Every winter in November, millions of Monarch Butterflies come from Canada and the USA to a small remote mountainous area of Mexico and leave again in March. This is an amazing 3000 kilometer migration taking 3 generations to complete.
Ellen from JM’s Butterfly B&B picked us up at Zitácuaro and drove us to Macheros , a little village of 400 people at an altitude of 2400 meters at the base of Cerro Pelon, one of the Monarch’s resting places.
When we arrived, the floor of our room was smothered in rose petals and candles. Everyone looked surprised – could we really be the honeymoon couple? No, they came the next day and were a bit younger. The trout for dinner at the family’s restuarant next door was fresh – so fresh it had to be caught first! Cooked on a wood fire, it was smoky and delicious.
The Monarchs at Cerro Pelon are clustered in 50 trees at 3000 meters, 6 kilometers and 600 meters uphill from Macheros. We did it the easy way – rode horses up and walked back down. Joel, our guide and owner of JM’s Butterfly B&B, has walked these mountains since he was a boy, seen the butterflies hundreds of times, and still gets excited. Nothing could prepare us for the sight of millions of butterflies dragging down the branches of the trees; then suddenly taking flight as the sun warmed them. It was such a wonderful experience and only 5 tourists there. 2 hours went by in an instant before we reluctantly headed back.