Reed Travel Features
RED SPRINGS, N.C. -- Millions of migrating Monarch butterflies
and the colonial locales of Mexico are highlights of a program
created by Steppingstone Environmental Education Tours.
The firm scheduled six departure dates of its Migrating Monarchs
and Colonial City Charm tour, all timed to coincide with the annual
migration of Monarch butterflies from Canada and the U.S. to
The tour takes in the Butterfly Sanctuary of El Rosario, then
heads to Morelia, Santa Clara del Cobre, Patzcuaro and Tlalpujahua.
Participants spend the first night in Mexico City, where they
receive an orientation lecture on the Monarch butterflies before
traveling to the town of Angangueo, the launching point for trips
into El Rosario.
The butterfly sanctuary is the breeding ground for an estimated
100 million Monarch butterflies that arrive around the end of
October and depart in April for the long migration back to the U.S.
The program spends a day exploring the trails of the sanctuary,
where the Monarchs cover the sky and trees. The forested region
also is a natural habitat for wildlife such as coyote, deer, fox
and many species of birds. After spending a night in Angangueo, the
tour continues to various colonial cities and towns in the
Highlights include Morelia, the capital of Michoacan state. The
city overlooks the valley of Guayangareo, famous for its baroque
and neoclassic architecture.
The itinerary features the village of Patzcuaro, where several
colonial buildings from the 16th century stand. The town, set on
Lake Patzcuaro, is known for its mysterious death traditions,
cobblestone streets and tiny alleyways.
From Patzcuaro, participants will visit Santa Clara del Cobre,
which is filled with workshops and stores displaying copper art and
handicrafts. Also featured is an excursion to Janitzio, one of the
islands in Lake Patzcuaro that features native craft and a fishing
village. Before returning to Mexico, the itinerary includes a stop
in the old mining town of Tlalpujahua.
The land-only cost of the program is $990 per person, double,
and covers accommodations, most meals, ground transportation,
transfers, entry fees and the services of guides. Departures are
scheduled for Jan. 14 and 24, Feb. 7 and 21 and March 7 and 21.
Guided departures, with a minimum of four passengers, are available
any Saturday during the course of the Monarch butterfly migration
The special departures carry an additional cost. All trips are
limited to 14 participants. For additional details or to make
reservations, call (800) 874-8784. Information can be obtained by
visiting the firm's Web site at