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Questions about Mexico City, Monarch Butterflies, Valle de Bravo hotels between Christmas and New Years


Sep 15th, 2002, 12:33 PM
Efrain Sain
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Questions about Mexico City, Monarch Butterflies, Valle de Bravo hotels between Christmas and New Years

I am taking my Mom (67) and a 12 yr old nephew to Mexico City, Toluca, & Valle de Bravo 12-26 to 12-31 or 1-1. My Mom is from Northern Mexico, although she is a US citizen now. She has never been to DF and wants to go there instead of any beach resots. I lived in Toluca 20 years ago for a couple of years. I am planning several days in the capital, a day stop in Toluca, including a cab ride to the top of the Toluca volcano, and a couple of days in Valle de Bravo with, maybe, a day excursion to one of the monarch butterfly areas. I hope someone may be able to help me with these questions:

1. Is Mexico City's pollution any better during this time since lot of the industry is closed and (maybe) there is less traffic?

2. Are the museums and other attractions still open and active during this time? eg Anthro Museo, Palcio Nacional, Belles Artes, Xochimilco.

3. Are there bullfights during that time?

4. I have read that Feb is best to time to see the mariposas because they are starting to get more active. Will I still be able to see the butterflies well in Dec? I hear they stay up high in tall trees.

5. about how far would a butterfly area be from valle de bravo?

6. Anyone know of a guide to help with the monarch search that might be in valle de bravo?

7. Suggestions for hotels in Valle de bravo?

Thanks for any suggestions


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Sep 15th, 2002, 01:09 PM
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Hi Efrain -- I'll do what I can:

1. DF Pollution: I have always heard that December is one of the worst times, but I have not found this to be particularly true. I don't think you can expect any effect from industry being closed or less traffic, any more so than in a major US city. If you are only there a few days it shouldn't be too bad. I find the effect to be cumulative.

2. I am sure all major attractions will be open for most of your trip, but maybe not on Christmas Day, for example.

3. The monarch butterfly concentration is in Angangueo, a small mountain town about halfway between Toluca and Morelia. It is a bit of an uphill trail, not too steep, but since you are at 9000 feet altitude it can be very taxing for an older person. I found I had to stop and catch my breath fairly often, so it is something to consider for your mother. Although the monarchs are up in the trees, they are also on the trunks, the ground, in the air, everywhere. It is really something to see! You don't need a guide. Once you get up to Angangueo anyone can point you in the direction of the park.
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Sep 16th, 2002, 06:55 PM
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Pollution is worse in the winter than the summer due to inversion layers. In Summer the rain washes some of the pollution away. At the time of year you mention there is a good chance heavy pollution will be just hanging in the valley. There are all kinds of tours to see the monarchs- like "Grey Line." I understand that their populations are way down due to unexpected freezes last year that decimated the monarch populations.
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Nov 6th, 2002, 12:13 PM
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I am planning to visit the monarch butterfly sanctuary this winter and would like to do it with a tour group from Mexico City. Do you know of a travel agency that could arrange this for me.

If that is not doable, I would then take a bus to Angangueo and make arrangements there (I rented a car in Mexico once before and have sworn off of that daredevil activity). Did you stay at a hotel in Angangueo? Is there bus transportation from Mexico City?
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