Like Witnessing A Miracle: 100 Million Butterflies
A butterfly for me is like a spiritual guide. Every time I see one its a personal affirmation that I am where I am supposed to be.
Every winter, millions of monarch butterflies migrate south to roosting sites in Mexico. It has been called one of the greatest natural wonders of our world... and I couldn't agree more.
This is one of those experiences that brings tears to the eyes and awe to the soul, it is truly like watching a miracle.
Where to go:
For this adventure I flew into Mexico City (it is a larger city with a larger airport and typically this gives you more flexibility on flights as well as fares). From there you have to take a two hour bus ride to Zitacuaro so be sure to budget time in from when you land to take a short taxi to the bus station and then take a bus.
You have options on places to stay but I stayed at Rancho San Cayetano in Zitacuaro, Mexico. It is family owned and operated and they do a brilliant job of taking care of all the details of seeing the butterflies, from transportation, to English speaking guides, to a hand packed lunch. The room itself is lovely and comes with a wood burning fireplace that is always fully stocked with wood.
Cerro Pelon is the more pristine and less "touristy" of the reserves, but be advised theres an hour long horse back ride up the mountain to get to where the butterflies roost. El Rosario on the other hand is both the largest and more tourist friendly reserve. You can take a short horseback ride up to the butterflies or walk the trail. If you choose to go here I suggest going during the week though because weekends can be very crowded (and in my opinion ruin the experience).
Monarch Butterflies come to Mexico over winter but the best time to see these beautiful creatures in action is during January and especially February as the populations are high. February the weather begins to warm up and the butterflies begin their mating rituals so this is the best time to see them in both high numbers and activity.