Mystical Migration of the Monarch

February 3 – 9, 2020

*NOTE: 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).*

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.

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 16 travelers. We think the small-group atmosphere allows you to get closer to your guide, each other, and, most importantly, nature.


The base cost is $2,860 per person. Cost includes accommodations, meals, non-alcoholic beverages, activities as indicated in the itinerary, in-country transportation, full-time guide, donation to NRF, carbon offset, and departure tax. Price does not include international airfare, tips/gratuities, or items of a personal nature.