When you take a tour with us, you’re helping us to provide work for people throughout the year, not just during the short butterfly season. All tours begin with an orientation session to give you a brief overview of monarch biology, area history and conservation challenges, as well as an opportunity to meet your fellow monarch enthusiasts. We take care of the logistics, carrying a picnic lunch for you and helping with your horse. You are accompanied by one (or more, depending on the size of your group) of our experienced and attentive English-speaking guides.
Our tours have been featured on the San Antonio News (twice), the BBC, Belgian PBS, the AP Wire and in the documentaries Pursuing the Monarchs, The Guardians and the forthcoming Monarch Ultra.
This is the sanctuary that is closest to our village and closest to our hearts. Joel’s brother Patricio, along with the forest guardians from our non-profit, patrol this mountain every day, so we always have up-to-the minute information on monarch activity there. Cerro Pelón is where scientists first confirmed that the butterflies that left Canada every year were the same ones that overwintered in the oyamel fir tree forests of the Sierra Madres. It is also, according to many butterfly enthusiasts and the Lonely Planet, the loveliest and least touristy of Mexico’s butterfly roosts. Cerro Pelón tours usually involve an hour-long horse ride on half level and half steep mountain trail. Sometimes there is a bit of a hike after we dismount. Apart from the workers present protecting the colony, your group is likely to be alone on the mountain. If you only have time to see one sanctuary, see Cerro Pelón. Tour price of $100 USD per adult includes entry fee, horse rental, bag lunch, and a bilingual guide. Kids under 18 are $80 USD each.
We look forward to working with you to make sure you have a memorable experience
Available November 20-March 15
After Cerro Pelon, we recommend a visit to the completely different but equally impressive El Rosario. Unlike the unmarked trail that winds up the mountain on Cerro Pelon, here you’ll find numerous souvenir stalls, large tour groups, concrete steps, and interpretive signs, as well as bountiful butterflies. El Rosario is a two-hour-long drive from our B&B. Tour price of $100 USD each includes transportation, entry fee, horse rental (if desired), bag lunch and an English-speaking guide. Children under 18 are $80 USD each.
Available November 20-March 15
The trail to the usually smaller Sierra Chincua colony is usually not as steep or long as the one to Cerro Pelon. Most of the ascent is done in car on a scenic mountain road. The trail leading to the butterflies is usually a 30-45 minute walk each way, and horses can be taken part of the way. Unlike the varied foliage on Cerro Pelon, the trees here are almost all oyamel fir trees, making for uniformly dark green vistas. Tour price of $100 USD per person includes transportation (2 hours each way from our place), entry fee, bag lunch, horse rental (if desired), and an English-speaking guide. Children under 18 are $80 USD each.
Most of our visitors come from mid-November until mid-March when the butterflies are with us. But Macheros offers activities that can be enjoyed year-round if you appreciate fresh air, scenic mountain vistas, horseback riding, hiking, birdwatching, dark night skies, or relatively technology-free peace and quiet.
This activity was created to allow families not directly involved with the butterflies to benefit from tourism as well. We take a stroll with us around the village of Macheros to visit people’s houses and see the kinds of home industries they’ve organized to make a living. Stops can include Karen and Enrique’s backyard piñata factory, Adela’s cozy kitchen and tortilla business, Basilia’s handmade pine straw baskets with butterfly designs, and Mariana’s herbal health tonic/moonshine side business. Avocado orchards or sheepherding can be included on request. Tours includes four households, begins at 4:00 pm and involve some walking. Waterproof footwear with good traction is recommended. We need at least 24 hours notice to organize this activity. $50 USD per adult and $35 usd for kids under 18 includes simultaneous translation by a bilingual guide and compensation for participating families.