Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Mexico & Central America
Reload this Page >

Monarch migration - Trip planning questions for Thit Cho

Monarch migration - Trip planning questions for Thit Cho

Old Feb 3rd, 2006, 09:50 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 6,516
Monarch migration - Trip planning questions for Thit Cho

Thit Cho--Thanks for sharing info about your trip to see the monarch migration-- I have a few questions:
1. I thought November was not a peak viewing time--I heard Feb/March are best? Did you feel like you saw the full effect by going in Nov? Was it early or late Nov.?
2. Any photos you can share?
3. How did you find the guide/horse to hire to get to the less crowded reserve?
4. How far is the less-visited reserve from the main reserve?
4. When you say the main reserve was built up, what do you mean? A lot of touristy shops/stands, too many people or just too unnatural?

We plan on traveling in Oct or Nov. (hence why I was also interested in your polar bear safari before) and wildlife is always a big draw for us. I really appreciate you taking the time to talk to me about this.
schlegal1 is offline  
Old Feb 3rd, 2006, 10:30 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,916
1. November is not peak, but there were millions of butterflies in November 2004, and far fewer human visitors. It was late November, around Thanksgiving.

2. I have lots of photos, but all on film, but if I can get my secretary to scan them, I'll post them on kodakgallery.

3. The guide/horses were waiting at the entrance to the reserve -- they found me, I didn't need to look for them.

4. I went to two reserves, El Rosario was around an hour from Rancho San Cayetano and the second was 30 minutes or so from Rancho San Cayetano, but I don't know how far they are from eachother (based on the math though, they are not less than 30 minutes more than 90 minutes apart).

5. Yes, lots of shops lining the way into El Rosario, paved sidewalks and stairs climbing into the mountain, handrails on some paths. The top is nice, but the journey is less so.

I wouldn't advise visiting in October or even November except the last weekend. You would also need to make sure the reserves are open -- they are not open year round, and generally open near the end of November. But it depends on the butterflies -- if they are late, I would expect the reserve to open later.

October and early November would be better for polar bears.

Michael
thit_cho is offline  
Old Feb 3rd, 2006, 01:01 PM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 6,516
Thanks, Michael.
We can manage a trip anytime in Oct. or November as we are not planning any specific dates and really a trip over Thanksgiving would be possible (if we opt against polar bears, that is!).

Do the reserves have websites where one can check when they are open or track the migration?
I guess things also depend on whether any natural or human influences decreased or increased the population in any given year.

I prefer not to join a tour for this type of thing. Did you find it fairly easy to get to the reserves from Mexico City? (Do you speak Spanish?--we only know enough to get by).
schlegal1 is offline  
Old Feb 3rd, 2006, 01:04 PM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 6,516
Adding thit cho's previous post for future reference:

<<schlegal1, what would you like to know about visiting the monarch reserves? I visited in November 2004 and this was my basic trip. I did a little research, but there's not much out there, but I assumed I'd be able to figure everything out as I traveled.

Wednesday -- flew from New York to Morelia via Mexico City. Morelia is a UNESCO World Heritage city and well worth visiting. Overnight in Morelia.

Thursday -- I took the public bus from Morelia to Zitacuaro (maybe a three hour bus ride) and spent the night at Rancho San Cayetano

Friday -- hitched ride with hotel guests to El Rosario, the main butterfly reserve around an hour from Rancho San Cayetano. If guests hadn't offered ride, I would have taken taxi or hitchhiked. Its the most popular sight, with lots of visitors and paved pathways. Even though there were millions of butterflies, it was too built up for me, and I wanted to experience something more natural the following day.

Saturday -- took taxi from Rancho San Cayetano to a much less popular reserve. I was the first visitor that day, and I rented a horse and guide for the two-hour climb up the mountain. Its a steep climb, and would be very difficult without the horse. I arrived at the top and was literally the only visitor, and there were millions of butterflies resting in the trees. As the day warmed, they began to fly and covered the entire mountaintop. I stayed a few hours and didn't see another visitor until my descent. I had a lunch of local trout and amazing avocados at the bottom of the mountain -- not really a restaurant but a patio outside someone's house and they cooked in their kitchen. I took a taxi back to hotel, and then caught bus to Mexico City.

Sunday -- spent morning in Mexico City (I had been twice before so I didn't do much sightseeing) and caught late afternoon flight to New York.

Its a very easy trip, and there are tours, but I loathe tours and prefer to travel independently.>>
schlegal1 is offline  
Old Feb 3rd, 2006, 01:14 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,916
http://www.rocamar.com.mx/mexico_tou...rfly_tour.html

Check out their website. I contacted them in 2004, and I was put in touch with David, who lives in Morelia, and he met me at Morelia airport and answered questions for me. He also helped me at the Morelia bus station, but it was very simple and I didn't really need the help. You can just as easily visit from Mexico City, and the bus station there is straightforward -- you would take bus from Mexico City to Zitacuaro, and use a hotel in that area as a base.

I was not able to locate that sophisticated a website (ie, one that tracked the migration). Give www.rocamar.com a call, and have them put you in touch with David, if he's still down there.
thit_cho is offline  
Old Feb 3rd, 2006, 01:15 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,916
Thanksgiving is too late for the polar bears -- they are out on the ice by then, and there are no tours that late in the season.
thit_cho is offline  
Old Feb 3rd, 2006, 01:18 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,916
http://www.ranchosancayetano.com/

This was my hotel in Zitacauro -- they can also answer your questions, and its the best hotel within an hour, maybe more, of the butterfly reserves.
thit_cho is offline  
Old Feb 3rd, 2006, 01:29 PM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 6,516
Again, thanks. That's enough info to get me well on my way!

I realize Thanksgiving is too late for the bears--I was saying a trip over Thanksgiving is only likely if we opt NOT to go to Canada and do Mexico instead. If we go to Canada it will be October.
schlegal1 is offline  
Old Feb 6th, 2006, 03:39 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 5,869
schegal1,
Where did you find the post for Michoacan/Butterfly from Thit Cho?
I went back a long time and saw nothing.
We're going next week.
M
mikemo is offline  
Old Feb 7th, 2006, 09:42 AM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 6,516
Sorry for the confusion, mikemo. Thit cho is a regular contributor on the Africa board and, responding to a topic about "best safari experiences," he mentioned the monarch migration. I asked for details and he responded with the itinerary that I reposted here so that the thread would not be off topic in the Africa forum.

Anyway, you might try topping this thread if you have any questions (or seeing if he's posting on any Africa threads and asking him to come back over here to Mexico for a few questions). He is very helpful and this thread is recent.
schlegal1 is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
jmcuellar94
Mexico & Central America
11
Oct 8th, 2018 07:14 PM
milvally
Mexico & Central America
1
Dec 4th, 2014 08:31 AM
robin8989
Mexico & Central America
8
Apr 10th, 2008 10:33 AM
lowell
Mexico & Central America
4
Sep 29th, 2003 02:53 PM
matt
Mexico & Central America
4
Sep 5th, 2002 12:44 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO