Monarch Butterflies – Mexico Trip

Information for Mexico Trip

Journey to a Hidden World


MTN continues to evaluate and assess the situation in Mexico but since 2011 MTN has not lead trips to Mexico to see the Monarch Winter Colonies.  We have created a trip to California for those who wish to continue learning more about the monarch story.  When things change in Mexico we will return.

This decision was reached after thoughtful analysis of information gathered from a variety of sources including the U.S. State Department Travel Advisory website. To read the full story Click Here.


Travel to Mexico with Monarch Teacher Network – discover the magic of Mexico’s monarch butterflies and its rich indigenous cultures.

We welcome people of all professions and interests to participate in this unique experience. Our trips have included families, student groups, teachers, master gardeners, business professionals, retirees, and people from all walks of life. Participants are amazed and transformed by the experiences of this trip.

“Imagine standing still, like stone in a river. But instead of water streaming towards you, thousands of Monarchs are on the wing. As they reach you, they part, like water streaming around the stone, passing you on either side…. This is no dream. This is what you will experience as you walk through the majestic Oyamel fir trees from where the monarchs cascade down and join the stream.”


Monarch Teacher Network (MTN) has conducted trips to the Monarch overwintering colonies in Mexico since 2002. Many trip participants are graduates of MTN’s “Teaching and Learning with Monarch Butterflies” workshops, but trips also include spouses, friends and others involved or interested in monarchs. The colonies are located in the Trans-volcanic Mountain range in the state of Michoacán, several hours west of Mexico City. MTN’s one-week trips are conducted in February and March. Trips are led by an experienced Educator and a Mexican guide and include people from a number of states and provinces. Many participating teachers receive fellowships from MTN or its Canadian partners. MTN is now accepting applications for February and March 2011 trips.

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Saturday Day 1: Arrive at Mexico City International Airport. Transfer to our designated hotel on your own. Meet members of the group and group leader/tour guide at the hotel at 5 PM. Evening dinner. Note: cost of lunches/dinners is each person’s responsibility, though we will eat as a group; typical cost per day is $25 depending on the amount/kind of food ordered. Our tour guide will select the restaurants. For those who arrive at the hotel by 3 PM, an optional guided tour of the Museum of Anthropology will occur.

Sunday Day 2: Following breakfast at the hotel, our bus travels into the state of Michoacan where we see our first view of the forests of the Transvolcanic Mt range and perhaps our first glimpse of monarchs. Enroute we stop at the old silver mining town of Tlalpujahua for lunch, a walking tour of the town and market, local life, crafts and the mine. Overnight at a nearby hotel.

Monday Day 3: Following breakfast at our hotel we head for our first butterfly sanctuary, usually El Rosario or Chincua. Hike up into the oyamel forests. At Sierra Chincua, guide-led horses are available for those feeling the altitudes (9,000+ feet); at El Rosario, no horses are available. Hot lunch at the colony, and the chance to purchase pine needle baskets, local crafts. Return to hotel for the evening and dinner.

Tuesday Day 4: Following breakfast at the hotel, we visit one of the monarch sanctuaries mentioned above. Hot lunch at the colony. By mid-afternoon we are on our way to the capitol of Michoacan: Morelia, “Queen of the Colonial Cities”. Dinner at our hotel in Morelia or Patzcuaro.

Wednesday Day 5: Breakfast at the hotel. In the morning we travel to the town of Tzintzuntzan (Place of the Hummingbirds) to explore the history and culture of the indigenous Purepecha, who have preserved their language and traditions since pre-Hispanic times when they were rivals of the Aztec. Afternoon in Patzcuaro with its colonial atmosphere, exploring the artisans of “The Seven Patios”; boat trip to the island of Janitzio. Overnight at hotel.

Thursday Day 6: Breakfast at hotel. Visit a local school to interact with Purepecha people and culture, then back to Mexico City and our hotel.

MTM Teachers hiking up the mountains towards a monarch colony


Friday Day 7:

Following breakfast, we tour the Zocolo (Mexico City’s central square) with its Templo Mayor (pyramid ruins of the original Aztec City), National Palace with its famous Diego Rivera murals depicting Mexico’s history, the Shrine of Guadalupe and the pre-Aztec Pyramids of Teotihuacan (3rd largest pyramids in the world) to see the Pyramids of the Sun and Moon, etc. Farewell dinner. Overnight at hotel.

Saturday Day 8: Hotel, breakfast then transfer by taxi to Mexico City Airport for flight home.