Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve

Millions of butterflies head to this UNESCO World Heritage Site every year to escape the harsh winter frost.


The Monarch butterfly congregates in the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, 100 km north-west of Mexico City. They settle in clusters on the branches of oyamel fir trees, arriving in early November as they flee the winter cold of North America. A 45 minute steep hike from Santuario Rosario sees you arrive at the viewing point, at an altitude of over 3,000 metres. From afar it’s easy to mistake the trees as rotting, covered in old, dead leaves. Look a little closer and you’ll see these are sleeping butterflies, nestled together with closed wings exposing a greyish colour as they weigh down and bend the branches they cling to. As the sun shines the butterflies begin to fly, revealing the distinctive bright orange and black Monarch pattern as they spread their wings and flutter in crowds of thousands in the sky. The beating of their wings in such volume mimics the sound of gently falling rain. An impressive sight not to be missed!


Local time7:46 PM CDT
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