"One of the first conditions of happiness is that the link between man and nature shall not be broken."

- Leo Tolstoy


Presented by Dr. Pablo Jaramillo Lopez 

Scholarly Exploration of Sierra Chincua Butterfly Reserve

Quick Info

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Feb 21-22, 2020
1 Nights/2 Days
12 Min / 26 Max
*Private van is return to Morelia


For those who need accommodations in Morelia, please contact us directly for recommendations.

Traveling from Lake Chapala, Zihuatanejo, San Miguel de Allende, Puerta Vallarta or via Mexico City Airport?  No Problem!  Please contact us for options and suggestions!

Cielo Cocino Dinner Presentation
$1200 MXN each
Eco-Science Monarch Butterfly Tour
$2800 (Based on 12-18 Guests)
$2400 (Based on 18-26 Guests)

Witness Mexico's sacred monarch butterfly migration 


Join us for  scholarly exploration and fundraiser for the Monarch Butterfly Migration with research scientist Dr. Pablo Jaramillo Lopez.  This is a rare opportunity to visit the monarch colony of Sierra Chincua with an academic who has personally conducted extensive research on the environmental impacts of this phenomenal migration, offering insight into what roles and responsibilities we can take in our own lives, to ensure the longevity of local monarch populations.

There are no educational billboards in the reserves, and though local guides are knowledgeable about a range of different subjects, Dr. Jaramillo Lopez has focused his life on the study of this specific species and migration.  You will leave this tour with an abundant wealth of information and fascinating insights.  

You do not need a background in science to benefit from this experience.  Dr. Pablo Jaramillo Lopez presents his information in clear, concise language that is easy to understand.



  • Presentation by Dr. Pablo Jaramillo Lopez at Cielo Cocina Fusion Restaurant - Morelia's #1 rated on Trip Advisor.  Enjoy a five course meal with vegetarian option.  

  • Entertainment by Gypsy Jazz Band Dusty Fingers

  • Opportunity to ask any and all questions you can think of, about the monarch butterflies, their environment, struggle, and migration

  • Day tour departing from Morelia at 7:30 AM on Sunday January 12 will be led by Dr. Pablo Jaramillo Lopez

  • Picnic lunch included

  • Engage in ethical eco-tourism - we will donate $3000 Pesos to a successful, hands-on charity that assists in stopping illegal logging practices in the reserve.  Additional contributions are welcome.


  • Please carry refillable water bottle & to-go mug (we will have water available in the van for refills)

  • Please pack out all garbage

  • Please exercise absolute silence once in the restricted area

  • No smoking or vaping in the nature reserve



  • Punctuality - crucial for fluid travel

  • Flexibility - always expect the unexpected

  • Participation - including one daily group photo

  • Consideration - please don't chit chat during presentations

  • Cooperation - the rules are made for all of us, including you

  • Respect - for local customs & protocols

  • Diplomacy - agree to disagree about politics & religion​

  • Confidence - know your limits 

Sierra Chincua Reserve January 12, 2020

The video below was filmed on January 12, 2020 at the Sierra Chincua Monarch Butterfly Reserve in the state of Michoacan, Mexico.  We invite you to join us for our February 21, 2020 Monarch Butterfly Experience!



Dr. Pablo Jaramillo Lopez is originally from Ecuador and has spent significant time in the three countries that host the monarch butterfly migration. Pablo studied English in the US in his youth, completed his doctorate in Canada, and now lives in Mexico with his Mexican wife and children. His multicultural background and lifelong passion for soil science give him a unique perspective on monarch butterfly biology and conservation. To understand the migration, we need more complete information about their relationship with the forests where they overwinter. And if we are to safeguard the health of the butterfly forest, local people must play a major role in its preservation.

Pablo studied agriculture in Ecuador before completing his doctorate in biology at the University of Western Ontario in Canada. His dissertation research focused on reusing human byproducts (organic residues) to create a soil amendment to improve soil conditions for agricultural and forestry applications. In Ontario, Dr. Jeremy McNeil introduced Pablo to the incredible monarch butterfly migration that originates there. Dr. McNeil encouraged Pablo to apply for a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Pablo´s postdoc led him to his current position in the department of agroecology at the Research Institute for Ecosystems and Sustainability at the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Morelia.

For several reasons Pablo´s postdoctoral project was a turning point in his life. The project focused on improving the soil ecosystem for more efficient reforestation practices in the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve. In the process, Pablo collaborated with an indigenous community that lives inside the Reserve. Through the project, 94% seedling survival rates were achieved, and the forest ecosystem was restored in just four years. Pablo learned that collaborating with local communities and promoting their well being is the only way to effectively conserve the forest ecosystem that monarchs choose as their overwintering grounds. This project earned Pablo the 2014 Pollinator Advocate Award which has encouraged to continue finding ways to conserve the forests that host monarch butterflies during the winter.  Pablo has also collaborated with American Entomologist Dr. Lincoln Brower (Sept 10, 1931 - July 17, 2018), who became famous for his important studies of the monarch butterflies, including their automimicry, chemical ecology and what could be done to assist their conservation.

Visiting the monarch butterfly overwintering colonies with Pablo promises to be a wonderful experience not only focused on learning more about these incredible insects but also to see how all of us can help conserve and protect these iconic winged creatures. 


Day One – Friday February 21, 2020


This evening, we will enjoy an educational and visual presentation by Dr. Jaramillo Lopez at Cielo Cocina Fusion in Morelia. This presentation will be followed by dinner and casual question period, while we enjoy a satisfying five course meal by Chef Eddie Alvarez and his hard-working and talented team. (Vegetarian meal option included).


Musical entertainment by Gypsy Jazz Band Dusty Fingers.

MENU:  Please check back!  We will post the menu as soon as Eddie and his team have prepared it.  If you have any food allergies or preferences, please let us know.  Veggie options are available.

Day Two – Saturday 22, 2020


We will depart by 8:30 AM for arrival at the Sierra Chincua reserve around Noon. Dr. Pablo Jaramillo Lopez will lead our group to the colony, where we will enjoy more fascinating facts about indigenous plants, trees, soil and the general health of the butterfly habitat.


We cannot control the weather, so please be warned that cold temperatures mean less activity. Please bring rain gear and sturdy hiking shoes. If you would prefer to horseback ride, you may ride for an extra fee.


The Sierra Chincua reserve is a natural habitat, unlike El Rosario reserve, which has been heavily altered and developed to accommodate mass crowds. One of the reasons we come to Sierra Chincua reserve is due to the efforts of the local caretakers to keep the habitat in a more natural state.


We will depart Sierra Chincua Reserve in the late afternoon following an elegant charcuterie picnic at the entrance of the park, arriving back in Morelia around supper time.


Fresh baguette, crackers, Italian salami's, tuna atun, cured salmon, smoked oysters, aged farmhouse cheddar, Mennonite cheese, soft cheeses, gorgonzola, dried figs, olives, mixed nuts.  Please bring wine or beer for lunch.  We will have reusable glasses and dishes for your use, and three coolers filled with ice.  


Please let us know of any allergies or food specifics when you book your tour.



There are many thoughtful ways we can all assist the butterflies, through our everyday decisions.  How we eat and where we source our food is significant.  Dr. Pablo Jaramillo Lopez will cover many fascinating subjects during his presentation.  It is challenging for scientists to get government funding for their research.  If you would like to make a donation to Dr. Pablo Jaramillo Lopez's scientific research, please contact us for more details.



Ellen and Joel of JM Butterfly have started an NGO called Butterflies and Their People.  This is an amazing initiative that has been successful enough for them to hire their fifth Forest Guardian this year.  The concept involves creating ecologically sound and ethical employment within the reserves, where the locals live, to provide employment that not only reduces illegal logging practices, but works as an educational model for those who had never considered the environment a way to earn a living prior.  Please follow the link for more information and to contact the NGO directly for donations.  


One way to help promote better habitats for the Monarch Butterflies is to share your experience with others considering joinging our tour-fundraiser.  The following testimonials are from our January 11/12 2020  Eco-Science Monarch Fundraiser 


If you are travelling from elsewhere and would like assistance booking your room in Morelia, please contact us for this complimentary service.

Meals – 2 Meals included


Cielo Cocina Fusion Restaurant - 6 Course Meal

1 Picinic Lunch

Water (Please bring refillable bottle)


All van transport from Morelia (return)

Assistance with return transportation from your location is available, but not included in the price.  If there are a number of you in one location, we will quote you based on cost sharing.


Sights & Activities

Evening Presentation & question period with PHD Research Scientist

Music Entertainment by Gypsy Jazz Band Dusty Fingers

Scientist led eco-tour to Sierra Chincua Monarch Butterfly Reserve

Eco-Science Donations

Soul of Mexico Tours will donate a portion of profits to the Butterflies and their People NGO

with other proceeds going to Dr. Pablo Jaramillo Lopez for his continued research.  We will announce how much we raised upon completion of the tour!  Our Jan 11/12, 2020 tour raised $9500 MXN - and we hope to double this.  If you would like to make a private donation, please contact us!



To secure your reservation, we require a 25 % non-refundable deposit.

We require the balance 3 months prior to departure.

Please download, print, read and bring Waiver with you.  All waivers must be signed before our tour begins.


If you cancel 2 months prior to our departure, we will retain 50% of the total cost.

If your cancellation falls within the 2 months prior to our departure, we will retain 100% of the total cost minus hotels that allow us last-minute cancellation, minus cost of activities that are covered on a per/person basis (such as a gondola ride, museum entrance fee, dinner party*, etc) This will vary, depending on the tour

* Most breakfasts on our inclusions list are part of your hotel reservation. If we cannot secure a refund from the hotel, we cannot refund the meal



Please send this to your emergency contact person, in case they need to reach you.

Jennifer Bjarnason

Mexican Cell +52 443 639 2782 (Oct - Apr)

Canadian Cell 001 778 585 1882 (Apr - Oct)

Whatsapp: 001 778 585 1882 (Year Round)

Email: info@soulofmexicotours.com


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