Nearest Airports

Mexico City / Morelia / Leon


$12,000 MX

“One of the first conditions of happiness is that the link between man and nature shall not be broken.”
—Leo Tolstoy

Sacred Monarch Migration Tour

Eco-Scientific Tour with Research Scientist Dr. Pablo Jaramillo


Join award winning scientist, Dr. Pablo F. Jaramillo López in a once in a lifetime scientific adventure. Hike through the Mexican Oyamel forests and find the colonies of millions of monarch butterflies that migrate from Canada and the US to their overwintering home in Mexico. 


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 wellbeing 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. 

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. 


Bus, Taxi & Pick-Up Transportation included during tour
Arrival/Departure costs to/from Jungapeo are not included. (Please ask for assistance)
Bilingual Guides speak English and Spanish
3 Star Accommodations Included at the beautiful Agua Blanca Resort
All Meals are included
All activities in itinerary are included with the exception of a massage or temazcal at Agua Blanca Resort.  If you would like to visit the Pueblo Magico town of Tlalpujahua on our free day, please contact us.  We can organize a tour and confirm price based on how many guests would like to go.


We are able to offer a couple and single supplement price for this tour, based on the rates at Agua Blanca Resort.



Tour Price: $21,000 MX Per Couple

                   $12,000  MX for Solo Travellers

Tour price is based on a minimum of 10 guests.  If we are able to attract 26 guests, your price will come down to as low as $9000 Pesos each /  $16,000 per couple.  If you are interested in this tour, please contact us and we will create a guest list.  Deposits are not required until we have a minimum guest list of 10.

Travels with a Research Scientist!

  • Enjoy an academic presentation by Dr. Pablo Jaramillo before visiting the Monarch colony

  • Taxi to Zitacuaro, where we will be transported by local indigenous friends to the reserve. 

  • Enjoy a 40-45 mins hike to a butterfly colony that lives in a private reserve, closed to the public.

  • Enjoy insights from Dr. Pablo Jaramillo about the butterfly colony and local environment

  • Relax in the thermal mineral pools of Agua Blanca resort

  • Book an optional massage 

  • Opt to partake in a Temazcal (indigenous sweat lodge

Travel in Comfort & Peace

  • We offer pick-up services for guests arriving from nearby Mexico City, Leon, Guanajuato, San Miguel de Allende, Morelia and Patzcuaro.
  • We offer flight assistance for guests arriving from Zacatecas, San Luis Potosi, Yucatan etc.
  • If you'd like to add on a few days of explorations before or after this experience, we can custom design a guided tour for you!  This can include Teotihuacan, Valle de Bravo, Taxco, Tepoztlan, Lake Patzcuaro region, San Miguel de Allende - etc.  We offer tours for guests vacationing in Zihuatanejo, Puerta Vallarta, La Manzanilla - etc.
  • We travel with a cooler and ice so guests can keep beverages cold

If you are interested in this tour, but cannot attend due to our dates, please contact Jennifer at to be added to our guest list for the 2020/2021 season!

Day One:

As we are offering this tour to both locals and foreigners from all over Mexico, we will arrange your transportation depending on your location. We can pick you up in San Miguel, Mexico City, Morelia, or other nearby locations. If you are in far-off regions of Mexico, Interjet and Aeromexico offer inexpensive flights into Mexico City and Toluca.


Upon arrival at Agua Blanca Resort, we will enjoy a lovely meal and evening bilingual presentation by Dr. Pablo Jaramillo Lopez, about the Monarch Butterflies and our roles and responsibilities for lowering our carbon footprint.


Please note: For those who arrive earlier in the day, the thermal mineral pools at the resort are serene and medicinal. These pools are closed after dark, drained and cleaned.


Agua Blanca Resort

Meals Included:

Lunch & Dinner

Day Two:

Dr. Pablo Jaramillo Lopez will lead us to a nearby village, where his friends will load us into pick-up trucks for an adventurous climb to the entrance of the forest. From there, we will hike upwards for about 35 mins. As the altitude is high, this will be easier for those who are in excellent physical condition – but it is not impossible for various age groups, including people who are overweight or who smoke*. Those of us who move slower will simply take more time to reach the colony in the forest.


Though this colony is small, we will have a more intimate experience and an unusual opportunity to learn about this colony first-hand, from a research scientist who has dedicated his life to the study of this phenomenal migration. Dr. Pablo Jaramillo Lopez is passionate about educating visitors about the harm being done to our natural habitats – while also offering us insight and sensible solutions as to how we may personally participate in the reduction of such damages to our environment.


The villagers who live here have invited our group for a special dinner in their village, where we will be invited into their homes as respectful guests. We will have a chance to learn about this amazing village of whom are mostly avocado farmers – as well as how they became a model village in the region for utilizing eco-friendly methods for harvesting water for their avocado plantations, which are among the first in Mexico to be grown organically. This is of great important for the health of the butterflies, and of course – for our own health too.


Following dinner, we will return to Agua Blanca Resort in Jungapeo.


Agua Blanca Resort

Meals Included:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day Three:

Agua Blanca Resort is a tranquil and tropical setting for unwinding and reflecting. Spend the day soaking in the thermal mineral pools, enjoying a massage, curling up with a good book in the garden, or enjoying new friends. This evening, you may choose to participate in a Temazcal – which is an indigenous sweat lodge. Following your sweat – you will drift off into deep and restful reveries.


Agua Blanca Resort

Meals Included:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day Four:

Today, we will depart Agua Blanca Resort following breakfast.

If you are interested in exploring nearby Pueblo Magico’s Tlalpujahua and El Oro, or extending your stay at this beautiful resort, please contact Jennifer at for information.



Meals Included:


Embark on an Adventure!

Explore With Us


To book your tour with Soul of Mexico Tours, please contact us directly at to reserve your seat.  We require a 50% deposit to confirm your reservation, with balance due in Mexican Pesos upon your arrival.  We accept all major credit cards, including American Express, and Paypal.

We do not charge booking fees unless you cancel your reservation.  This is in reference to the 3% processing fee we are charged for credit card processing.

Tours that are cancelled prior to three months before departure will be fully refunded, minus the 3% credit card processing fee.  

Deposits for tours that are cancelled within three months of departure will not be refunded unless we can find a guest to fill your spot.  This policy is due to reservations and rentals for transportation.

In the event that your plane is delayed due to inclement weather, we will make arrangements to catch you up with our group.

Photo Gallery

Please enjoy browsing through our photo gallery.  All photos in this gallery reflect this tour itinerary, though we cannot guarantee weather, random subjects or crowd volumes.  Please contact us if you have any questions!  

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