HIGHLANDS OF MEXICO
A HUNDRED MILLION MONARCHS
Mexico Wildlife Holiday, Monarch Roost, Butterfly & Birdwatching with Greentours
The Monarch Butterfly creates a spectacle that can be matched by few other phenomena in the natural world – truly a wonder of nature. Each spring millions leave the serenely beautiful landscapes of the Central Mexican Highlands and head north over much of North America. Five generations and eight months later they are back, a hundred million of them cramming into just a few mountain top firs!
Alone, the Monarch is a thing of beauty, but gathered together in their millions they are transformed into a swirling carnival of colour. The experience is mesmerising as they flutter all around us. Fir needles disappear under a deep blanket of orange and peach wings. Sometimes the sheer weight of butterflies brings branches crashing to the ground, the butterflies erupting upwards like a strontium-powered firework! Speaking of eruptions, we may well see one, as the perfect 12,400 feet cone of Volcan de Fuego does so regularly. Our viewing of Vermilion Flycatchers, black and red Swallowtails or Nine-banded Armadillos, may be interrupted by the spectacle!
Mexico’s unique highland pine and oak forests also host a richly varied bird life with beautiful Mountain Trogons, Orioles and Grosbeaks, and many stunning Hummingbirds. Amongst Bromeliads and Epiphytic Orchids, and on flowery banks draped with Penstemons, Dahlias and scarlet Salvias, we’ll see lurid Red Warblers, endemic Blue Mockingbirds, and tiny Bumblebee Hummingbirds. Over farmland hunt Crested Caracaras and White-tailed Kites whilst Tricoloured Herons, Jacanas and Snow Geese decorate fabulous wetlands. Nightwalks have produced Margay, Bobcat, Cacomistle, Southern Flying Squirrel and even a Puma on recent tours. Down by the Pacific we’ll see Turtle hatchlings meeting the ocean for the first time and up in tranquil mountain streams we’ll find weird and wonderful Axolotls. Dragonflies such as Canyon Rubyspots join a hundred or so butterfly species that include Elfstreaks, Anna’s Eighty-eight, turquoise-infused Teal Beamer, the Malachite, Blackened Bluewing, Bromfield’s Beauty, and the spectacular endemic White Morpho.
Morelia is one of the loveliest cities you’ll ever see. The immense cathedral dominates a city centre of broad avenues and arcaded plazas lined with 17th century mansions that are all still so perfect that the whole city has been declared a national monument!
Butterflies, Birds, Flowers, Mountain Landscapes and Morelia.
Relaxed and fairly easy. Up to three or four miles a day and always at a slow pace, perfectly suited to flower and butterfly photographers. Some quite steep but well-made paths. Please note that though the Monarch roosts are at nine to ten thousand feet above sea level, we take a whole week to gradually acclimatise you to the altitude, moving up steadily during the week.
Included in the Price
All flights. All transport, meals and accommodation in Mexico. Services of your leaders. Please note: drinks, tips and items of a personal nature including travel insurance, are not included.
The minimum is 5 and the maximum is 15. Only two leaders will accompany a group of 9 or less.
After a night at the excellent Gran Prix Hotel close by Mexico City’s Airport we have a three night stay at the plain but welcoming Laguna Maria, close by spectacular Volcan Fuego, and just a short walk from a beautiful lagoon set in an extinct volcano crater and surrounded by forest. Then, after a night at the pleasant Hacienda Hotel in Zapotlan, we have three nights in the elegantly furnished rooms of the charming Misión Pátzcuaro, on the edge of the beautiful old town of Patzcuaro. Close-by the Monarch sanctuaries we stay in the warm and homely Hotel Mineral in pretty Tlalpujahua for three nights. Lastly we have three nights in the Hotel Rancho Las Margaritas’ spacious modern rooms in fine countryside near Valle de Bravo. All rooms on this tour have en suite facilities.
UK return flights are direct from Heathrow to Mexico City. An Internal flight then takes us on to Colima. Add-ons are available from various UK airports*. Other indirect routes from regional UK Airports* are available.
*These routes may incur a supplement.
Warm and sunny with only occasional showers. Sometimes quite cool at higher altitudes especially where the Monarchs winter.
Combination with Chiapas
Why not combine the Highlands of Mexico Tour with the Chiapas tour? They run consecutively and combined show what an incredibly beautiful and varied country Mexico is. Price for the two tours together is London to London £9260 Mexico City to Mexico City £8610 with a single supplement of £720.
How to Book
Contact us to check there is availability for the number of places you require. Download a booking form or contact us and we will send one to you. Complete and send to us. You will receive confirmation of your place and then a detailed information pack will be dispatched to you about twelve weeks before departure. This will contain up-to-date health news. Flower, bird, mammal and butterfly checklists are available.