Visit a Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary

iStock ©

Take a day trip from Mexico City or Valle del Bravo to Piedra Herrada Sanctuary, which thousands of monarch butterflies migrate to every winter.

From November to March, thousands of bright orange monarch butterflies escape the cold US winter by migrating to the pine forests in the hills of Michoacan and outside Mexico City. As this species is very particular about its optimal temperature, its rest sites are confined to a select few locations.

One of these is Piedra Herrada Sanctuary, which can easily be visited on a day trip from Mexico City. Starting early, you'll be transported to the sanctuary where you'll meet your guide. You'll walk through the forest, the flocks of butterflies growing thicker and thicker, until you reach their favourite trees.

Huddling together for warmth at night, they coat the branches until the sun is high enough (usually around midday), when they suddenly burst into flight all at once. The swirling cloud of soaring butterflies that fills the skies is one of nature's greatest spectacles.

Mexico City


Your edit for Latin American inspiration

Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.

View Extraordinary Inspiration
Bartolome, Galápagos

Meet our team

Real Latin american experts

  • Mary
    Mary Anne Nelson - Travel Expert

    Born in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, Mary’s insider knowledge and dry sense of humour make her a highly valued member of the Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tour sales team.

  • Hannah
    Hannah Donaldson - Travel Expert

    Having spent part of her childhood in Colombia and worked in Brazil and Costa Rica, Hannah's ties to Latin America run deep. Hannah is a much valued Travel Expert in our Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tours sales team.

  • Paul Winrow Giffin
    Paul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Expert

    After graduating in Computer Science, Paul spent seven months travelling from Colombia to Argentina and came home hooked on Latin America.

  • Chris
    Chris Rendell-Dunn - Travel Expert

    Anglo-Peruvian Chris grew up in Lima and spent much of his adult life in between London and Cusco as a tour leader, before settling permanently in our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours sales team.

  • Maggie in LATAM
    Maggie Wilson - Travel Expert

    Maggie visited Latin America on her first backpacking trip when she was 19. Since then, she has taken every opportunity to travel, and has managed to explore a lot of the region in subsequent trips.

  • Sallly
    Sally Dodge - Travel Expert

    A former Journey Latin America tour leader, Sally spent 7 years working, travelling and living throughout Latin America before returning to the UK to help people arrange their own adventures to this wonderful destination.

0 1 2 3 4 5