Blogs from Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, Michoacán, Mexico, North America


It was 31 degrees F at 7:30 this morning in Angangueo! No heat in the hotel, but we had gotten extra blankets so stayed warm. We walked up the hill in town and found two old ornate churches and a plaza with a fountain. Right across from the plaza was a charming restaurant called Los Arcos. The food was very good, huge portions, and usual reasonable Mexican prices. We explored the town a bit more until it was time to meet our ride to the butterflies at the hotel. This turned out to be very convenient. He gave us a ride to the butterfly refuge (Sierra Chinchua), waited for us in the parking lot, and took us back to the bus so we could go back to Zitacuaro. The road up out of Angangueo was very ... read more
Horses at Butterfly Refuge (Sierra Chinchua)
Trail to Butterflies with Guide
Monarch Butterfly

After breakfast we took the taxi to the bus depot for our trip from Morelia to Zitacuaro. Morelia is a big, sprawling city and the outskirts are not as attractive as the historical district around the cathedral and hotel. The city is 6300 feet above sea level. Taxi, $2.50, bus $7 per person. About 32 degrees F, so very chilly. Got to depot early, found a warm spot for a cup of coffee. The bus was comfortable, made a few passenger stops in Morelia, and stops at the depots in a few larger cities. Zitacuaro is straight east and a bit south of Morelia. Hit some road construction so the ride turned out to be about four hours. We were the only non-locals on the bus. At one stop in Morelia, a man got on with ... read more
Lots of Dogs in Town
Colorful Flowers Along the Street
Church in Angangueo

A 2.5 Hour bus ride from Cuitzeo . A perfect day clear skies and lots of Sun.In the past we have been the reserve at El Rossario, the other side of the same Mountain on a cloudy cool day none of them came out. Today was great. at an elevation of over 12,000 feet you are very winded once you have made the climb and further the horses that take you the last few 1000 feet are seasoned to this climb but still tired once the have reached the top. Once reached the reserve only steps from where the horses let us off over 4 million butterflies (Monarchs) where there in cacoons, flying around for there last flight before death after breeding. Any one travelling through theses parts of the world this is a must see. ... read more
Finished our walk up
Waiting for the horses
Horses to the top

Sorry voor de lange pauze in blog posts. Er is een hoop gebeurd de afgelopen week en ik had weinig tijd om te schrijven. Ik zal de week opbreken in een aantal posts zodat het niet een heel boek in een keer wordt. Dus de dag nadat we terugkomen in Morelia gaan we gelijk naar het vlinderreservaat. We wilden een tour boeken maar we kwamen de avond ervoor te laat aan om dat nog te doen en de volgende ochtend kon het niet meer. Het Ierse geluk had ons in de steek gelaten. Maar vol goede moed zijn we alsnog met het openbaar vervoer richting het reservaat gegaan. Eerst een bus van 2 uur richting hidalgo stad en daarna nog een bus van een uur om in Angangueo aan te komen een prachtig dorpje dat midden ... read more

Die Nacht war kalt gewesen, hier vor dem Tor des Mariposa Monarch Santuarios auf knapp 2.900 m Höhe. Wasserpfützen sind zu Eis erstarrt. Doch warm eingepackt in Decke und Schlafsack ging es uns im VW-Bus gut. Wir beeilten uns fertig zu werden, ermahnte doch der Reiseführer, dass die Monarchfalter gegen 9 Uhr bei den ersten wärmenden Sonnenstrahlen munter werden und auffliegen. Die Monarchfalter haben eine lange Strecke zurückgelegt. Man sagt, dass sie aus dem Nordwesten der USA sowie Kanadas ca. 4500 km weit in die Hochebene Mexikos geflogen sind. Dort paaren sie sich und sterben danach. Die Jungen schlüpfen hier in den Pinien- und Oyamel-Fichtenwäldern auf 3000 m Höhe und kehren dann im Frühling in die Heimatgebiete USA und Kanada zurück. Wir steigen in ordentlichem Marschtempo hinter unserem Führer ca. einen Kilometer im Wald hinauf. Dann ... read more
3 Monarch
4 Monarch
5 Monarch

Wir sind heute früh am Mariposa Monarchfalter Nationalpark angekommen und verbringen die Zeit bis zum Abend mit Lesen. Eigentlich ist es mal angesagt, etwas über die mexikanische Küche zu erzählen. Vorweg gesagt – es gibt nicht d i e mexikanische Küche. Einmal ist es sowieso eine Verschmelzung der spanischen und indianischen Esskultur. Zum anderen bestehen viele regionale Unterschiede. Gleich bei der Einreise von Nogales aus fielen uns die zahlreichen Pollo asado-Stände auf. Hähnchen werden halbiert, aufgeklappt und so als „Halbes“ auf dem Holzkohlengrill (asado) gebraten. Mit Chilligewürz wird nicht gespart. Die Vögel sehen ganz lecker aus – wir haben bisher aber aus Angst vor der „Rache Montezumas“ (Durchfall) darauf verzichtet und haben uns im Supermarkt die Pollo rostizada geholt. Eigentlich nichts anderers, nur halt am Spieß gebraten und wir vermuten be... read more

I love water, I really do, so leaving the coast was not an easy thing to do... but some of the things I have looked forward to the most in Mexico are in the heart of the country, so we really had no choice :) Uruapan First stop on our way inland was the city of Uruapan that is best known for its proximity to the Volcan Paricutin which erupted suddenly on Feb 20th 1943. A farmer was out in his field when the ground started spurting steam and ash. He tried to cover the holes but quickly realised his task was futile and fled. Within a year the volcano had risen to 410 meters and covered three villages and most of the church of San Juan. Luckily the lava flowed slowly enough for the inhabitants ... read more
A cloudy day at the Paricutin Volcano
The Paricutin Volcano with smoke and lava in the foreground
Templo San Juan, Paricutin

Monarch Butterflies en masse The main reason for me to choose Mexico for this years Christmas trip is to visit a place called Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve. Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve is a sanctuary in the highlands of Mexico protecting the winter habitat of the Monarch Butterfly. I have for years been thinking about visiting this place and now this year I have the chance to do so. In the summer the Monarch Butterflies live in North and Central America as far north as southern Canada. These butterflies have a very interesting strategy in order to survive the winter - they migrate. Each year somewhere between 50 and 100 million Monarch Butterflies live in a few forests in central Mexican highlands. Why they choose the highlands where the temperatures actually go down below ... read more
Monarch Butterfly in profile
Two warming up in the sun
They seem to like the colour red

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