Monarch Odyssey follows the Monarch Butterfly migration from Canada and the United States to the oyamel pine forests of central Mexico. The Monarchs arrive at the end of October and coincide with the Day of the Dead celebration in the state of Michoacán. The locals believe the Monarchs are the souls of their ancestors returning for this magical celebration of life and death.
Monarch Odyssey joins the celebration of Day of the Dead and we observe and participate in the ancient traditions that are still observed along with the modern day traditions that have evolved in this colorful event. Day of the Dead celebrates the arrival of the Monarch Butterflies to thier winter home in the pine forests of the state of Michoacán. The Monarchs are at their peak in January and February after the arrival of millions of migrators that gather in huge colonies that can be observed at the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve.
Join us to observe and reflect on one of the worlds greatest migrations. There are several locations in the states of Michoacán and Mexíco that we visit. Along the way we celebrate and explore Mexican culture, food and her people at Pueblos Magicos, ancient pyramids and centuries-old haciendas.
Monarch Odyssey is based in the rich agricultural state of Michoacán, named, like the state of Michigan, for the many lakes that dot its landscape. Michoacán is known as the breadbasket of Mexico because of its fertile land. It is also known as the “Soul of Mexico” because it is the source of so much indigenous and colonial tradition.
The capitol of Michoacán is Morelia. Our program highlights the natural beauty and cultural history of the region surrounding this city. In 1991 Morelia was designated by the United Nations as a World Heritage site because of its historical and architectural riches. Morelia is truly a gem among Mexican cities.
Forty-five minutes northeast of Morelia is the town of Zinapécuaro. Before the Spaniards arrived, Zinapécuaro was the location of the temple to the mother goddess of the Tarascan Indians. More recently it is known for its numerous hot springs and picnic spots.
The time is now to experience the Monarch Biosphere Reserves in the mountains of central Mexico. We'll be offering 7-day tours throughout the peak of the Monarch migration.
Encounter millions of Monarch butterflies suspended on the limbs of oyamel pine trees and experience the magnificent biodiversity unique to our hemisphere in the mountains of central Mexico.