Best time to travel to Mexico

Monarch Butterfly Migration in Mexico 2024-2025

Central Mexico is blessed to be the wintering shelter of millions of bright butterflies

Best time: November–February

Monarch Butterfly Migration
Monarch Butterfly Migration
Monarch Butterfly Migration
Monarch Butterfly Migration
Monarch Butterfly Migration

It's a true wonder of nature when millions of monarchs leave their home grounds in the USA and Canada and gather in the middle of Mexico to enjoy the warm winter. As they densely cover the grounds, one might think there is a kind of orange carpet. The fir trees around also turn orange invaded by the beautiful creatures from top to bottom.

Such an incredible congregation of monarch butterflies in Mexico's oyamel forests led to a creation of the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in the area, and in 2008 it was also recognized as a World Heritage site of UNESCO. The largest populations can be observed between November and February.

The Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve occupies 56,000 ha (138,379 acres) on the border between the states of Michoacán and Mexico. It's located in 100 km (62 miles) northwest of Mexico City. The reserve features the mountainous forests on high elevations, basalt, and rock formations as well as old lava beds. It's home to deer, coyotes, rabbits, several types of hummingbirds, owls, reptiles and amphibians. El Rosario Sanctuary is the most popular part of the preserve that is located a few kilometres away from the Magic Town of Angangueo.

Practical info

When is the ideal period for visiting the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Mexico?

To witness the congregation of millions of Monarch butterflies, the best time to visit the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Mexico is between November and February. During this period, the oyamel forests of central Mexico offer a warm winter to these butterflies, resulting in a remarkable sight to behold. These butterflies densely cover the grounds and the fir trees surrounding the area. Show more

What is the location of the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve?

The Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, occupying up to 56,000 hectares, is located in Michoacán and Mexico, northwest of Mexico City. The area features mountainous forests, high elevations, basalt, rock formations, and old lava beds, among other things. The El Rosario Sanctuary, the reserve's most famous area, is where you can witness the incredible congregation of monarch butterflies. Show more

What is the size of the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in acres?

The Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve is spread across 56,000 hectares, equivalent to 138,379 acres. It's located between the Michoacán and Mexico states and offers mountainous forests, high elevations, basalt, rock formations, and old lava beds. El Rosario Sanctuary is the favourite part of the reserve, where millions of monarch butterflies can be witnessed. Show more

What other animals are residents of the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve?

Apart from the dense gathering of Monarch butterflies, visitors to the reserve can also spot other residents of its mountainous forests, such as rabbits, deer, coyotes, several types of hummingbirds, reptiles, owls, and amphibians. Visitors can take hikes in the forested area and witness these fascinating creatures in their natural habitat. Show more

What other sites are near the El Rosario Sanctuary in the reserve?

El Rosario Sanctuary is the most famous part of the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve. Its beautiful mountainous forests allow visitors to see various animals within their natural habitat. Angangueo's magic town is a few kilometres away from the El Rosario Sanctuary and is another popular attraction in the reserve. The town has preserved its colonial structure, known for producing traditional textiles and mining silver. Show more

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