San Miguel de Allende and the Heartland Travel Guide

San Miguel de Allende and the Heartland Sights

Santuario de Mariposas el Rosario

  • Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge
  • Fodor's Choice

Published 01/25/2016

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 late November (or better yet, early December) 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: it's more informative, as you'll get info about the state of Michoacán and its fascinating history and culture, along with the 411 about the monarch butterflies, on the two-hour drive from Morelia to the sanctuary, and the sleepy ride back at the end of a beautiful day.

Sight Information


Angangueo, Michoacán, 61411, Mexico


/No phone

Sight Details:

  • MX$50
  • Daily 10–5

Published 01/25/2016


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