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San Miguel de Allende and the Heartland Sights

Santuario de Mariposas el Rosario

  • Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge
  • Fodor's Choice

Fodor's Review

One hundred million monarch butterflies migrate annually from the United States and Canada to winter in the easternmost part of Michoacán, near Mexico State's border. A visit to the Santuario de Mariposas el Rosario between early November and early March is an awesome experience. The sanctuary's pine forest is so caked with orange-and-black butterflies it looks like it's on fire. Listen closely and you'll hear the rustle of millions of wings beating. The hike to the groves

is a steep climb, and the high altitude (10,400 feet) will require that you take it slowly.

This day trip takes about 10 hours, but it's absolutely worth the effort. We suggest you don't drive yourself, but catch a guided tour in Morelia.

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Sight Information


Hwy. 15 east to Zitácuaro, then take the marked but unnumbered road north to Angangueo, and on to sanctuary entrance, Angangueo, 61411, Mexico


/No phone

Sight Details:

  • $3
  • Daily 10–5


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