Michoacan: Journey of the Monarchs, Stay Tuned for our 2017/2018 Departures!

Michoacan: Journey of the Monarchs

2017/2018 Season Departures coming soon!

Trip Summary

Join us on a journey to learn about and witness one of nature’s wonders–the monarch butterfly migration. Here, in the fir trees of Michoacan at between 8,000-12,000 feet, the monarch butterflies take rest for the winter months after flying over 3,000 miles. Here, they cluster in groups on the fir trees to stay warm. During the day, they enjoy the sunshine and can be seen flying in massive groups. In addition to seeing this display of nature, our trip includes a fascinating guided tour of Morelia, a colonial gem, and we travel to the shores of Lake Patzcuaro to learn about the ancient and present day Purepecha people. Arts and crafts abound in this region. This trip can be done independently or on our published group departure. Join us!




  • Explore colonial jewel and capital of Michoacan, Morelia, a city of pink quarried stone with deep roots in education, music and the arts
  • Travel to Zitacuaro and Angangueo, butterfly country, to witness a marvel of nature: monarch butterflies in their winter habitat, where they’ve been migrating to for thousands of years
  • Meet Mazahua women and artisans in Cresencio Morales and other communities
  • Learn about the Migration Path and Life Cycle of monarch butterflies
  • Visit the charming town of Patzcuaro, on the shores of the lake that shares its name
  • Enjoy regional cuisine of Michoacan, such as Ochepos and Corundas
  • Visit the Casa de Artesanias to see the finest crafts of Michoacan

Trip includes:

  • Accommodations
  • Expert Guides and/or Academics
  • Comfortable / Secure Transportation
  • Welcome and Farewell Dinners
  • Breakfasts
  • Meals according to itinerary
  • Water on Van/Coach
  • Airport Transfers
  • Entry Fees


Itinerary Overview


Day 1: February 23, Arrive Mexico City, where you’ll be met and transferred to your charming hotel. We’ll enjoy a welcome dinner in a Mexico City favorite restaurant!  (D)


Day 2: February 24, Transfer to Zitacuaro, Michoacan. Today we’ll visit with Mazahua communities and artisans in the region, in towns such as Cresencio Morales. Overnight in Zitacuaro (B, L)


Day 3: February 25, Angangueo, Today we embark on our journey to witness one of the Western Hemisphere’s great natural wonders: the winter home of the monarch butterflies. At El Rosario, we’ll see where these magnificent insects migrate to each year, in the transvolcanic mountains of central Mexico.  It wasn’t until 1975 that the scientific community finally tracked down the wintering sites of the monarchs in Mexico. Until then, the butterflies’ winter hideouts had been a secret known only to local villagers and landowners. The unique conditions for survival are found in oyamel fir forests, which are located in a very small area of mountain tops in central Mexico. We overnight in Angangueo. (B, D)


Day 4: February 26, Today, we’ll visit La Chincua to visit with these amazing creatures one more time, before departing to Morelia. En route, we’ll stop at the “Pueblo Magico”, Tlapujahua to explore this former mining town, now a capital of crafts such as glass Christmas ornaments and volcanic rock carvings. Arriving in Morelia, we’ll explore this elegant city and enjoy dinner at a favorite restaurant. (B, D)


Day 5:  February 27, Morelia and Patzcuaro, Today Breakfast at hotel, followed by guided walking tour of Morelia, the capital of Michoacan and a colonial gem! Morelia is a conservative city with deep traditions in higher education, music and the arts. Highlights include: The Government Palace and Alfredo Zalce Murals, Palace of Justice, Cathedral, Temple of the Roses, the former Aqueduct, and the outstanding House of “Artesanias”. In the afternoon, we’ll visit charming Patzcuaro, a town that seems to have stopped in time.  We’ll enjoy a fun dinner at a favorite Patzcuaro restaurant. (B,D)


Day 6: February 28, Today, we make our way back to Mexico City. Arriving in Mexico City, we’ll enjoy dinner together! (B, D)


Day 7:  March 1, Mexico City, Full day to explore Mexico City. We’ll visit the Historic Center to learn about the ancient and colonial history of Mexico, and we’ll view murals painted by Mexican Muralist Diego Rivera, at the National Palace. We’ll shop and enjoy lunch in downtown Mexico City. In the evening, we’ll enjoy a farewell dinner. (B, D)


Day 8: March 2, Extend your stay in Mexico City or transfer to airport for journey home (B)



Photos from this trip





















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