The monarch butterflies arrived late this year but not because they were on Mexican time. They were delayed by bad weather on their journey south from the United States and Canada.
But there have been enough arrivals now that the monarch butterfly sanctuaries can open their doors to visitors in México state and Michoacán.
Weather conditions in northern Mexico delayed the arrival of the migratory insects to the forests where they spend the winter, but specialists expect that all the butterfly colonies will be set up for the season by late November.
The southern wintering forests are comprised mostly of oyamel fir trees located at 3,000 meters or more above sea level, where temperatures range between 0 and 10 C during the season.
Visitors will be able to tour the sanctuaries every day between 9:00am and 5:00pm on designated walking paths. Warm clothing and and comfortable shoes are advised, as well as an umbrella or raincoat.
The sanctuaries in Michoacán are El Rosario and El Asoladero in Melchor Ocampo; Senguio in the municipality of the same name; and Sierra Chincua in Angangueo.
In México state, tourists can visit the sanctuaries of Capulín and Macheros in Donato Guerra; La Mesa in San José del Rincón; and Piedra Herrada in San Mateo Almolola.
They will remain open until March 31. Visitors can also enjoy the region’s natural landscapes and the rich variety of food, along with the creations of its artisans.
The forests of México and Michoacán states also offer sustainable tourism activities like horseback riding, bicycle rentals and ziplining.
Visitors to the sanctuaries last season numbered 230,000 people, 40% more than those registered the previous five seasons.
Source: Milenio (sp)