Monarch Butterflies - Sierra Chincua - M

November - March

Accommodations are separate

Tour Price:  $4,200 MXN Each

Group Size:  12-16 Guests

Age Group:  All Ages



Morelia to Sierra Chincua, Michoacan

Dr. Pablo Jaramillo Lopez.jpg




Custom book this tour for your group


Join Soul of Mexico Tours and award winning scientist Dr. Pablo F Jaramillo Lopez for a once in a lifetime eco-science adventure. Hike through the Mexican Oyamel forests of Sierra Chincua Biosphere to visit the colonies of millions of monarch butterflies whose phenomenal migration between Canada, the US and Mexico has inspired and intrigued scientists for decades.

Dr. Jaramillo studied agriculture in his native country of 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 Dr. Jaramillo to the incredible monarch butterfly migration that originates there. Dr. McNeil encouraged Dr. Jaramillo to apply for a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Dr. Jaramillo’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, Michoacan.

Having worked with late etymologist, Dr. Lincoln Brower, who made the monarch butterfly migration known worldwide, Dr. Jaramillo has a unique perspective on monarch butterfly biology and conservation. His philosophy is that the local people must be educated about the relationship between the monarchs and the forest where they live, as a means for safeguarding the health of the butterfly forest, which has been threatened by illegal logging. Dr. Jaramillo’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. During the process, Dr. Jaramillo 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. 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, as it has curbed deforestation and rendered new economic means for former loggers. This project earned Dr. Jaramillo the 2014 Pollinator Advocate Award which has encouraged local efforts to continue finding ways to conserve the forests that host monarch butterflies during the winter.

Visiting the monarch butterfly overwintering colonies with Dr. Jaramillo is 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.

This fundraiser will help Dr. Jaramillo fund his research. A small portion will also be donated to Butterflies & their People.

Monarch Butterflies - Sierra Chincua - M

Tour Overview




Day One:  Morelia

Arrive in Morelia - Attend Dinner Presentation


Day Two:  Morelia

Scientist-led tour to Sierra Chincua Monarch Biosphere 


Day Three: Home

Champagne Brunch & Departure


Copper Water Bottles

We have handmade copper water bottles from

Santa Clara del Cobre available.  Please order ahead of time.  While some claim these are medicinal, there is no evidence to suggest that drinking from a copper water bottle is beneficial.  We simply love to support local artists.   


$700 MXN - 700 ML

$850 MXN - 900 ML



Arrive in Morelia and enjoy free time in the UNESCO historical centre of the "Aristocrat of Colonial Cities."  If you would like to book a walking tour of the historial centre, please confirm with us prior to arriving so we may make arrangements and offer you a price quote.


Due to Covid-19 Restrictions, our dinner presentation at Morelia's top rated Cielo Cocino Fusion will begin at 4:30 PM.  Dr. Pablo Jaramillo Lopez will offer a fascinating visual presentation followed by discussion.  Dinner will follow the presentation.


Our set-menu will be announced shortly.  Please contact us if you have allergies, or are vegetarian/vegan. 

Presentation/Lecture:  4:30 PM

Dinner Time: 5:30PM

Dinner and Presentation are included

Beverages & tips are Separate

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Cielo Cocina Fusion


This morning we will meet for breakfast by 7:30 AM. We ask that guests be ready to depart immediately.  We are booking a bus for 42 guests so we can have seats between us.  Please bring a warm jacket & toque, as we will have all of the windows open.  Upon boarding the bus, we will take your temperature and hand out sanitizer surface wipes for your own sense of safety, as well as hand sanitizer.  Face masks must cover the mouth and nose, and are mandatory for the full duration of the tour (with the exception of eating).  


The commute to the Monarch Reserve is approximately 3.5 hours.  Upon arrival at the reserve, you can opt to walk through the forest to the butterflies, or horseback ride.

Breakfast Time: 7:30 AM

Tour Duration: 8:30 AM – 6:30 PM

Dinner Time: TBA

Transportation, Entrance Fees, Guided Tour & Charcuterie Picnic is included

Breakfast & Dinner are Separate

Horseback Riding is $100 MXN each way

Monarch Butterflies - Sierra Chincua - M



Our charcuterie picnic will be served in the Sierra Chincua Reserve following your visit to the sanctuary.  Our picnic includes:





Smoked Salmon

Smoked Oysters

Dried Figs

Mixed Nuts

Olive Tapenade

We provide reusable picnicware, glasses & water

Please feel free to bring beer or wine for the cooler

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Monarch Butterflies - Sierra Chincua - M
P'urepeecha Fountain - Morelia Michoacan


This morning we will meet in the lobby by 9:00 AM for a leisurely champagne breakfast. Depart Morelia following breakfast.

We hope you have enjoyed this educational fundraiser, and will join us for future experiences!

Breakfast Time: 9:00 AM

Champagne Breakfast is not included

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Dinner at Cielo Cocina Fusion, Morelia

Charcuterie Picnic at Sierra Chincua Reserve

Meals do not include beverages


Return transportation to Cielo Cocina Fusion Included

Bus for Sierra Chincua Reserve 

departs Morelia at 8:30 AM, returning at 6:30 PM


Presentation by Dr. Jaramillo Lopez

Entrance Fees to Sierra Chincua Reserve

Guided tour by Dr. Jaramillo Lopez to Butterfly Sanctuary

*Please Note:  As not all guests will ride horses, we do not include horseback riding in your price.  The cost for horseback riding is approximately $100 MXN ($5 US) each way.



Travel Insurance, Medical Insurance & Suggestions 


Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, we are confident guests will be sure to purchase travel insurance.  Please check with your insurance company to ensure you are aware of what you are covered for.

To reserve your tour, we require a 50% deposit for confirmation.

Cancellations within 30 days of tour start-date are non-refundable.

Please Note:  As this tour departs on February 23, deposits are non-refundable

unless we are forced to cancel due to Covid-19 Restrictions


Medical insurance is crucial for travel.  Some guests have been wary of sharing contact information for their insurance provider with us.  If that is the case, please leave this information with a trusted friend or family member we can reach in the case of an emergency.

We require emergency contact information for all guests


As the monarch butterflies move throughout the season, we are never sure how far the hike will be.  The furthest distance can take up to 40 mins, unless horseback riding.  If you horseback ride, you will still need to walk for about 20 mins.  We like to warn guests that the altitude is very high (11,000 feet above sea level).  If you suffer from COPD, Asthma or have had altitude sickness, please discuss this tour with your doctor prior to reserving.




Travel with 2 pairs of comfortable shoes

Bring sunblock

Carry a refillable water bottle 

(or purchase a handmade copper water bottle from us)

Bring two ATM cards in case one gets lost

Pack wet-wipes to refresh face or hands

Pack sanitation wipes if concerned about germs

Bring a brimmed hat that won't blow off in the wind

Pack sunglasses

Dress in comfortable layers

Bring a small backpack for day tour

Remember to charge your camera batteries

If you are using your smart phone for video, try the slow-motion feature

Be sure to give our contact information to your family

in case they need to reach you in an emergency

Soul of Mexico Tours

Whatsapp/Cell:  +52 443 639 2782


Monarch Butterflies - Sierra Chincua - M