Anyone can visit the Monarch overwintering sites near Angangueo, Michoacân, Mexico. Transportation from Mexico City to Angangueo (approximately an 80-mile journey) is available. Many prefer to rent a car in Mexico City and spend the night in Angangueo to get an early morning start. From Angangueo, a local bus can be taken to the Monarch colonies at El Rosario or Sierra Chincua. Another possibility is to take a tour.
The following organizations will led tours in 2003/2004 and will most likely be leading tours again this year. Monarch Watch does not endorse any of these organizations; the information was simply collected for your convenience. More tours can be found using a search engine (http://www.google.com
) and entering words like monarch butterfly tours mexico in the search box. Tour dates & designs do vary.
Latino Travels Mexico
http://www.latinotoursmexico.com/tourpa ... terfly.htm
Monarchs & a Buddhist Retreat http://www.earthfoot.org/places/mx016.htm
Natural Habitat Adventures (click the tropics link)
Riding World.com http://www.ridingworld.com/mexico/
Eduardo Robles EcoClub http://www.ecoclub.com.mx
Rocamar Tours http://www.rocamar.com.mx/monarchs.htm
Rockport Tours http://www.yourtravelclub.com/Mexico/mo ... rflies.htm
S&S Tours http://www.biztravel.com/TRAVEL/SIT/sit_pages/4066.html
Teocalli Tours http://www.tours-in-mexico.com/rosario.htm
If you decide to go on your own, there are two hotels in Angangueo that we recommend. The first is the Hotel Don Bruno. This hotel has a beautiful garden in the center as you enter. To conact the Don Bruno, call 011-52-715-600-26 (also a fax number) and ask for Sheela or Engracea. The second hotel in Angangueo is the hotel Margarita. You can contact them by calling 011-52-715-601-49 and asking for Simon. If you would like to stay in a beautiful resort and don't mind a forty-minute drive to Angangueo, we recommend staying in the San Cayetano. This hotel is run by Pablo and Lisette Span. Their property is in a beautiful secluded area in Zitâcuaro. You can contact Pablo or Lisette at 011-52-715-3-19-26.
Be aware that the overwintering sites do not open to the public until November 18th and close on March 20. Once you arrive at the sanctuary, expect to pay an entrance fee of about 15 pesos (about US $1.50), to hike up a long mountain trail. At elevations above 10,000 feet, you might find yourself making frequent stops to catch your breath! At Sierra Chincua, horses are available to ride up the mountain slopes, which makes it more accessible for those who are unable to make the hike. The trip is well worth the effort. The Monarchs roosting in the mountains and flying overhead will take your breath away.
Here are some travelling hints to help you prepare for the trip:
* Wear layers of clothing. The temperature in the early morning hours can dip into the 30's and daylight temperatures can reach into the 60's.
* Bring comfortable hiking shoes. The hike to the overwintering sites can be long and steep.
* Pack the appropriate film for low light conditions because the Monarchs will be under the forest canopy. Photographing them can be quite difficult and you will be asked not to use a flash, so be prepared.
* If you have a heart condition or a medical problem that interferes with your breathing (like asthma), make sure that you talk to your doctor before making the trip. You will be at elevations of 10,000 feet or more and breathing becomes difficult when you are not used to the lower level of oxygen at these heights.
Have fun on your trip!