Each autumn as many as a billion monarch butterflies from across the United States and Canada migrate south to the forests of central Mexico in one of the planet’s most spectacular animal migrations. Piedra Herrada Sanctuary is one of a few areas of the UNESCO-listed Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve open to the public.
Visitors trek into the forest on horseback before continuing on foot to a remote roost where monarchs are known to congregate. During butterfly season, the area’s fir trees are coated in an undulating blanket of orange and black wings, with occasional pockets of butterflies bursting into flight and filling the sky. As one of the biosphere reserve’s newer areas, Piedra Herrada Sanctuary sees fewer visitors, lending the experience a more isolated feel.
All visitors to Piedra Herrada Sanctuary must be accompanied by a guide.