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“Climbing up to the Monarch Butterfly migration”

Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve
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Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary Private Tour from...
Reviewed February 8, 2017

This was truly an outstanding trip. EcoColors Tours did an amazing job. Our driver Alberto did a great job. I cannot say enough good about our guide Clemente! He added things onto the trip. We visited extra museums and toured Mexico City and Valle de Bravo. The first day I was not prepared for the altitude 10,800 feet and had to stop part way on the hike with butterflies there. Before the hike the horse ride was about 30 to 45 minutes. The second day at Capulin Sanctuary, the trip was much more difficult. Much more aggressive climbing up and down the mountain with the horses. The trips up and down, were each two hours. We had some seasoned horse people who agreed that it was not an easy trip. But it was only a short hike up to the butterfly sanctuary once we arrived. Spectacular! Thousands/millions of butterflies. On our free day I asked Clemente if we could go parasailing. Monte Alto, near Valle de Bravo, is the best parasailing in Mexico and one of the top places in the world. He had not organized it before, but he did it for four of us. It was really incredible. Fairly inexpensive - US 80- pp including a selfie stick where they give you a micro SD card with both audio/video and photos. Out flight home was at 8:00 AM which meant Clemente had to pick us up at 4:45 AM and help us through the airport. Highly recommend EcoColors and Clemente!

1  Thank Daniel K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"horse ride"
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"el rosario"
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"sierra chincua"
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"two hours"
in 2 reviews
"mexico city"
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13 - 17 of 51 reviews

Reviewed August 31, 2016

Butterfly was in the top of the mountain.
Don't worry, you can use horse to the top, the cose of return ticket was just 150 peso.
It took about 40 minutes to the top. was exciting and beautiful.
There is also some lake nearby that mountain.You can enjoy good lunch.
If you like paragliding activities, you can enjoy near the lake.(1500 peso).

4  Thank Tiger L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed June 12, 2016

The El Rosario Monarch Butterfly reserve is truly an eye-opening natural classroom for human to respect. Thousands of Monarch butterflies fly, drink, mate and die/sleep in the reserve before the females move on to lay eggs in Canada. We humans have to respect their life cycle and their path. It is spectacular to see them living in hundreds in the reserve. If you happen to be in Mexico city in February, don't miss to visit them. You can do it in one day !

3  Thank kingmak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed May 11, 2016

We visited these two locations on consecutive days, both of which were sunny, so the butterflies were in the air as well as on the trees.
We have to disagree with the Lonely Planet guide on this one but perhaps we were just lucky. We visited the Sierra Chincua reserve on a midweek afternoon in early February. Two small parties were descending the route as we we walked up to where you see the butterflies and when we got there, we were the only two there. It was a stunning experience, butterflies all around us, even landing on us!
It is a pleasant and relatively easy uphill stroll, you really don't need to go by horse. The walk is mainly through an open airy woodland. Our guide spoke a limited amount of English but was excellent and when I told him we were also interested in the birds he gave us a small bird watching booklet with the main species in it. He was also superb at spotting birds in the forest and identifying them. He took great pleasure in showing us the birds and 'his butterflies'.
On the following day we went to see the butterflies at Cerro Pelon. I do agree with the Lonely Planet guide in terms of the route. It is long, and near the butterflies extremely steep. If you are happy on horseback use one! We enjoyed the walk but you have to be fit, it is steep, long and at high altitude. Although far from crowded there were more people there than at Sierra Chincua. Sadly, the butterflies are in a more dense area of woodland and were more difficult to see in the air. If in doubt ask me a question.

36  Thank Jeffrey W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed March 6, 2016

I visited Cerro Pelon reserve which I hear is the least accessible site to see the butterflies from and also the place you can see them the closest. You are required to have a guide go with you which you can hire at the gate. I don't speak Spanish well but it seemed like each person needed a guide (not just one per group) but it was not expensive and I figure either way the money goes to the community and gives them ownership in protecting this gem of nature. We told them we preferred to walk but they followed us with horses anyway in hopes of making more money when we couldn't walk the whole thing which was a little annoying. But basically it worked. I gave up after 2 miles, and I'm in good shape. I paid them another approx $10 (USD)and took my horse. The horses looked well taken care of, which was very important to me. The hike is doable, but it is very steep for miles. VERY steep. I decided that spending hours getting up it just didn't make sense. I had to keep stopping as the altitude got to me and I couldn't breathe easily. Also using the horses gets you off the dusty trail (be sure to bring a bandanna to cover your mouth). It was nice to look around rather than focus on breathing, and hey... I walked 2 of the miles! And by the way, regardless of if you take horses, you have to do the last half mile on your own because the horses can't get up it. It's tough but worth it. Bring walking sticks if you need them and lots of water. We of course got the one and only cloudy day, so the butterflies stayed bunched in the trees. But even that was amazing. Perhaps not as dramatic as some people expect, but an incredible sight of nature. The sun popped out for a few minutes finally and it sent many of them into the air. We watched from mid way down as it overlooks a little valley and you can see them flying. You really can't understand the feeling from just seeing this on TV, it's truly wonderful to see in person.

18  Thank cheryl p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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