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Know Before You Go

What to Pack for Mexico's Monarchs

The following packing list contains general recommendations for a trip to see monarch butterflies in Mexico. If you are currently booked on a monarch butterfly adventure with Nat Hab, please consult your pre-departure materials for the most up-to-date packing list specific to your trip. You will receive these pre-departure materials 60-90 days before your departure.

Simplify your packing—shop at Nat Hab’s online Gear Store for some of the key items recommended for your adventure. Look for this icon in the list below, then go to the Nat Hab Gear Store to start shopping.

ADVENTURE-SPECIFIC GUIDELINES

  • We will primarily be traveling in a mountainous, cool environment (yet close to the sun). Weather is typically windy and cool. 
  •  Temperatures will vary during the day, depending on the time of year. Bring warm, windproof clothing to wear while in mountainous areas. You will want to dress in layers that you can remove as temperatures rise throughout the day (i.e. T-shirt, fleece, etc.).
  • Temperatures will be warmer at lower elevations and may require lighter clothing.

ESSENTIAL GEAR

  • Lightweight, waterproof rain jacket  (Rain is always possible, so it is best to be prepared. Your rain jacket should have a hood and be fully waterproof, not just water-resistant.)
  • Windproof fleece
  •  Lightweight, water-resistant hiking shoes (Ankle-high boots are helpful in the Chincua Butterfly Reserve, as you may otherwise pick up burrs on your socks. Make sure your shoes/boots have good tread and are broken-in ahead of time to prevent blisters.)
  • Comfortable shoes (for evenings and walking around town)
  • Warm sleepwear (The hotels in Angangueo have no central heat and can get very cold at night. We recommend sleeping in thermal underwear, a sweatshirt or fleece pullover, and wool socks.)
  •  Socks (Look for wool or other moisture-wicking material. Cotton socks are not recommended for hikes.)
  •  Hat & gloves  (Mornings can be chilly.)
  • Water- and dust-resistant daypack   (to carry gear during hikes)
  • Battery-operated alarm clock or wristwatch (Clocks/phones for wake-up calls are not available at all hotels.)
  • Water bottle

CLOTHING

  • 2 KN95 masks per person (included in your pre-departure package)
  • Lightweight neck gaiter (included in your pre-departure package)
    —Useful for wearing over the KN95 masks to keep them clean and extend their use.
    —Also provides sun, wind and/or dust protection.
  • Additional cloth face coverings
    —We recommend bringing a few more face coverings of your own. Silk, wool or polypropylene long underwear for layering (tops & bottoms)
  •  Polypropylene base layer
  •  3–4 pairs of comfortable pants (We recommend you bring woven and zip-off pants. Woven pants are less likely to attract burrs in the reserves, while zip-off pants are a good option for variable temperatures.)
  •  3 long-sleeved cotton shirts
  •  3 T-shirts or polo shirts
  • 1 pair of shorts (Appropriate if you are spending additional time in Mexico City, where temperatures are generally warmer.)
  •  Undergarments
  •  Swimsuit (Optional—there are swimming pools at some of our accommodations.)

ADDITIONAL GEAR

  •  Outlet adapter
  •  Binoculars 
  •  Prescription glasses/contact lenses
  •  Sunglasses (with U.V. filter and secure strap)
  •  Headlamp or small flashlight
  • Earplugs
  • Toiletries (Optional—soap, shampoo and conditioner are available at all our accommodations.)
  • Eye drops and/or nose spray (The reserves and the ride to El Rosario Butterfly Reserve can be quite dusty. This can dry out lenses and/or irritate the eyes and even make it more difficult to breathe. If you wear contact lenses, consider bringing prescription glasses as well. Protective sunglasses worn over your contact lenses may also help.)
  •  Insect repellent
  •  Sun hat (with brim for protection)
  •  Sunscreen (As we will be at high altitudes while visiting the reserves, you will be more susceptible to sunburn. Please bring a hat with a brim to shield your face from the sun, as well as sunblock and lip protection with an SPF of at least 15.)
  •  Small medical kit
  • Reusable waterproof bags  (Great for wet or dirty clothing and to protect camera equipment.)
  • Tissue mini packs (Helpful to have in smaller villages where toilet paper is not always available.)
  •  Washcloth (not provided at all hotels)
  •  Hiking poles (optional)
    — Walking sticks will be provided at all of the butterfly sanctuaries for those travelers who require them.
    — If you are bringing poles, make sure they fit in your checked baggage, as you generally will not be allowed to carry them on the plane. 
  • Spanish/English dictionary
  • Luggage lock (Locks can be helpful to secure your belongings when you are away from your luggage.)
  •  Donations (Optional—some of our guests like to bring useful items for the local community. We suggest school supplies such as pencils, crayons and notebooks for children. Gently used clothing for men, women or children is also welcomed.)
View Mexico's Monarch Butterflys on These Trips
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Kingdom of the Monarchs
New Itinerary!

Kingdom of the Monarchs

Each winter, millions of monarch butterflies migrate to the fir forests of Mexico's Central Highlands—walk among them, take photos, and listen to the air hum with the vibration of their wings!

  Photo departures available
6 Days / Dec–Mar / From $4195
Limited to 16 Travelers
New Itinerary!
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Natural Habitat Adventures Ranked
“Best Outfitter”
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Voted Best Winter Trip: Natural Habitat Adventures' Monarch Butterfly Migration, Mexico
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Our weekly eNewsletter highlights new adventures, exclusive offers, webinars, nature news, travel ideas, photography tips and more.
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Request Your 2022 Catalog
Together, Natural Habitat Adventures and World Wildlife Fund have teamed up to arrange nearly a hundred nature travel experiences around the planet, while helping to protect the spectacular places we visit and their wild inhabitants.

Natural Habitat Adventures 2022 Catalog

(Continued)
To help us customize your catalog request, please tell us more about your travel needs:

View Our 2022 Digital Catalog
Help us save paper! We offer a digital version of The World's Greatest Nature Journeys. If you'd prefer a mailed copy, please provide your contact details here. To view our digital catalog, please enter your info below.

Natural Habitat Adventures 2022 Catalog
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Earn rewards for referring your friends! We'd like to thank our loyal travelers for spreading the word. Share your friend's address so we can send a catalog, and if your friend takes a trip as a first-time Nat Hab traveler, you'll receive a $250 Nat Hab gift card you can use toward a future trip or the purchase of Nat Hab gear. To refer a friend, just complete the form below or call us at 800-543-8917. It's that easy! See rules and fine print here
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