I’ve always known that Michoacán, México was home of the Monarch butterflies but I didn’t know exactly why, until I visited El Rosario butterfly biosphere reserve. The reserve is also a World Heritage Center located in the high mountains of Michoacán. It’s such an unbelievable sight of nature that is worth seeing in your lifetime!
*Recommend: I would suggest planning your trip to the Monarch Reserve between January -March due to the fact that the butterflies come from Canada at a certain time of the year.
Getting to the Reserve
We booked our tickets with Michoacán Magico tours(mmtours) & with them it included the 3 & 1/2 hour car ride to the Reserve from Morelia. The tour buses were arranged to leave at 9 in the morning so we left 8am sharp to the main temple of Morelia -where we would meet up with our driver.
•The tickets were 750$ pesos per person which is about 40$ USD. I know it’s a little pricey but I’m sure you can find cheaper tours if you do more research/book in advance or if you rent a car and drive yourself.
•9:30am & we were off to the Monarch butterfly reserve.
•Our bus driver was very accommodating to our every need & also gave us a bit of history about the different parts of Michoacán during the drive. We would stop for snacks, restroom breaks & to buy some famous bread from a nearby town.
•Overall the journey was long but definitely worth the drive to experience a breathtaking view!
The entrance fee to the Monarch Reserve was 50$ pesos which is about $2 USD.
In order to enter the reserve you have to be accompanied by a knowledgeable guide. The guide will stay with you at all times to ensure the site is protected, & guide you up the high elevation of the mountain.
I heard a lot of people get altitude sickness so it’s incredibly recommended to walk slowly or take a horse up the mountain(extra charge) but I think Its honestly nothing to worry about. Just carry plenty of water & take breaks if you need too.
* Recommended -After hanging out with the butterflies, you can grab food to eat outside of the sanctuary.
The millions of Monarch butterflies go through an 8 month migration to Canada & back! According to the reserve, four successive generations of Monarchs are born and die during their migration.
The Monarchs travel south to Mexico’s luxurious forest for fresh water & who knows why else, I think that still remains a mystery.
Witnessing this unique phenomenon is an exceptional experience of nature. -unesco
The pine trees of Michoacáns forest became unrecognizable & appeared orange and clumpy because of the Monarch butterflies!
Our guide said that if we listened closely the flapping of all the Monarch wings would sound like rain in the forest.
Write this on your 2019 bucket list for sure!