One of the world’s grandest wildlife photography opportunities features one of its smallest creatures, the delicate monarch butterfly. While they may be familiar sights during a New England or California summer, there is nothing that prepares you for the marvel of the monarchs’ migration, when they congregate by the millions in Mexico’s Central Highlands. Each fall the monarchs make an extraordinary 3,000-mile flight to these remote forests that are their ancestral breeding grounds, a phenomenon that still mystifies scientists. Guided by our Expedition Leader, who is both an expert naturalist and accomplished photographer, we capture amazing images of the butterflies as they swirl overhead in cloud
of orange, float delicately onto our shoulders, and blanket tree trunks like gossamer bark.
Our Monarchs Photo Tour is a Nat Hab Exclusive!
For nature photographers, few spectacles are more dazzling than the sight of millions of monarch butterflies massed together in their winter roosting grounds in the highlands of Central Mexico. And when you’re after amazing images of this phenomenon, you’ll want to spend as much time among them as possible, with excellent guidance to attain the best shots. To our knowledge, no one else offers a specialized photography tour to the Kingdom of the Monarchs!
- Photograph More Butterflies on More Excursions into Monarch Habitat
While other companies might offer you visits to one or possibly two monarch sanctuaries, our in-depth itinerary includes three excursions into two different butterfly sanctuaries—we maximize an assortment of settings and lighting situations in which to photograph them. Catch them as they take to the air in a cloud of fluttering wings, backlit by the sun in a glow of orange. Or snap thousands of monarchs in one shot, as they upholster the tree branches like autumn leaves or hang like bunches of grapes.
- A Small Group for Personalized Photography Coaching
Because we limit this trip to just 12 guests, you’ll get plenty of personalized attention from our Expedition Leader. Ask all the questions you want, and get expert advice for improving your photos when you need it. Fewer people also means quieter, closer photo encounters, as well as the flexibility to remain at a site longer if it shows a lot of photographic potential, or to move on to a new destination if it doesn’t.
- A Variety of Landscapes Offers a Diverse Mix of Subjects
From forested mountain slopes to narrow village lanes, we travel through a range of settings that will tempt your photographer’s eye at every turn. One moment, your subject may be a stream covered in orange as a blanket of butterflies descends to drink. The next, it might be the crisp contrast of red-tiled roofs atop white stucco houses accented with magenta bougainvillea. Your Expedition Leader, who is an accomplished photographer as well as a learned naturalist, will be there every step of the way to help you capture a photographic tapestry of your Mexican experience.
- Cultural Exeriences Round Out Your Trip
Unlike most butterfly tours, in addition to a focus on the monarchs, we also visit several cultural sites that invite photography. The lakeside resort town of Valle de Bravo features a colorful local market, and in Toluca, originally a 13th-century Indian settlement, we’ll photograph the Cosmovitral Botanic Gardens and the conservatory’s famed stained glass panels.
- Authentically Mexican Lodgings & Cuisine
From a cozy inn in the small mountain hamlet of Anguangeo to a luxury spa resort situated in the lushly wooded heart of the Sierra Madre Mountains, our accommodations are chosen for their authenticity, charm, natural environs and access to the butterflies. We also enjoy home-cooked dishes sourced from fresh local food that reflects the cultural heritage of the places we visit.
- Expert Naturalist Guides Who Are Also Accomplished Photographers
NHA is internationally lauded for employing the highest-quality Expedition Leaders in the industry, averaging 15 years of experience, with additional training and resources provided by WWF’s top scientists. On this tour, your guide is not only a naturalist but also an expert photographer adept at helping you capture outstanding images of the butterflies. See Expedition Leader bios with traveler comments regarding the quality of our leaders.
- Our Quality-Value Guarantee Ensures Your Outstanding Photo Tour
Natural Habitat Adventures offers an exclusive guarantee that clearly states that we will meet the high expectations we set forth in our promotional materials. To our knowledge, this is the most ambitious guarantee made by any adventure travel company. Read our important promise.
- Feel Good About the Way You Travel
We all care about the planet, and you can travel with us knowing that the emissions from your trip are 100-percent carbon-offset. Natural Habitat Adventures is the world’s first carbon-neutral travel company, a feature that is especially critical when considering that many of the species and habitats we visit are under substantial threat from our planet’s warming temperatures.
- Natural Habitat Adventures Is World Wildlife Fund’s Travel Partner
Because of our commitment to environmentally friendly travel, as well as the exceptional quality of our small-group nature adventures, World Wildlife Fund—the planet's leading conservation organization—has named Natural Habitat its worldwide travel partner — a designation that makes us exceedingly proud!