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Mexico Monarch Butterfly Trail

For the nature lover who also appreciates cultural luminescence, this butterfly adventure captures the brightest colours of Mexico in just ten days. From the historic streets of Mexico City, you'll travel through stunning national parks, colonial towns and beautiful countryside as you follow the migration of the monarch butterfly. Wander through flutters of butterflies in the reserves of El Rosario and Sierra Chincua. Off the beaten path, this quirky adventure will give you a unique insight into the people and "mariposas" of Mexico.

Latin America
  • Duration: 10 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of:
  • Physical rating: Demanding
  • Accommodation standard:   Budget%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 80.0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID: CMMT/126856
  • Starts: Mexico City, Mexico
  • Finishes: Mexico City, Mexico
You will Visit
  • Mexico City

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Mexico City

Arrive at any time.
There are no planned activities until an evening welcome meeting.

02

Day 2: Mexico City/Uruapan

Explore Mexico City before travelling to Uruapan.
Take the morning to explore Mexico City before travelling to Uruapan.

Uruapan is a very traditional Mexican city which retains a little colonial ambience. The Eduardo Ruiz NP is just a 15 minute walk from the town centre.

03

Day 3: Uruapan

Take an orientation walk of Uruapan, before a free day to explore. Opt to go horseback riding, visit rural Angahuan, or visit the beautiful waterfall of Eduardo Ruiz National Park.

04

Day 4: Uruapan/Pátzcuaro

Opt to visit the national park in the morning before continuing on to Pátzcuaro. Spend an afternoon exploring the colonial city.
Start the day off with an optional early morning visit to Eduardo Ruiz NP with its crystal-clear waters in a tropical setting. Later, head to Pátzcuaro.

Spend the afternoon marvelling at the beautiful plazas and colonial buildings in this magical city. This is a great day for shopping, or just sampling some local food and drinks at the numerous outdoor cafés.

05

Day 5: Pátzcuaro

Enjoy a full day visiting the famous island of Janitzio and nearby Tzintzuntzan, capital of the ancient Tarascan Kingdom.
Take a boat ride across Lake Pátzcuaro to Janitzio. This small island is full of beautiful traditions including the famous "butterfly fishermen", skilled at using their butterfly-shaped nets to catch local fish. View the colossal 40m (131 ft) statue of José Maria Morelos, built as an homage to this independence patriot.

Later visit Tzintzuntzan, the ‘Place of the Hummingbirds', which was the capital of the ancient Tarascan kingdom.

06

Day 6: Pátzcuaro/Morelia

Travel to Morelia with a guided city tour on arrival. Opt to explore the many museums or just wander through town admiring the beautiful architecture.
Travel to Morelia and enjoy an included city walking tour to get familiar with the city.

This capital of Michoacán state, is a well-preserved colonial city – the historic centre is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Enjoy the atmosphere with a coffee in one of the many cafés around the Zócalo, or main square.

07

Day 7: Morelia/Mineral de Angangueo

Stop to visit El Rosario Monarch Butterfly Reserve en route to Angangueo. Get ready to hike approximately an hour to the top of a hill in the reserve, and be rewarded with millions of butterflies.
Travel through scenic countryside and into towering forests on the way to El Rosario, a magnificent Monarch butterfly sanctuary situated at the top of a steep mountainside. From November to March, see millions of butterflies that have migrated here from Canada and the US. Learn more about their life cylce at the visitor centre, and enjoy walkways and forested trails.

Continue the journey 6km (4 mi) further down the mountain road to the small village of Angangueo, meaning "entrance to the cave" in the Tarascan language. Angangueo is an old mining town that still extracts some lead and silver from the rugged hillsides.

08

Day 8: Mineral de Angangueo

Prepare for a steep climb, but the reward at the end is well worth it. After hiking into the El Capulin Butterfly Reserve, reach Cerro Pelon and prepare to be blown away by the sheer number of monarchs dancing across the sky. Spend the rest of the day exploring Angangueo.

09

Day 9: Mineral de Angangueo/Mexico City

Enjoy a guided tour of Sierra Chincua Butterfly Reserve before heading back to the capital in the evening.
Depart Angangueo in the morning for the 45 minute drive through the volcanic highlands towards the Sierra Chincua reserve to visit a monarch butterfly sanctuary. Enjoy the scenic mile-long hike climbing the hillside as we enter into the forest of tall fir trees of the sanctuary. At an elevation of 3,000m (9,842 ft), hike along a path to where millions of colourful monarchs gather in trees, bushes, and even along the ground.

Continue on to Mexico City for a final evening in the capital.

10

Day 10: Mexico City

Depart at any time.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Janitzio and Tzintzuntzan tour
    • Morelia guided city tour
    • El Rosario Butterfly Reserve tour
    • Sierra Chincua Butterfly Reserve tour
    • El Capulin Butterfly Reserve tour
    • Free time in Uruapan
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
    Accommodation
    • Hotels (9 nts)
    • No meals included
    Transport
    • Public bus, private vehicle, walking
    Group Leader
    • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides
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Tour Highlights:
  • Watch thousands of monarch butterflies surround you
  • Tread off the beaten path on horseback to small towns
  • Set your sights on impressive architecture in Morelia's city centre
  • Sample Mexico City's vibrant nightlife


Reviews (19)
Andrea G. Posted on: 

Good group size, interesting places we visited, good local guides. Great job Nina.

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Anne B. Posted on: 

Everything about this trip was easy and fun. Our guide, Nina, was immediately welcoming and laid-back which set a great tone. The butterflies were absolutely indescribable.

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Regina M. Posted on: 

Although I have lived across the border from Mexico (i.e. in New Mexico/USA) for many years, this was the first time I ventured into the interior of Mexico and got a glimpse of its colorful history and culture. Of course our visits to the two Monarch butterfly sanctuaries was the prime reason for signing up for this trip and they were indeed a very unique and wonderful experience I shall never forget.

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Mary G. Posted on: 

The trip was fantastic. Our G Adventures guide was attentive, fair, interesting, a fine leader. While all the cities and towns we visited were intriguing and beautiful, the Monarch Butterfly Reserves were the absolute highlights! Amazing and unforgettable.

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Jennifer B. Posted on: 

This is a great trip, off the beaten path with a finale that is a true wonder of nature.

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Erica F. Posted on: 

The balance between organized activities and free time was just right. The towns we visited were wonderful and travel days short.

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Barbara S. Posted on: 

Extreme Fun! Kevin, our tour guide, provided a blend of structure and free time that enhanced enjoyment of the trip. It was marvelous.

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John S. Posted on: 

Good choice of locations. A variety of things to see and do.Enjoyed the group and the ambiance. The trip gave us the opportunity to interact with the local population and not just other tourists.

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Moyra D. Posted on: 

the trip was very well planned and the tour guide Kevin was very good.

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Alan G. Posted on: 

great balance of activities and people. Hassle free!!!!

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Joan W. Posted on: 

I was looking for an affordable trip to see the monarch butterflies and the G Adventures tour provided much more: volcanoes, ruins, UNESCO world heritage sites and more, all to my delight.

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Karen S. Posted on: 

this was with an older group, so I thought that the pace would be slow, but much to my delight, we had very full days,and there was always something to do.

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Barbara M. Posted on: 

I would rate this tour an A+. I was able to see a lot of Mexico in a short period of time without feeling hurried. It was both fun and educational!

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Monique L. Posted on: 

I like how the Monarchs were the last part of the trip, because it was spectacular.

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Ruth M. Posted on: 

We totally enjoyed the tour. We were lucky to have a small group of only 9 people. The butterflies were amazing!

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Christine C. Posted on: 

I loved every moment of this trip. We were very lucky to have a great guide and a good group of people to travel with.

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Mary B. Posted on: 

A wonderful variety of experiences: city tours, a boat ride, horseback rides to a volcano, and of course, those amazing butterflies! A delightful trip.

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Dennis M. Posted on: 

This G Adventures Monarch Butterfly Trail trip was a 'dream come true'. Not knowing any Spanish our G Adventures leader enabled us to experience indigenous parts of Mexico off the 'beaten path' that we probably never would have seen had we gone alone. Seeing the Monarchs on those mountains was the closest to Heaven I have ever come. Truly amazing and unbelievable. One of those miraculous moments in life that you know are precious. Thanks for making my dream come true!

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Robert L. Posted on: 

This was my first G Adventures tour, and I was very pleased with the format and the whole experience.

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