Every autumn millions of fragile butterflies will travel from the northern states and Canada to their favorite wintering grounds. And most Monarchs from east of the Rockies are willing to fly up to 3,000 miles to their favorite winter home in Mexico. These weary wanderers will gather in huge numbers in the Oyamel Woods, a remote spot in the highest part of the Michoacan Mountains.
Remarkably, this favored sanctuary, hosting the largest concentration of these beautiful insects anywhere in the world, was unknown to the outside world until the 1970’s. But thanks to a modern tourism infrastructure this natural phenomenon is easily available to travelers with a bit of adventure in their genes.
A visit to Michoacan State usually begins with a flight to Mexico City. Unless you’ve been a frequent visitor to this great capital city, plan to spend a day or two exploring its colonial era streets and plazas. Then it’s on to the mountains and the butterfly reserve.
At 8,000’ elevation you can expect some cold weather in winter, even in central Mexico. You will traverse mountain trails among the forest streams, clouds and fog which provide the ideal micro-climate and ecosystem to sustain these beautiful butterflies. Hiking may feel strenuous to some, but horseback riding on these scenic trails is available.
You’ll find authentic Mexican accommodations and restaurants up here. The ultra-luxury high rise resorts are on the coasts—you’ve come here for the beauty and the wonderment (how in the world do these bugs manage such a long journey?).
No single butterfly ever makes the entire round trip. In fact, once the Monarchs land on the milkweeds of Canada, two generations come and go before the third sees the days getting short and takes off for Mexico. Their eggs will produce the next generation that will fly north in the spring.
You may spend your evenings evaluating the local Mescal and pondering existential questions like “How is an insect able to fly 3,000 miles and find the exact spot where his great-granddaddy was born?
You can witness this colorful spectacle and be home again in about a week. The incredible wonders of nature are waiting to be discovered. It’s time to get out there experience this amazing phenomenon. It will truly change the way you see the world. Call us now to book an awesome winter vacation.