially, after one has climbed this high. There are no water fountains, bathrooms, or vendors along the path. So, be aware of that. There will be plenty of local Mexican tourists and may of the guides may not speak English that well. You may have some difficulty, if you only speak English. There is plenty of security along the way up as there are staff posted every 100 meters.

After the hike, you can enjoy some delicious local food and drinks at may of the restaurants on the way back.
Written January 2, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

anadZ3326MH
Lake Forest, CA31 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Family
Be prepared to be amazed! Even if it’s not quite in the season you will not be disappointed. It’s a very difficult steep hike, but totally doable. I’m not a fit person and I was able to hike all the way up. There’s also the option of renting a horse which comes with a guide, with or without horse riding experience anyone can ride these horses. The people in charge will facilitate everything. Do purchase food from the folks within the entrance, they rely on tourism to live. One tip I would give, is to wear stretchy clothing no jeans. I wore jeans and I think it would have made a big difference if I had worn my stretchy pants. Not handicapped accessible…
Written December 10, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

GLee
London, UK211 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023 • Couples
Absolute magical place to be seeing nature at with its awesomeness. We visited at March and arrived around 10:00, the clouds shifted and the sun was shining through the forest floor, we were blessed to see the site of thousands and thousands of butterflies dancing. It really is a spectacle that photo does not do justice.
Written April 3, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

carole c
Ferrisburgh, VT236 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023 • Solo
The reserve was peaceful and well run. Our group had a guide provided free to point out the best sites. The trail was very well cared for- clean, with many rest stops. People talked in hushed tones. It was not crowded. In early March, there were billions of butterflies to see. The experience was profound. I recommend going up by horseback because it is a long hike up. Going down was also strenuous and I walked down, but going down by horseback might be better!
Written March 8, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

dsky227
Concord, NH244 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023
I think this is the largest of the butterfly sanctuaries, with approx 40% of the migrating butterflies hibernating here. Of course, you're restricted to where you can go in the sanctuary... having said that, and we went to more than one sanctuary on our trip, we felt like we were closer to the butterflies than the other sanctuary... and were just able to see so much more. I recommend taking a horse ride up... its fun, saves on walking... and supports the local economy. I also recommend bringing binoculars.
You'll never forget this experience.
Written March 7, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Aaron G
Los Angeles, CA286 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023
El Rosario Monarch Butterfly Preserve was our trip's "grand finale," and what a finale it was. Two tips:

1) The butterflies are only there from November to March, so be sure to go then. Their activity peaks in late February, exactly when we went, so try to time it then for maximum butterfly madness.

2) DON'T GO ON A WEEKEND. The crowds make Disneyland look like a picnic. Just stay away until a weekday, when you will have far fewer people to ruin the experience for you.

I could go on and on, but I will simply say that this may be the greatest place I have ever visited in my life.
Written March 4, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mayacosmos
Englewood, NJ123 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023 • Couples
An amazing place to witness the miracle of nature of millions of butterfly’s who return each year to mate and create the next generation of monarchs that make their way north in the spring. We had the perfect day as the butterfly’s were everywhere flying around the town, extremely active and visible without having to make the trek up the mountain top. If you are within a drive during this time of year - GO.
The butterfly’s were in constant motion as they swarmed in huge groups of never ending insects in flight. Something that you have to experience as photos can’t capture the beauty of the moment. So worth the five hour drive from San Miguel de Allende. The usual collection of tourist trinket shops and places to eat casual food. The place is well maintained and has a low cost entrance fee.
Written March 2, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Godwin L
5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023 • Solo
Amazing experience, definitely recommend. A few tips:

Try to book more than one day. The butterflies only fly when exposed to sunlight so if you only have one chance and it’s cloudy you miss the best part.

As someone who has lived in Mexico and speak reasonable Spanish, I still had some difficulty taking the local bus out of Mexico City (there’s a direct one from Central Autobuses Poniente run by Zina bus), so it’s a good idea to hire a guide. I hired Oscar Reyes whom I found from a previous review here and would definitely recommend him. He grew up in Angangueo, speaks good English, and will facilitate everything for you - helping book the bus or picking you up directly from Mexico City if you prefer. Contact is rrosco@live.com or by Whats App at +52 715 127 2308.

Stay downtown in Angangueo! The town is picturesque and definitely worth exploring between your excursions to the sanctuaries, and offers a true Mexican experience very different from CDMX. There is one simple but charmingly adequate hotel run by locals, the Hotel Jardin Angangueo, right in the town square, and there’s a great taco stand in front to boot.
Written February 28, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Laura D
Mill Valley, CA9 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023 • Friends
Friends and I stayed in zitacuaro and drove to El Rosario. We made sure to have a good breakfast and chose to hike up to the monarch wintering grounds. We are all in our mid 60s to 70s and in shape and easily did the hike in an hour or so. Sunny day and perfect temp for a hike (a bit cool). Public bathroom at the bottom was very clean. 80 peso to enter the reserve.

We arrived at the top around 11 and stayed for over 2 hours to allow the sun to waken the butterflies deep in the Pine trees. Truly magical experience!!

(Tip: wear white hat or shirt if you want monarchs to land on you)
Written February 16, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 135
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

El Rosario Monarch Butterfly Preserve - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

Frequently Asked Questions about El Rosario Monarch Butterfly Preserve


All Central Mexico and Gulf Coast HotelsCentral Mexico and Gulf Coast Hotel Deals
All things to do in Central Mexico and Gulf Coast
RestaurantsFlightsVacation RentalsTravel StoriesCruisesRental Cars