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Monarch butterfly, El Rosario Butterfly Sanctuary, MexicoMonarch butterfly, El Rosario Butterfly Sanctuary, MexicoMonarch butterflies, Chincua Butterfly Sanctuary, MexicoMonarch butterflies, Chincua Butterfly Sanctuary, MexicoMonarch butterflies, El Rosario Butterfly Sanctuary, MexicoMonarch butterflies, Piedra Herrada Butterfly Sanctuary, MexicoMonarch butterflies, Piedra Herrada Butterfly Sanctuary, MexicoMonarch butterfly, Piedra Herrada Butterfly Sanctuary, Mexico
Astrid Frisch: Chincua Butterfly Sanctuary, butterflies in flight, Piedra Herrada Butterfly Sanctuary
Mike Bruscia: Chincua Butterfly Sanctuary, photographer
Photo Credits
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7 Days / From $3,795 (800) 543-8917 for Availability
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Home Photo Tours Latin America Photo Tours Monarch Butterfly Photo Adventure

Monarch Butterfly Photo Adventure

Capture Stunning Photos of One of the World's Most Amazing Migrations!
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 one 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 naturalist-photographer Expedition Leader, 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.

Trip Highlights

  • Join our Expedition Leaders on four separate walks to remote forest groves where millions of brilliant monarchs congregate 
  • Learn tips and techniques to achieve the best butterfly photographs, from intricate close-ups to panoramas of great clouds of airborne monarchs
  • Meet local people and enjoy cultural photo opportunities in the mountain village of Angangueo, where your ecotourism dollars greatly benefit the local economy
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!

  1. 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 four excursions into three 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.
  2. A Small Group for Personalized Photography Coaching 
    Because we limit this trip to just 14 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  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 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 photo travel books for this trip.

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2016 Wildlife Webinars

Every 1st & 3rd Tuesday of the month.

See the Full Schedule Here

Voted Best of Travel 2015

Our Base Camp Greenland trip is named Best Splurge by Outside magazine!

In the News

CNN recently joined Natural Habitat’s Polar Bear Photo Tour! Click here to watch.
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