Piedra Herrada (Mariposas Monarca Sanctuario) | Tourist Attraction

Mexico

Details

Last Visited: over 2 years ago
GPS: 19.17424, -99.95758
Altitude: 2884.9 masl

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Description

Monarch butterfly sanctuary run by local ejido from Nov - March. 60Peso/pers (for a group of 10/100pesos more for less people, including guide + 200pesos/horse if wanted). It's about 3km (1hour) walk up the hill to where millions of butterflies rest in the trees - stunning! They start flying when the sun comes out (if it is cloudy they don't) - then they will even fly down to the carreterra (drive slowly!), total trip takes about 3 hours, best time to start is about 11am, they told us. Very busy on weekends, quiet during the week. You can also stay overnight at the parking lot for free (2800m altitude), there are small restaurants and a toilet (5p), no electricity. Because of the cold nights we preferred to stay down in Valle de Bravo (1800m).

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Entrance fees are now 70 pesos per person.
We did it on a Sunday so there were dozen of big tourist bus. Nice place to see monarchs but very touristic. As you can't go by yourself on the trail you have to be in a group of 8 people with a guide. Although the guide didn't explain anything, they just walk you to the sanctuary.

They also charge for the night. The ask us for 300 pesos, we give 150 pesos as it was late and there were no other option for us but not very worth it ...

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Great for the butterflies. A peaceful, secure night-stop for no extra charge. NOTE: he doesn't open the gate until around 08:00hrs in the morning, so don't stay inside the fence if you want an early start next day (eg to Nevado Toluca).

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We had a lovely day here. The track is nice and quiet but we would recommend hiking boots as the ground was slippery.

It wasn’t too crowded and we saw millions of butterflies very close by.

Follow the descriptions below.

You don’t need a guide or a horse. Easy walk. We spend three hours in the forest but we took two different tracks (so double the distance).

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the guides take groups usually and are very knowledgeable on the monarch migration. If you dont want a guide though their are two trails. the main one is easy to follow and the butterflies are there from jan to feb (roughly) as it gets cooler. nov and december while its warmer they prefer the high altitude. this trail is a little more difficult to follow but the post below details it pretty well. its an incredible experince, enjoy!

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Now parking during the day is 15pesos/day.
We slept for free the first night. But the second night, the night guard requested 100pesos just for parking for the night. We slept in front of the closed parking lot for free.
Normally you must pay for a guide. But if you leave early, you can manage to do without.
We made the mistake of following the main track with explanary signs. There aren't ANY butterflies there (right now at the end of november 2017). The 100 trees full of butterflies are on the right. When you follow the paved trail at the beginning, there are two circular resting areas. On the second one, don't follow the large main trail, take the tiny one that climbs on the right hand side. When you reach another large trail, go to the right under the "Precocion" yellow band and follow the tracks. The end of the climb is steep.

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Monarch butterfly sanctuary run by local ejido from Nov - March. 60Peso/pers (for a group of 10/100pesos more for less people, including guide + 200pesos/horse if wanted). It's about 3km (1hour) walk up the hill to where millions of butterflies rest in the trees - stunning! They start flying when the sun comes out (if it is cloudy they don't) - then they will even fly down to the carreterra (drive slowly!), total trip takes about 3 hours, best time to start is about 11am, they told us. Very busy on weekends, quiet during the week. You can also stay overnight at the parking lot for free (2800m altitude), there are small restaurants and a toilet (5p), no electricity. Because of the cold nights we preferred to stay down in Valle de Bravo (1800m).

Report Check-In

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