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Astrid Frisch: Millions of Butterflies, monarch wings
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Kingdom of the Monarchs

Witness Mexico's Amazing Migration of Millions of Butterflies!
One of the world’s most astounding natural events occurs each year in North America, featuring one of its most unlikely creatures, the delicate monarch butterfly. Every autumn, tens of millions of monarchs set flight on a remarkable 3,000-mile journey from the northeastern U.S. and Canada to their ancestral wintering grounds in the volcanic mountains of central Mexico. The location of their breeding grounds remained a mystery until 1977, and how an infant generation of butterflies finds it anew each year is still an enigma. Join our small group to experience this moving phenomenon, enhanced by Mexico’s premier naturalist guides.

Trip Highlights

  • Travel on foot and horseback with our Expedition Leaders to remote forest groves where millions of brilliant monarchs congregate for the winter
  • Listen for the sound of butterfly wings as great clouds of monarchs take flight together in a swirl of orange
  • Explore traditional Mexican mountain villages and visit an authentic market, witnessing the benefits of butterfly ecotourism for local people
See More Butterflies — and Experience Mexico’s Rural Mountain Culture
Visiting Mexico’s monarchs in their remote winter roosting sites is a rare nature experience. We make sure you capitalize on your visit with extensive time among the butterflies as well as a chance to enjoy authentic cultural encounters. Our time among the monarchs is enhanced by knowing that our presence may be essential to their continued survival: butterfly visitors demonstrate to the local populace that ecotourism can be as viable a source of economic well-being as resource development.

  1. Make Three Different Visits to the Monarch Sanctuaries—More Than Most
    Very few companies offer tours to see the migration phenomenon of Mexico’s monarch butterflies. Of those that do, typically just one or two sanctuary visits are included. Our comprehensive itinerary includes three separate experiences of this natural marvel, for the fullest butterfly experience.
  2. Our Small Group Treads Lightly
    We limit our groups to approximately 14 guests. Not only is this more ecologically sound—larger groups kick up more dust that can affect the butterflies’ respiration—but an intimate context is essential to enjoy your experience with the butterflies fully and take home lasting personal memories.
  3. Enjoy Unique Cultural Encounters
    Unlike most butterfly tours, in addition to our focus on the monarchs, we also visit several fascinating cultural sites including Toluca, originally a 13th-century Indian settlement, where we’ll see the Cosmovitral Botanic Gardens and stained glass panels, and the lakeside market resort town of Valle de Bravo.
  4. Authentically Mexican Lodgings & Cuisine
    From a cozy inn in the small mountain hamlet of Anguangeo to a luxury spa resort situated in a lushly wooded region 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.
  5. Our Traveler-to-Guide Ratio Equals Personalized Service and Attention
    At your side throughout your tour will be one or two NHA Expedition Leaders. While the number of guides depends on the number in your travel group (usually not more than 14), we ensure that the maximum traveler-to-guide ratio will never be more than 7:1. 
  6. Outstanding Expedition Leaders with Unsurpassed Experience
    NHA has a well-deserved international reputation for employing the highest-quality Expedition Leaders in the industry. Our monarch guides average 19 years’ experience, with in-depth training as naturalists. And, they receive additional resources from WWF's top scientists. See Expedition Leader bios with traveler comments regarding the quality of our leaders.
  7. Our Quality-Value Guarantee Ensures Your Outstanding Butterfly Adventure
    With Natural Habitat Adventures, you receive our 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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 environmental conservation organization, has named Natural Habitat its worldwide travel partner—a designation that makes us exceedingly proud!
Reading List
Longitude Books has created a custom comprehensive listing of Kingdom of the Monarchs travel books for this trip.

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