Visit El Rosario Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary in Mexico

¡Hola! Welcome to Spanish and Go. Where we explore the culture, traditions, and language of Spanish-speaking countries in order to help you improve your Spanish and inspire to you travel and connect with others all over the world. My name is May. And I’m Jim. And in this episode we’re going to show you where the Monarch Butterflies go in the winter. That’s right! We’re going to show you one of the sanctuaries for the Monarch Butterflies in the Mexican Bio Reserve. ¿Listos? ¡Listos! Comencemos. When I was in middle school all the students in science class had to raise a Monarch caterpiller to be released into the wild after its metamorphosis. It was a highlight from my school days to witness this awe-inspiring transition. Back then, I never imagined that I’d one day get to visit where Las Mariposas Monarcas make their journey for the winter. Monarch butterflies perform annual migrations across North America. Each year in otoño hundreds of millions of them make their pilgrimage to the cool mountains of Michoacán, Mexico. We didn’t want to miss such a fantastic natural phenomena so we rented a coche. so we rented a coche in Guadalajara and started the adventure. So, we’re in Guadalajara getting breakfast and we just rented a car to go find where the Monarch Butterflies go in the winter. We’re going to a town in Michoacán, but the thing that makes me a little nervous is that we don’t have a reservation so we don’t know where we’re going to spend the night. Yeah, that makes me a little nervous too, but we left plenty early, so hopefully we should be able to find something once we get there. So, we’re about forty-five minutes away where we’re gonna look for a hotel. Hopefully we can find one. First impressions. What do you think of this place? It’s beautiful! Just in the past forty-five minutes we’ve seen such a change in climate. It’s so much cooler here, and there’s so many more evergreens. Yes! We decided to stay in Mineral de Angangueo, Michoacán. A town which grew substantially in the 18th century when large “plomo” and “plata” deposits were discovered in the surrounding mountains. So we found a hotel right away. Two-hundred pesos a night. Yeah, it’s not like a luxury hotel. But it’ll do. This rustic town owes about a quarter of its economy to tourism for the Monarch Butterflies, and is situated a half hour drive below a prominent sanctuary for the Monarchs. People come from all over the world to visit the sanctuary “El Rosario”, but not everyone stays in Angangueo. We were there in Febrero and we were surprised by how few tourists we saw, even though this is the best month to see the butterflies. The whole area remains rural and acceso al internet is sparse. Pictures of the monarch butterflies decorate everything in the town, from street decor to allyway murals. We knew we were in for a long hike, so we made sure to get a hearty local breakfast first. We’re going for breakfast! Good morning. Good morning! I can’t wait. I’ve been thinking about this all morning. We’re going to one restaurant… there’s not many places in town, but this one in particular is very good. And yesterday we had chilaquiles there, and chiles rellenos last night. They were really good! Very good. ¿Esta rico? It’s one of the best. After a good breakfast, we started our way up the mountains to the Sanctuary which is located in a rural community called “El Rosario”. We’re going up! The road is very bumpy. And there’s a lot of holes. And we’re super way up high on a mountain. And you can pretty much see the whole town of Angangueo. Entrance to the sanctuary is $50 pesos for adults and $40 for children. They have guides who walk with you up the cerro and give you detailed information about the monarchs and their habitat. Alberto, our guide was very helpful and answered all of our questions. On the way up we encountered tons of wildflowers and an natural stream that runs down the bio reserve. And after 620 steps and another fifteen minutes of caminata along a dirt trail we were there. So the last step doesn’t mean you made it up. There’s still quite a bit to go. I think they just gave up on making stairs. We got to experience one of nature’s most spectacular events. A barrage of butterflies welcomed us in their sanctuary. Cada año, at the beginning of fall, populations of Monarch butterflies from southern Canada and the US migrate to central Mexico where they have created a second home of their own. Here, in the bio reserve for the Monarch Butterflies, they get to escape brutal winters and reproduce. When Spring arrives in March, butterflies start their way back up North in a trip that lasts between three and four months, arriving to the US and Canada in July. One butterfly can’t complete the entire round trip on its own, so female butterflies leave the Mexican bio reserve bearing the next generation. They lay huevos on their way back up North and die shortly after that. This cycle is repeated and newer generations get to finish the trip their parents, grandparents and great grandparents started. The last generation of the cycle lays eggs back in the US and Canada. It is this new generation of butterflies that is in charge of starting the ciclo again and making the journey back to Mexico in the Fall. It is estimated that at least four generations of monarch butterflies are involved in the annual cycle. If you go to the sanctuary on a cloudy day, try to go back when it is warmer and sunnier. We had so much fun going to Angangueo, Michoacán and it was very interesting to learn about and see so many monarch butterflies in one spot. The natural beauty of the area is truly breathtaking, and a joy for any outdoor enthusiast. Thanks for watching! We hope you enjoyed this episode and learned some useful Spanish vocabulary. ¡Nos vemos! ¡Hasta luego! Wait! Before you go. Don’t forget to like this video and subscribe to our channel for more travel and Spanish tips. And if you really like what you see, head on over to our website at where you can signup for our newsletter and get our Spanish Phrase ebook for free! That’s right! And in our next video we’re going to teach you how to order a meal at a restaurant in Spanish, so stay tuned! ¡Nos vemos pronto! ¡Adios!

18 Replies to “Visit El Rosario Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary in Mexico”

  1. And we see them in a special park miles away in Califas. Pacific Grove in fact. Y Leo Carrillo State Park, Los Angeles. Many others places actually.
    Thank you both once again.

  2. Hi,

    I’m working for Jetlag (, wich is the biggest media about travel in France with more than 500K followers on Facebook. Each month, our content reaches a very important audience online and our videos are viewed by almost 40 millions of people all over the world.

    We want to make a video report about monarch butterfly (in Mexico) and really loved what you've shot. That's why we're asking you the right to use parts of them.

    If you agree, it will be publish on our Facebook and Instagram pages. Of course, your account will be credited on screen and tag with a clickable link. This is a great opportunity for your work to become more and more famous. This is actually a winning collaboration for both of us. So it would be a real pleasure to work with you.

    If you need to see some examples of video content that we post on Jetlag, look here :

    Please let us know if you agree,

    Thanks !

  3. Hello,

    I manage a YouTube channel with 900,000 subscribers. I would love to feature some footage from this video in a video of mine. I would give you credit of course. Please email me [email protected] if you are interested!

  4. Thanks for watching, guys! Have you ever seen so many butterflies in one place before? Would you go to Michoacan to see the sanctuary?

    Looking for more videos like this?
    You can watch more of our Mexico travel videos here:

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