Directions and Transport
The easiest way to reach us is through the city of Zitácuaro (pronounced zee TAK war o), which is on the very eastern edge of the state of Michoacán. Zitácuaro is about two hours from both Mexico City and Toluca, three hours from Morelia and four to five hours from San Miguel de Allende. Once you get to Zitácuaro, we are 30 minutes or 17 km away in the village of Macheros in the State of Mexico. Macheros is an hour and a half away from Valle de Bravo. Click on the relevant link below for details:
Go green, take the bus! Buses are generally comfy, safe and efficient in Mexico. Service here is usually far superior to what you will find in the rest of North America. Even though there is not very extensive information about their schedules posted online (so don’t panic–just go to the terminal and buy a ticket), most bus lines run all day and on holidays.
From Mexico City by Public Transport. If you are coming from the Mexico City airport or elsewhere in the city, take a taxi or the metro to the Observatorio terminal, also known as Poniente (it’s at the end of the pink metro line). At the airport, when you exit the bagage claim you will see multiple “authorized taxi” stands. Approach one and buy a ticket for “Terminal Poniente.” The fare runs around 300 MXN. Take your ticket to the line of taxis is outside.
Yellow arrows indicate the two counters that sell tickets to Zitacuaro in the Observatorio terminal. The counter that says “Flecha Roja” sells tickets for Excelencia.
When you get to the terminal, buy a “directo” ticket to Zitácuaro with either La Linea or Excelencia. These two companies alternate service to Zitacuaro. Buses leave every forty minutes all day long starting with a 6 AM Excelencia bus. If there isn’t a departure within the next 40 minutes, check with the rival desk before you buy a ticket (they do not honor each other’s tickets or inform customers of their competitor’s schedules). Their counters are across from the restaurant/snack bar area and they can take credit cards. It’s a two hour ride to Zitacuaro. A one-way ticket cost around 300 MXN.
You can check larger bags with the attendant before you board the bus. Keep track of your ticket stub so you can reclaim your bag in Zitacuaro.
Private Transport from Mexico City. We can arrange rides from the Mexico City airport and locations in central Mexico City to our place and back. The price for transportation is $4000 MXN (200 usd) each way per car. This rate is for your transfer only and does not include stopping for tourist attractions or meals along the way.
The cars our drivers use are mid-size sedans (like a VW Jetta or Vento) that can seat three passengers comfortably and four people at most. If you have more than 4 people and/or a lot of luggage, we can order two cars for you.
Check in at JM Butterfly B&B ends at 9 PM and check out is at 12 PM. It takes about three hours to get to or from Mexico City from our place, and more if there’s traffic in the city (which is often). Please select a flight that arrives before 5 pm if you plan on reaching us that day. For same-day departures, look at flights that leave after 1 PM to avoid super early AM departures. Late arrivals and early departures are disruptive to your fellow guests. If there are no midday/early afternoon flights available, consider spending a night in Mexico City en route. There’s a list of hotel suggestions here.
Your ride is not confirmed until you 1.) submit this form, 2.) receive confirmation from us and, 3.) pay the invoice we will generate for you to prepay the ride.
We’ve tested this out several times now from both the airport and downtown Mexico, and we’ve made it home quickly and cheaply. Put Cerro Pelon Butterfly B&B into their app. The amount we’ve been charged has ranged from 1500-3000 MXN. Ask to take the toll road to Zitacuaro for a smoother ride. Toll is cuota in Spanish. Tip the driver as well to make sure this trip is worth their while. Their GPS will cut out before they reach Macheros, so it’s a good idea to download our Driving Directions from Zitacuaro (below) beforehand.
When you arrive at the bus terminal in Zitácuaro, walk outside the main entrance to the queue of authorized taxis. You do not need to check in at the authorized taxi window; they only sell tickets for transport within Zitácuaro. You need to ask the next driver in the line to take you to Macheros (pronounced Mah CHAIR os) in the State of Mexico. The fare should not be more than 350 MXN. For people concerned about not having enough Spanish to manage this interaction, we have created this “ticket” that you can print out and show to your driver. It includes directions in Spanish and the suggested price. The drive to Macheros takes about 30 minutes. We are in the center of town to the left of the church in the white three-story building.
For the budget traveler, there is also a public transportation service called a combi (a refitted VW bus or Nissan Urvan) that can take you part of the way to our place. Exit the bus station and cross the street. The combis leave from the street that is to the left of the large supermarket in front of you. Take one that goes to Aputzio de Juarez and get off at La Piedra. La Piedra is the on the border of the state of Mexico, where the combis are not authorized to operate. There are usually taxis waiting here if you arrive before dark: take one to Macheros from there. Note that if you are traveling solo, the taxis won’t leave until they have another fare. Also note that the taxi drivers call it a day by sunset, so plan your travels accordingly.
A word of caution: People who try to drive to us after dark tend to get lost. Please do your driving during daylight hours when landmarks are visible. Thanks to the 21 speed bumps and numerous pot holes you must negotiate on this journey, this 10.4-mile trip usually takes half an hour.
When the road forks after about 9 km, make a left.
3. After 9 km, the road will fork where there is a two-story blue and white police substation. This location is called La Piedra or La Colonia: Go left here.
4. Stay on this winding road another 6 km. If your GPS tries to send you to the left where the road forks onto a dirt road, ignore it: stay right on the paved road. You do not need to go off road to reach us. If you have stayed on the right road, you will pass through a community called Llano Redondo. When the road curves sharply to the right and there are signs that say PARADOR, make a left and pass under the white archway that says MACHEROS. If you see the El Capulin entry to the butterfly reserve, you have gone too far.
Approaching the turn off to Macheros.
Make a left when you see the signs for Macheros and Cerro Pelon.
And drive under the white arch that says Macheros.
5. In Macheros, stay straight on the road into town. When you see the church on your left, make a left. We are in the three-story white house that is across the street from the church, right before the pavement ends.
Turn left at the church in the center of town.
The B&B will be immediately visible on your right.
6. Our GPS coordinates are 19° 21’ 47.1” and -100° 17’ 31.0” But be warned, relying on GPS alone has led some visitors onto off-road adventures up the sides of mountains, otherwise known as getting lost.
By Public Transport
To reach us from SMA by bus, you must transfer buses in either Mexico City or Morelia. Both journeys take up most of a day. There are more express buses running on the Mexico City route, but the journey is complicated by the fact that you must change bus terminals when you get there. San Miguel buses arrive at Terminal Norte and Zitácuaro buses leave from Terminal Poniente, or Observatorio. You can take the metro or a taxi to transfer between the two terminals. In the Observatorio terminal, take a directo with La Linea to Zitácuaro. They leave every other 40 minutes on La Linea and Excelencia all day long. Then catch a taxi from the terminal in Zitácuaro to Macheros.
If you decide to go through Morelia instead, there is a Primera Plus first class Morelia bus that leaves the SMA terminal at 7:30 am. You’ll get to Morelia around 11:30 am. If you miss this bus, you will need to transfer to a Morelia-bound bus in Celaya. In Morelia, walk from terminal A to terminal B (right next door) and find the Alegra counter, which runs local buses to Zitácuaro every half hour all day. This ride takes about 3 hours. Then take a taxi to Macheros from the Zitácuaro terminal.
By Private Car
By car, we are a 4.5-5 hour drive away. Drive towards Celaya and on to Apaseo el Alto and then in the direction of Jerécuaro. Enter the state of Michoacán and drive on through Maravatio, Irimbo, Ciudad Hidalgo and Tuxpan. In Zitácuaro avoid downtown and stay straight on the bypass road that eventually leads to Mexico City. You’ll pass the back of the bus terminal and a grey PGR building on your right. When you see the Domino’s Pizza on your right, make a sharp right. Now you are on Revolucion, Zitácuaro’s main drag. You will pass a school and a Pemex on your right. Right after the Pemex you will see a roundabout with a statue of a woman with a basket on her head (La Mujer Mazahua). When you reach this fountain, make a left onto the road leaving town and follow the directions above about how to reach us from Zitácuaro.
There is a direct bus service connecting Macheros to Valle de Bravo. The bus leaves Macheros at 7:30 am and returns to Macheros from Valle at 4:50 pm. This local bus takes 1.5-2 hours and costs around 40 MXN each way.
To drive from Valle de Bravo to Macheros, drive to the town of Donato Guerra, where you will make a left (there will be a large church on your right). Continue on this road until you see the turn off the San Juan Xoconusco,, where you will make a right. Follow this pitted road past San Juan and past El Capulin. The road will turn sharply to head towards Zitacuaro: look for the turn off to Macheros. Drive under the arch that says Macheros and follow the road until you see the blue-steepled church on your right. Make a left and drive another half block to the B&B, the three-story white building on your right.