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Monarch butterfly tour

by Back2earth @, Sunday, December 05, 2021, 07:08 (169 days ago)

A summary of our recent trip (1-3 Dec) and guided tour to the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary. My wife and I departed Zihua at 7 a.m. on Wednesday with our guide Carlos Garcia and our first stop was in Uruapan at the National Park. Who would have thought that tremendous volume of water could come from what appears to be such a small source. From there it was onto Santa Clara del Cobre and a stop to see the Artisans at work and visit the Copper Museum. By 5 o’clock we arrived in Morelia and spent two nights at the lovely Hotel Casino in the heart of the old city across from the Cathedral.
Again we departed at 7 a.m. (early risers) for the El Rosario Sanctuary and arrived around 10:30 after a breakfast stop along the way. We took a horse from the entrance (which was an experience up the steep mountain trail) and arrived in a pasture with just a short walk left to reach the butterfly masses.
We departed Morelia on Friday morning at 9 a.m. and headed for a tour of the historic small towns around Lake Patzcuaro ending in Patz for lunch. Some of the towns toured included Tzintzuntzan, Santa Fe del Laguna and others and, there wasn’t enough time in one day to tour all of them. We arrived back in Zihua shortly after 5 p.m. with a list of places we would visit again.
I will finish by emphasizing that we couldn’t have asked for a better person to guide our tours than Carlos. He was a joy to spend time with, was incredibly patient and flexible with timings and provided great guided info at all the locations we visited. We would highly recommend him to anyone and he can be contacted at 755-114-2937. If you have any other questions about the tour itself please don’t hesitate to drop me an email.

Monarch butterfly tour

by Casa Juan @, Sunday, December 05, 2021, 07:47 (169 days ago) @ Back2earth

What was the butterfly situation like this season?

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Monarch butterfly tour

by Back2earth @, Sunday, December 05, 2021, 07:57 (169 days ago) @ Casa Juan
edited by Back2earth, Sunday, December 05, 2021, 08:23

There were large masses of butterflies in the trees at the location where we were taken at El Rosario. The area seems to be more protected against damage because there was a section cordoned off for observing.

Monarch butterfly tour

by Casa Juan @, Sunday, December 05, 2021, 10:00 (169 days ago) @ Back2earth

Muy bueno, how bad was the horseback ride? could a senior citizen with a not so great back handle the ride or would walking be a better option?

Monarch butterfly tour

by Altona Stu @, Altona, Manitoba, Sunday, December 05, 2021, 12:07 (169 days ago) @ Casa Juan

We did this trip with Carlos a few years ago and it was an incredible experience. http://www.zihuatanejo.net/tablero/index.php?id=112894

I, too, am a senior and was one at the time. I can't overstate how difficult the climb on foot would be. The ending elevation is about 10,000 ASL and the air is very thin. We took the horse up, thank God, and walked down and that was bad enough. My leg muscles were quivering by the time we got to the bottom.

The ride up was pretty smooth, actually.

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Monarch butterfly tour

by Back2earth @, Sunday, December 05, 2021, 13:17 (169 days ago) @ Casa Juan

The horseback ride was slow and easy so, for us seniors I would recommend it versus the long hike. It’s also pretty neat that the owner of the horse runs behind you holding onto the tail and has an extended set of reins for guiding the horse.

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Monarch butterfly tour

by jbmass ⌂ @, Mass,.. N.H...Zih., Monday, December 06, 2021, 13:16 (168 days ago) @ Back2earth

the ride up on a horse is fine I wouldn't want to walk it. the trip down on the horse is a little more difficult, I had a real hard time in some steep spots not going over the horse whithers, make sure the stirrups are comfortable for you.

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Monarch butterfly tour

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Monday, December 06, 2021, 13:41 (168 days ago) @ jbmass

the ride up on a horse is fine I wouldn't want to walk it. the trip down on the horse is a little more difficult, I had a real hard time in some steep spots not going over the horse whithers, make sure the stirrups are comfortable for you.

That's the problem with western saddles: you just sit on the horse instead of having to balance yourself atop them so your center of gravity shifts a lot more as the horse moves up or down an incline and your balance is harder to maintain, so many folks just hold onto the horn and lose their balance. I find English saddles superior to western saddles because of this, though it's a bit more exercise for you to learn how to balance yourself and use your knees more than your feet to maintain balance, but the lighter saddles also make it easier for the horse.

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Monarch butterfly tour

by Sunlight Dancer @, Sunday, December 05, 2021, 18:50 (168 days ago) @ Casa Juan

Although the final 2021 migration numbers have yet to be published, the monarch population appears to have increased this year. The efforts of thousands of everyday gardeners/farmers who plant milkweed and lay off pesticides have had a positive impact.

There are a number of tri-national (Canada, US, Mexico) organizations that collect sighting data from "citizen scientists". We're on the Eastern Flyway (US and Canada east of the Rocky Mountains) and those are the monarchs that overwinter in Mexico. I report the data from our monarch waystation garden on Journey North https://journeynorth.org/monarch/

If you want to help monarchs, plant milkweed. You can witness the miracle of their entire life cycle from eggs to larvae to chrysalis to adults without leaving your backyard. "If you plant it, they will come"!

Monarch butterfly tour

by nicatnit, Sunday, December 05, 2021, 09:18 (169 days ago) @ Back2earth

Thanks for the details of your trip. Sounds like you had a great time. Appreciate the contact information.