WITNESSING ONE OF THE MOST SPECTACULAR VISIONS IN CENTRAL MEXICO – THE MONARCH BUTTERFLY MIGRATION

13

Nature has numerous wonders to offer for human beings. Aside from the resources we get from plants and animals, there are also many magnificent views in nature that are simply awe-inspiring to behold. One of these is the stunning butterfly migration that could be seen annually in Central Mexico. Many scientists and enthusiasts describe the annual Monarch butterfly migration as a kind of miracle. Just imagine millions of orange and black-winged butterflies, making their way every year during autumn to Mexico. In addition, these fantastic insects make the same trip every spring back to Canada and the northeastern area of the United States. An interesting note about this is the fact that the migration is multigenerational – meaning the butterflies that fly down in autumn are not the same ones that fly north during spring. When the weather turns warmer in the North during spring, the monarch butterflies start on their flight back to their original habitat. However, they make a stopover in various southern U.S. states like Louisiana and Texas to reproduce and lay eggs that would be the next generation. Interestingly, the whole cycle happens every year where the monarch butterflies complete a 2,500-mile journey.

Best Season to Enjoy the Migration

During the migration, the monarch butterflies are in Mexico from November to March – the time of their arrival and the last days of their stay in the country. Their favoured habitat lies west fo Mexico city and will take two hours to reach. The monarch butterflies rest and take shelter among the area’s oyamel fir trees. Although they stay for some months, the best suggested time for viewing their migration is on January and February when the monarch butterfly population is at its highest. Guests that are viewing the butterflies on the Monarch Butterfly Reserve are suggested to arrive on the park’s roosting areas between 12:30 to 2:30 pm, the warmest time of the day since the monarch butterflies prefer to bask in the sunshine.

Top Places to Watch the Monarch Butterflies

There are four main places within the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, where tourists and visitors can enjoy viewing the butterflies. The reserve’s territory spans from the state of Mexico to the Michoacán. These best spots could be accessed via horseback riding or hiking of different lengths. All of them will cost around $11 for horse rental and the help of a guide. Three spots could be used to view the monarch butterflies in Michoacán. The first one is Sierra Chincua which is considered to be one of the easier hikes to the viewing areas.

It will take a 20-minute horseback ride and a 15-minute walk to the viewing site. The second one is El Rosario which is the most popular among the three, especially during weekends. The site’s tour buses are typically filled every time except on weekdays when the crowds lessen. Taking a hike to get to a spot will take an hour and a half on steep terrain. The last one in Michoacán is in Cerro Pelon, which is considered to be the most challenging trek where it takes more or less two hours to get to the viewing site. Another access point is in Piedra Herrada in Valle del Bravo in Mexico. With a horse and a guide, the trip takes only about half an hour.