Monarch Butterfly Sanctuaries

Commune with the Majestic Monarch

You will fall in love with this trip few are privileged to enjoy. Marvel at the magical beauty of the shimmering color and movement of millions of Monarch Butterflies that winter near Morelia, Michoacán. The Oyumel Fir Tree Forest highlands of the western Sierras are the perfect refuge for the Monarchs. Commune with them as they personally greet you, resting on your arms and head.

250 million of these fragile Monarch Butterflies migrate 2500 miles from Canada to the Western Sierra Madre mountain range in central Mexico for the winter. Learn about this epic journey and experience this special encounter as you meet these mesmerizing creatures face to face in their winter refuge. Spend two entire days walking through select protected winter sanctuaries on this fascinating guided trip.

What to Expect

This enchanting vacation offers a wonderful variety of privileged visits to sanctuaries of the Monarch Butterflies, colonial history, and the colorfully unique folk-art villages of Michoacán.

The adventure is suitable for anyone in good health, and is the perfect adventure for those who love to walk and enjoy off-the-beaten-track destinations. Butterfly Sanctuary altitudes are 9,000-10,000 foot elevation; some walks are on steep, rocky paths, and in certain areas horses are also available to ride.

Book a tour in the November-March months for the most favorable butterfly traffic.

  • Small Group Escorted
  • Independent, Unescorted Itineraries
  • Independent, Escorted Tours

Upcoming Small Group Escorted Tours

March 1–7, 2019

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Butterfly Sanctuary Highlights

Morelia, Michoacán

With a mix of European and indigenous cultures, the colonial city of Morelia is well worth the visit. As a UNESCO World Heritage Artistic Site, this stop is home to a plethora of 16-18th-century art and architecture. Stroll through the historic center, and behold a part of history many say can only be found in Europe.

Hotel Virrey de Medoza

Located in the historical center of Morelia, this hotel is one of the old-style grand hotels occasionally found in colonial Mexico. This beautifully kept hotel is located in the center of the main square. Appreciate the period furniture and antiques in your room, and join in the public areas for live piano music in the evenings.

El Rosario & El Chincua Monarch Butterfly Sanctuaries

Spend the day visiting Monarch Butterflies in their winter home before they return to Canada.Visit the few places in the world where you can physically hear the sound of butterfly wings. The magic of the Monarchs as they greet and rest upon you is well worth this trip to the mountains of Michoacán.

Folk Art Villages

Travel in time to the colonial folk-art villages of Patzcuaro, Tzintzuntzán, Quiroga, and Santa Clara de Cobra. Each village is a unique experience with opportunities to view and purchase hand-loomed fabrics, straw sculptures, hand carved wooden furniture, and the distinctive lacquer ware and copper crafts of the region. Experience the historic languages, architecture, and art of the region when you travel to these alluring villages.

How We Tour Butterfly Sanctuaries

Small Group Escorted Tours

Join a small group of travelers and a knowledgable S&S Tours guide.

Independent, Unescorted Itineraries

We will arrange your on-the-ground details for a hassle-free, worry-free adventure.

Independent, Escorted Tours

Arranged around your personal interests, preferences, and schedule.

What Our Clients Say

We had a GREAT time, you were terrific guide and made this trip so informative, fun and safe. Loved it. We should do it again someday!

R. & L. R.
Illinois

Sue, it was AMAZING!!! We loved every bit of the trip especially our guide Raymundo! We will be going back!

K. K.
Texas

I just wanted to tell you how awesome our trip to Mexico was! The butterflies at Sierra Chincua and El Rosario were mind blowing…we give you the absolute and unconditional highest marks on all fronts.

Dave M.
New Jersey