Morelia, Monarch Butterfly Migration,
Michoacan State Mexico

The Monarch Butterfly Migration in Michoacan State Mexico sees the Monarchs complete the migration by November when the butterflies roost on the mountains in Michoacan State. Morelia is a good base for trips to see the Monarch Butterflies.
Morelia Sightseein, Artisan Museum
Morelia Sightseeing at the artisan Museum

Morelia Monarch Butterfly Trips

Morelia makes a great base city for viewing the Monarch Migration
MMG Tours
offers a nine hour trip leaving Morelia at 8:30 am that includes guide, modern van, and lunch for 500 Pesos  $40 USD Approx.,mx

    Butterfly Preserves

Morelia is near enough to the  Monarch Butterfly Migration Preserves El Rosario and Chincua to provide hiking tours into the mountains to see the Monarchs in their Winter home.

  • Migration Season
The Monarchs start arriving in mid October and complete the migration in November.  They roost for the winter in several preserves in Michoacan State and the adjacent Sate of Mexico
By March they are on the move north.
Morelia's Centro Historico is a walkable several blocks north and south and 20 blocks east and west.  The ticket booth for the tours to see the Monarch Butterflies by MMG Morelia Michoacan Guides AC can be found at the tourist kiosk located between the Plaza de Armas and the Cathedral in the Historic Center of Morelia
The tourist kiosks also sells maps. of the city
Primera Plus buses reach Morelia from Mexico City's Terminal Norte or by other buses (Flecha Amarilla/Primera Plus) out of (Central Observatorio) commonly called. Terminal Poniente
Tufesa Buses from the north reach two stations in Guadalajara.  From the Central Nuevo Station Primera Plus buses reach Morelia.
High speed roads reach much of Michoacan State and its
How To Reach Morelia By Bus:
With regal old hotels and elegant restaurants, Morelia becomes a good base for Hiking tours to Patzcuaro its islands and the Archaeological Zone of Tzintzuntzan and Ihuatzio  .MMG  Morelia Michoacan Guides,mx
See their ticket booth between the Plaza de Armas and the Cathedral on Calle Madero.

Moralia A Base For Monarch Trips

Open Parks and outdoor dinning make Morelia not only a great base for mountain hiking but a well ordered city  for a sightseeing walking tour

Shopping at the Museum of Artisans
    Artisan Museum
The Artisans museum building, the 1550 ex Convento San Francisco could provide a great half day of shopping and a look at the many arts and crafts produced in Michoacan for those that don't want to make the mountain hikes to see the butterflies.
Morelia Sightseeing,
The hikes to the mountain preserves can sometimes be strenuous and require warm clothing, rain gear and good hiking boots, as well as an ability to hike for about an hour on steep slopes.
Jardin de las Rosas and the outdoor dining area.
Morelia Sightseeing,
Morelia Sightseeing
Morelia Sightseeing,
Morelia Sightseeing,
Jardin de las Rosas, above, Cathedral and Plaza de Armas, right.
Morelia's Artisan Museum
For those that don't want to make the hike to the Monarchs, the 1550 ex convento San Francisco, the oldest building in Morelia, is an interesting artisan Museum and there are many other good museums in the Centro Historico
Morelia Sightseeing,
Morelia Sightseeing,
Morelia's Church and former Convent of San Francisco  houses the Artisan Museum.  Morelia's oldest building, the museum  provides great shopping for Michoacan Arts and crafts

Morelia Day Trips

From Morelia day tours reach the mountain winter migration sites of the Monarch Butterflies

Morelia Sightseeing,
Morelia Sightseeing,

How To Reach Morelia

IMorelia is a small walkable and safe city that can be a base for visiting the Monarch Migration.  
Other attractions include ruins, volcanoes, hot springs, the city of Guadalajara, and Patscuara 
The tour operators offer hiking to cascades in the forest  and on trails in the surrounding mountain slopes
Distance to Other attractions:  Monarch Migration 110 miles. Patzcuaro,  Tzintzuntzan archaeological site, 36 miles.   Uruapan, 64 miles.   Four hot springs between 30 and 50 miles.  Mexico City 160 miles.  Guadalajara, 164 miles. Ixtapa,  Pacific Coast Zihuatanejo, 213  

How To Reach Morelia By Air: National and International flights service Morelia's Aeropuerto Internacional Francisco J Mujica,  30 minutes outside of the city of Morelia.    Also called Morelia International Airport  (IATA), serving Houston, Chicago, and LA as well as Mexico City  Other designations (MSM)- (ICOA), and (MMMM)
Morelia Sightseeing, Monarch Butterfly Tours,
The Chincua Preserve offers a road into the preserve northwest of Angangueo.  The El Rosario Preserve is north east of Zitacuaro and offers a road from the municipality of Ocampo.  Check before booking on the strenuousness of the hike.  The preserves are at nearly 10,000 feet altitude.
Morelia Sightseeing, Monarch Butterfly Tours,

Monarch Butterfly Spring Migration

In mid March the Monarchs that have over wintered in the Michoacan mountains of Mexico respond to the warming temperatures and begin to mate.  They move to lower elevations and then start the migration north for their USA and Canada summer egg laying season. They will lay their eggs on milkweed plants and then die after about 9-10 months of life.
The best times for Monarch tours in Mexico are November through March. The
weather in Morelia is ideal year round with a summer rainy season (afternoon or evening showers) and a dry winter season.  

Morelia/ Michoacan Butterfly Viewing Sites

El Rosario and Angangueo are well know Michoacan Butterfly sanctuary areas with trails in the mountains east of Morelia near the border of Mexico State.  These sites are preserved and protected from commercial activities.  The wintering areas spread over 12 mountains on the borders on Mexico State and Michoacan.
Although millions of Monarch butterflies make the southern migration each Fall, the destination of the migrants remained a mystery until 1975

Morelia Sightseeing,Monarch Butterfly Toursl
In recent years researchers discovered where the Monarch butterflies spent their winter.  The wintering sites can be in high mountains and require a short hike to reach the Monarch winter grounds.  
The Monarchs gather by the millions
Morelia Sightseeing, Monarch Butterfly Tours,
One legend states that the return of the Monarchs to Mexico at the same time as the Day of the Dead festival has prompted Mexican beliefs that the Monarchs are the returning souls and spirits of the deceased.

Morelia/ Michoacan Butterfly Viewing Sites:

El Rosario
El Rosario and Angangueo are two well-know Michoacan Butterfly sanctuaries in the mountains east of Morelia near the border of Mexico State.  These tours start in high elevation towns where it can be cold during winter months.
Tours From Morelia
MMG Tours visit Rosario and Chincua Sanctuaries
The Chincua Preserve is  8 km northwest of Angangueo.  The El Rosario Preserve is north east of Zitacuaro and in the municipality of Ocampo.

In mountain such as these the preserves are the winter home to the Monarch Butterfly
Butterfly Migration
Morelia, Michoacan
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