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Tour to Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary

tx
Level Contributor
62 posts
9 reviews
Tour to Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary

We spent 6 weeks in Morelia this winter and a highlight of our stay was our visit to the El Rosario Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary. We usually do our own do-it-yourself tours, but we decided to take a tour with the company MMG (Mex Mich Guides). They advertise small tours with personalized attention, and that is exactly what they provided. Their web site explaining the visit to the monarch sanctuary was very good. The web site reminded us that the monarchs wintering in the forests are not there to entertain tourists, so we may not see a brilliant display of butterflies flying all around. We were glad to hear that tourists are not allowed to disturb the butterflies. It's quite a good website to read before any visit to the Monarch Sanctuary whether you go by yourself or take a tour, theirs or one with another company. I hope TripAdvisor lets me put the website http://www.mmg.com.mx

We set off at 8:30 AM from the main plaza in Morelia. There were 3 couples and out guide/driver riding in a nice, new Toyata van. It was extremely comfortable, and we enjoyed our 3 hour ride to the sanctuary. Our guide talked most of the way explaining all about the butterflies, the route he was taking, the history of the area, etc. He talked in Spanish for a while and then excellent English, since 4 of us were Spanish speakers from Mexico and 2 of us were English speakers with limited Spanish.

Our guide walked with us up the mountain explaining as we climbed about 400 feet above the 10,000 feet where we began. As we got closer to where the butterflies were, everyone got quieter so not to disturb the butterflies. There were clouds covering the sun, so all we could see at first were beige clumps hanging from the tall tree branches. Carlos, our guide, didn't hurry us at all. In fact, he said he thought the sun may eventually come out and we would be patient. We actually spent about an extra 45 minutes on the mountain waiting on the sun. It did come out and gradually the sky filled with orange and black butterflies. Really pretty and worth the ride and the climb.

We ate lunch at an open-air restaurant on the way back down the mountain. It's a place this tour company always uses. We had carne asada and had no ill effects from the food. The lunch is included in the price of the tour.

We thought the price of the tour was quite reasonable, since we didn't want to spend the night near the sanctuary. We had already spent a really chilly night on our do-it-ourselves trip up to Paracho to go guitar shopping. So, we were happy to do the Monarchs in one long day and arrive back at our warm, comfortable, warm Morelia apartment.

Lewiston, California
Level Contributor
9,609 posts
71 reviews
1. Re: Tour to Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary

Thanks for the report however I never understand "reasonable". What's reasonable to Bill Gates will not be so to a guy on SS. How about an actual cost Por Favor!

tx
Level Contributor
62 posts
9 reviews
2. Re: Tour to Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary

Sure, Peddler. We paid 550 pesos each for the tour. That included lunch, guide services, and admission to the sanctuary. Worked for us just fine.

Lewiston, California
Level Contributor
9,609 posts
71 reviews
3. Re: Tour to Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary

Thanks! That is indeed "reasonable" even to a Ole Pensioner like myself!

Philadelphia, pa
Level Contributor
228 posts
2 reviews
4. Re: Tour to Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary

we just did the same trip on Saturday, Jan 30 - and had a similar experience with MMX. The experience was just wonderful. We also had cloudy weather and were afraid that the monarchs would not fly but our luck held and we were able to see both the amazing roosts and the flying butterflies.

We were warned that going on a Saturday would be crowded and it was but it was the only day we could do. Lots of people there but it was still worth it.

the hike up was a bit strenous (combination of altitude, steepness, and our level of fitness) but there are places to rest so take it slow. many people had rented/purchased bamboo poles which helped but we di dnot see them before starting up. if you have hiking poles take them along.

wear good shoes, take water and wear layers, it willb e warm/cold depending on time of day and cloud cover, etc.

The first half of the climb is on steps and there are ropes along the sides ; the second half is trail.

Coming down is hard on old knees so poles help here as well. Once you are down, you head off to the left and there are lots of stalls selling things with butterflies, sweaters, shirts, etc and then followed by lots of little eating places. We also ate at the same place mentioned above and food was filling and good.

it was also fascinating on the 3 hour drive from Morelia, up into the mountains, to see the different terrains, the changes in trees and the way people lived. I had thought of driving oursleves but am glad i did not given the steepneess of the last part of the trip.

Definitely a great trip and we'll do it again, hopefully for more days and perhaps different monarch sanctuary. Am also planning to plant milkweed in my garden to attract more monarchs.

Guadalajara, Mexico
Level Contributor
92 posts
71 reviews
5. Re: Tour to Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary

Yes, 550 pesos is an excellent price with lunch included. It was also very thoughtful to let poor people who stay in expensive hotels that they might have trouble getting to 10,000 feet, on foot! Thanks so much.

portland, oregon
1 post
6. Re: Tour to Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary

hi,

i was grateful for your description of your visit to the butterfly sanctuary. i'm hoping to go this year. would november be a good time? and as i fly into mexico city, and am a woman traveling alone, would it be advisable to bus it to morelia and take a tour from there?

i'd appreciate any advice you might have to offer.

thank you,

ana

7. Re: Tour to Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary

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