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Best Time to See the Monarchs in Mexico

Monarch butterfly tours

We offer trips to Michoacán to experience the amazing monarch butterflies.

People often ask me when is the best time to experience the Monarch butterfly reserves in Mexico. There is often some confusion about when they show up, when they are active, and when they migrate back to the USA.

Each year the weather and migrations vary, so there is no exact way to predict when they will be there and be active. Even one day of cold can keep them in the trees. But here are some general guidelines for when to go:

  • By mid to late December they have arrived and the reserves are open. It is sometimes possible to see them during November and the crowds of people are less during this time.
  • Prime time seems to be February. On warm days during February into early March, there are large numbers of butterflies aloft and they often move down the mountains following roads and open areas in search of water and nectar.
  • Sometimes monarchs will linger into the second to third week of March and the nice part of this time is that it is warmer and they are moving more
  • We often encourage a monarch reserve visit schedule that includes two nights and options to visit two reserves. This way cool or rainy weather one day might be followed by a nice day and a good chance to see the butterflies active.

You can call us on info on the season or perhaps follow the chatter about the reserves on the Monarch Watch site.

Monarch butterfly trip

Monarch butterflies are active in the Mexico reserves when the days warm up–best in mid December through early March.


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