Mexico Monarch Butterfly Trail

Classic, Mexico City to Mexico City

Image by G Adventures

Tour description provided by G Adventures

For the nature lover who also appreciates cultural luminescence, this butterfly adventure captures the brightest colours of Mexico in just ten days. From the historic streets of Mexico City, you'll travel through stunning national parks, colonial towns and beautiful countryside as you follow the migration of the monarch butterfly. Wander through flutters of butterflies in the reserves of El Rosario and Sierra Chincua. Off the beaten path, this quirky adventure will give you a unique insight into the people and "mariposas" of Mexico.

What’s included

  • Janitzio and Tzintzuntzan tour
  • Morelia guided city tour
  • El Rosario Butterfly Reserve tour
  • Sierra Chincua Butterfly Reserve tour
  • El Capulin Butterfly Reserve tour
  • Free time in Uruapan
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities


  • Watch thousands of monarch butterflies surround you
  • Tread off the beaten path on horseback to small towns
  • Set your sights on impressive architecture in morelia's city centre
  • Sample mexico city's vibrant nightlife


Day 1 Mexico City There are no planned activities until an evening welcome meeting. Included Activities: Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Day 2 Mexico City/Uruapan Take the morning to explore Mexico City before travelling to Uruapan. Uruapan is a very traditional Mexican city which retains a little colonial ambience. The Eduardo Ruiz NP is just a 15 minute walk from the town centre. Transport: Local bus (7.00-8.00 hours, 420km)
Day 3 Uruapan Take an orientation walk of Uruapan, before a free day to explore. Opt to go horseback riding, visit rural Angahuan, or visit the beautiful waterfall of Eduardo Ruiz National Park. Included Activities: Orientation Walk
Day 4 Uruapan/Pátzcuaro Start the day off with an optional early morning visit to Eduardo Ruiz NP with its crystal-clear waters in a tropical setting. Later, head to Pátzcuaro. Spend the afternoon marvelling at the beautiful plazas and colonial buildings in this magical city. This is a great day for shopping, or just sampling some local food and drinks at the numerous outdoor cafés. Transport: Local bus (2.00 hour(s), 60km)
Day 5 Pátzcuaro Take a boat ride across Lake Pátzcuaro to Janitzio. This small island is full of beautiful traditions including the famous "butterfly fishermen", skilled at using their butterfly-shaped nets to catch local fish. View the colossal 40m (131 ft) statue of José Maria Morelos, built as an homage to this independence patriot. Later visit Tzintzuntzan, the ‘Place of the Hummingbirds', which was the capital of the ancient Tarascan kingdom. Included Activities: Janitzio Island Visit Tzintzuntzan Visit
Day 6 Pátzcuaro/Morelia Travel to Morelia and enjoy an included city walking tour to get familiar with the city. This capital of Michoacán state, is a well-preserved colonial city – the historic centre is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Enjoy the atmosphere with a coffee in one of the many cafés around the Zócalo, or main square. Included Activities: Morelia Guided City Tour Transport: First-class bus (2.00 hour(s), 60km)
Day 7 Morelia/Mineral de Angangueo Travel through scenic countryside and into towering forests on the way to El Rosario, a magnificent Monarch butterfly sanctuary situated at the top of a steep mountainside. From November to March, see millions of butterflies that have migrated here from Canada and the US. Learn more about their life cylce at the visitor centre, and enjoy walkways and forested trails. Continue the journey 6km (4 mi) further down the mountain road to the small village of Angangueo, meaning "entrance to the cave" in the Tarascan language. Angangueo is an old mining town that still extracts some lead and silver from the rugged hillsides. Included Activities: El Rosario Butterfly Reserve Guided Tour Transport: Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s), 130km)
Day 8 Mineral de Angangueo Prepare for a steep climb, but the reward at the end is well worth it. After hiking into the El Capulin Butterfly Reserve, reach Cerro Pelon and prepare to be blown away by the sheer number of monarchs dancing across the sky. Spend the rest of the day exploring Angangueo. Included Activities: El Capulin Butterfly Reserve Guided Tour
Day 9 Mineral de Angangueo/Mexico City Depart Angangueo in the morning for the 45 minute drive through the volcanic highlands towards the Sierra Chincua reserve to visit a monarch butterfly sanctuary. Enjoy the scenic mile-long hike climbing the hillside as we enter into the forest of tall fir trees of the sanctuary. At an elevation of 3,000m (9,842 ft), hike along a path to where millions of colourful monarchs gather in trees, bushes, and even along the ground. Continue on to Mexico City for a final evening in the capital. Included Activities: Sierra Chincua Butterfly Reserve Guided Tour Transport: Private Vehicle (5.00 hour(s), 180km)
Day 10 Mexico City Depart at any time.