Top Ten Mexico Classic Adventures

See the Monarch Butterflies

Whales aren't the only creatures who head south for the winter. Mexico's most famous protected winter residents are a bit more, uh, delicate. The sanctuaries that protect the winter home of the monarch butterfly are the most famous in Mexico. This species checks out of its Canadian and American homes to take up residence in only a few areas of Central Mexico each winter. The most visited sanctuary is El Rosario, and the best place to base yourself is the town of Angangueo, an old mining town.

How many of these gold-and-black beauties can you see? Let's just say that when the butterflies cling to the branches of the oyamel tree, those branches have been known to break off under the weight (!). Getting there requires an easy two- to three-hour hike, though it's not strenuous. And to fully appreciate these beauts, hire a local guide inside the sanctuary.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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