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Monarch Butterflies in Michoacan, Mexico

Submitted by on January 20, 2023 – 3:15 amNo Comment
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Monarchs in Michoacan, MexicoThe oyamel fir trees of central Mexico (in and around Michoacan) are cloaked in orange as millions of monarch butterflies roost over winter – an extraordinary spectacle.

The monarch butterflies arrived late this year, delayed by bad weather on their journey south from the United States and Canada.

Weather conditions in northern Mexico delayed the arrival of the migratory insects to the forests where they spend the winter, but all the butterfly colonies were set up for the season by late November.

There are seven sanctuaries in Michoacan but only three are opened to the public: Rosario Sanctuary and Sierra Chincua Sanctuary, Cerro Pelon Sanctuary is shared with the neighboring Estado de Mexico. The difference between sanctuaries in regards to the amount of butterflies is hardly perceptible to the untrained eye, as a tourist you will enjoy the experience of witnessing this unique and vast wonder of nature just the same.

The southern wintering forests are comprised mostly of oyamel fir trees located at 3,000 meters or more above sea level, where temperatures average about 75F (25C) during the season. Temps fluctuate in the mountains and it can get chilly.

Visitors are able to tour the sanctuaries every day between 9 am and 5 pm on designated walking paths. Warm clothing and and comfortable shoes are advised, as well as an umbrella or raincoat.

The sanctuaries in Michoacan are El Rosario and El Asoladero in Melchor Ocampo; Senguio in the municipality of the same name; and Sierra Chincua in Angangueo.

They will remain open until March 31, 2023.

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