The Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin - Logo Circle

Mexico Monarchs

February 18 – 25, 2024

One of the most amazing phenomena in nature is the annual migration of millions of monarch butterflies southward from their breeding grounds in the United States and Canada to overwintering sites high in the mountains of southern Mexico. Hundreds of millions of monarchs fly along the Gulf Coast, or across the Gulf of Mexico, to eventually reach the belt of high volcanic mountains that stretches across the southern end of the central Mexican plateau. At about a dozen isolated sites within the high-altitude forests of this zone, monarchs pass the winter in aggregations that can exceed two billion individual butterflies. Stand amid the fir-covered mountains and witness this awe-inspiring spectacle firsthand as the monarchs flutter, dip, and swoop overhead. This trip is in partnership with Holbrook Travel.

Monarchs by Pelin Karaca.

Trip highlights

  • Explore three monarch sanctuaries. Hike or ride horseback to monarch reserves in Michoacan, where millions of individual monarch butterflies gather.


  • Learn about monarch biology. Hear about their life cycle, migration journey, and the conservation of these colony sites.


  • Visit San Juan Teotihuacan. Explore these world-famous pyramids, one of the most architecturally significant Mesoamerican sites of pre-Columbian times.


  • Hike the cobblestone streets of Angangueo. Explore this colonial town, which was once a mining town but now derives most of its livelihood from butterfly ecotourism and agriculture.


  • Travel with a small group. This trip is limited to 15 travelers. We think the small-group atmosphere allows you to get closer to your guide, each other, and, most importantly, nature.


A Connecticut Warbler, the Great Wisconsin Birdathon 2023 #Birdoftheyear, sitting in a tree

Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) in Mexico by Pelin Karaca.

Activity Level

This is an adventure in high-altitude conditions (over 10,000 feet). Participants should be in good health and be able to hike for a distance of 2-3 miles to the colony site and then back (~5 miles/day).

Safety & Risk Management

Please note that this program visits the Mexican state of Michoacán, which the U.S. State Department has long designated a Travel Advisory Level 4 due to criminal activity. Mexico City is designated a Level 2. Holbrook has operated programs to view the monarch migration in these locations for many years without incident, and they have strict safety protocols in place for all of their destinations. However, it is ultimately up to each traveler to make their own assessment regarding safety and risk. Travelers are advised to visit for more information.

Angangueo Mexico by Pelin Karaca.

Pricing and cancellation

The base cost is $3,825 per person. The price includes accomodations, meals, entrance fees, activities noted in intinerary, private vehicle transportation unless otherwise noted in itinerary, non-alcoholic beverages with meals, a full time guide, gratuities for activity guides, meals, and porters, bottled water on the bus, and a carbon offset.

A deposit of $300/person is required by participants to register and reserve a space on the program. Reservations made less than 125 days prior to departure require full payment.

Cancellation Policy: 96 or more days before departure: $100 cancellation fee; remaining balance is refunded. 95-0 days before departure: 100% of program price is forfeited.


Registration is closed

Vista near monarchs reserve by Ian Segebart.

Kim Kreitinger

Kim Kreitinger

Field Trip Coordinator

(608) 409-3110

Kim Kreitinger (she/her) supports the Foundation's Field Trip program, plans our domestic and international travel, and helps connect members with the Foundation.

Banner photo by Pelin Karaca.