Melissa Scott: Monarch on flower, Tree cluster
Court Whelan: Monarch on shoulder, Cosmovitral Botanical Garden, Expedion Leader & traveler, Flying butterflies
Astrid Frisch: Millions of Butterflies, monarch wings, tree cluster
Kate Willingham: Monarch selfie
Eric Rock: Group in Reserve
Mike Bruscia: Angangueo
Witness Mexico's Amazing Migration of Millions of Butterflies!
As we crest the ridge and enter a grove of evergreens, the air is still. Could this be the butterfly sanctuary we seek atop a fir-forested mountaintop in Mexico's Central Highlands? From a distance, the trunks and branches appear to be blanketed with rusty autumn leaves. A closer look reveals that they’re quivering. And then, as the sun emerges from behind a cloud to warm the air, tens of thousands of monarchs flutter to life. They take to the sky in a swirl of orange—so many butterflies that we hear the humming of their gossamer wings, translucent orange as they are backlit against a blue sky. Sometimes, the monarchs even float down to alight on our hats and shoulders. Join our small group to experience this moving phenomenon, enhanced by Mexico’s premier naturalist guides.
Guided by top naturalist Expedition Leaders, travel by horseback and on foot to remote forest groves where millions of brilliant monarchs congregate for the winter
As the sun emerges, listen for the gentle hum of butterfly wings as great clouds of monarchs take flight, fluttering over our heads 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 locals that ecotourism can be as viable a source of economic well-being as resource development.
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 encounter.
Our Small Groups Tread 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.
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.
Authentically Mexican Lodgings & Cuisine From a cozy inn in the small mountain hamlet of Angangueo 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, reflecting the region's cultural heritage.
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 8:1.
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 bioswith traveler comments regarding the quality of our leaders.
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.
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 environmental conservation organization, has named Natural Habitat its worldwide travel partner—a designation that makes us exceedingly proud!