Visit a Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary

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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.

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