Monarch Butterfly Migration Tour
Come join the adventure to Michoacán, cradle of an amazing ancient civilization - the Purepecha Empire. We will witness one of nature’s most incredible migrations – the Monarch Butterfly migration. Among this mountainous, fir covered region of Michoacan, between 8,000-12,000 feet, the monarch butterflies rest for the winter months before making their 3,000 mile return trip to the USA and Canada. Each day as the sun comes out and the temperatures rise, you will see them flying in very large groups, the skies are filled with orange and black. We will also travel to the town of Morelia and the shores of Lake Patzcuaro where we learn about the past and present Purepecha people, and the arts and crafts they still produce. Visits to archaeological sites, a national park, museums, artisans workshops, markets and of course sample delicious regional cuisine.
Most meals (see itinerary)
Group ground transportation to/from airport
Daily tours with local guide and private van (see itinerary)
Admissions to museums, churches and archaeological sites
Dates: January 2024
Duration: 9 days; 8 nights
$3250 per person (double occupancy)
$3850 per person (single occupancy)
Tour starts and ends at Morelia airport
Tour is limited to 12 people and will run with a minimum of 8 people
DAY 1 (D)
Tour starts with your arrival at Morelia airport at a designated time, group transfer to hotel. Group Dinner. Overnight in Morelia.
DAY 2 (B,L)
Morning walking tour of the Historic Center of Morelia with our private guide. In the afternoon we will visit Guadalupe Sanctuary, Museum of Contemporary Art and the Aqueduct and Fountains. Dinner on your own. Overnight in Morelia.
DAY 3 (B,L)
Depart Morelia for the Lake Patzcuaro region. Along the way a stop at Capula where the “Catrinas” are made. We continue on to the village of Santa Fe de Laguna to visit a pottery workshop. Final stop will be Tzinzutzan where we will visit the straw market, the Convent, a pottery workshop and the archaeological site. Dinner on your own. Overnight in Patzcuaro.
DAY 4 (B,L)
Morning walking tour of Patzcuaro, then drive to Uruapan with a lunch stop at Mansion de Cupatizio. In Uruapan we will visit Fabrica San Pedro – a textile factory where we can see handmade blankets. Our final stop will be Barranca de Caputitzio National Park. Dinner on your own. Overnight in Patzcuaro.
DAY 5 (B,L,D)
After breakfast we head to Santa Clara del Cobre to visit the copper museum and copper making workshops. Climb to the top of the church bell tower for a great view of the city and surrounding area. Afternoon will be spent driving to Zitacuaro area. Overnight and dinner at Rancho San Cayetano.
DAY 6 (B,L,D)
Today we venture out to for our first encounter with the Monarch butterflies. Usually the highest concentrations of monarchs are found at the El Rosario Sanctuary. Monarchs are located at elevations of 8,000 – 10,000 feet above sea level. After a steep hike of approximately one mile we will finally find the millions of Monarchs covering the tall oyamel fir trees, and as the sun warms their orange and black wings, the butterflies take flight. Mexico’s sanctuaries are the only places in the world where you can actually hear butterflies wings beating. Optional horse ride up the mountain to the butterflies. Overnight and dinner at Rancho San Cayetano.
DAY 7 (B,L,D)
Breakfast at Rancho San Cayetano, then off to visit the Chincua Butterfly Sanctuary for our second memorable experience with the Monarchs. Since the butterflies are located further away, horses are highly recommended to reach the butterfly area. No worries, you don’t need to know how to ride a horse, they are very tame, sturdy and know the path and their owners lead them for us. Overnight and dinner at Rancho San Cayetano.
DAY 8 (B,D)
In the morning we will travel from Zitacuaro to Morelia, about 3.5 hours. The balance of the day will be free time in Morelia. Farewell Dinner at a restaurant in Morelia. Overnight in Morelia.
DAY 9 (B)
Group transfer to the Morelia Airport.
B - Breakfast
L - Lunch
D - Dinner
Meals not included in itinerary
Tips to driver, guide, etc.
Non-group transportation to/from airport