"The 8th Wonder of the World: The Monarch Migration" chanceychelsey's Profile

Our Purpose

This is the first trip south my husband and I have taken together, and having travelled to Acapulco three years ago with some co-workers, I thought my husband would enjoy the experience of Acapulco as well. Since I have been obsessively interested in the Monarch's over the last couple of years, we thought we would travel for two weeks and visit the migration spot while we were in Mexico.
Our travel company provided a tour representative in Acapulco, and after one week, and several phone calls made by her to her relatives, she found out where the migration site was, and how we should go about getting there.

The Adventure

We started our "adventure" on the evening of Wednesday, February 7th, 2007, and took a taxi to the Estrella Blanca Bus Terminal in Acapulco. We arrived an hour early, as we were told to do, and found out that there was only one seat left on the bus, not two. We purchased our tickets for the next night, and took a taxi back to the hotel. (The cost per person was MX $588, and the bus leaves the terminal every night at 2100hrs.)
Thursday evening we boarded the bus for Morelia, which would be a 10 hour ride, via Mexico City, where it does not make a stop.
We arrived in Morelia at 7am the morning of the 9th, thinking that we must be near the migration site. (Not the case) We found someone who spoke a little English, and were advised that we had to take another bus to Zitacuaro, which would take 3 hours, and the cost would be MX $80. each.

White knuckle ride

We caught the bus to Zitacuaro at 7:30am, so at least we didn't have to wait too long. The bus driver was "nuts". He was driving at speeds which were way too fast on those winding mountain roads. On several occasions we questioned whether or not we would arrive alive, the whole time seeing these crosses "all" along the side of the road where people had been killed. We did survive, and arrived in Zitacuaro at 10:30. Are we there yet? Close, but not quite. One more bus, one more hour. We got this small bus to Angangueo, and after numerous stops, arrived in town around noon. (The cost for this bus was minimal)

A place to have a nap

We found the hotel we decided to stay in. The information from "this" web site had suggested getting a room with a fireplace in it, but my cheap husband did not want to pay $70 U.S., so instead we paid $24 U.S. and were extremely cold. The bed had 5 or 6 blankets on it, but only covered the bed, and did not hang down the sides. So, whenever one of us rolled over, the other one lost the blankets. After our afternoon nap, we re-made the bed, putting the blankets sideways, and staggering them up the bed. This made for a much better sleep during the night.

Happy 50th Birthday !

The Saturday morning, February 10th was my husbands 50th birthday. I don''t think he will ever forget it !!!!!!! He turned the shower on, and thinking the water would warm up, jumped right on in!! It "DID NOT" warm up. :-) The screaming from the shower was all I needed to realize I, would not, be having a shower!!
At 8:20 we boarded the bus, which we caught up the hill from the hotel, on the opposite side of the street. This ride took about an hour, slowly winding it's way up the mountain side.
(You won't need to worry about a wake up call, the Church bells will chime at 6 am!)

El Rosario Sanctuary Mariposa Monarca

We arrived at the base of the mountain at about 9:30am. The price for admission was MX $35. each.
Since the Monarch's return to the same general spot every year, the majority of the climb is on poured concrete steps, but don't start thinking that will make the climb any easier!!
Since the elevation is so high, and the air is very thin, and not being in the greatest shape, but far from bad shape, this climb was extremely difficult. I found that for about every 10-20 steps, I would have to stop for 5 minutes, to catch my breath. We climbed for about an hour when the land finally levelled off.

More spectacular than you would ever think !

We continued to walk for a couple of minutes, rounded a bend, and just like you've seen in pictures, Monarch's by the millions, hanging in clumps in the trees. What a spectacular sight. It looked like wads of moss just hanging there. When the sun would come out from behind a cloud, they would all start flying about. Some would come down to "puddle" on the path, and to my disappointment, several disrespectful humans, would walk about, without looking, and step right on them. There was a group of children who found it fascinating to "play" with natures incredible creatures. Try not to go on a weekend.
The day was cloudy on and off, so I figure we probably saw about 10% of the Monarch's active. I cannot begin to imagine how awesome it would have been if they'd all been active at the same time.

The trip back :-(

We caught the bus back down the mountain, and on the way down, it began to hail and snow! We gathered our luggage from the hotel (the owner allowed us to leave it there) We caught the bus back to Zitacuaro, and then the bus back to Morelia. We got tickets for the bus to Acapulco that night, which left at 2300 hours, and had three hours to fill. No English on their end, no Spanish on ours, we managed to miss the bus, as we had staked out the wrong bus bay. hmmmm. Over night in Morelia, try to fill the day as best we can, and wait for 2300 hours to roll around again. We get on the bus, which on the return trip, stops every hour or so, to fill the radiator with water, so we do not overheat. We arrived back in Acapulco at 9 am, exhausted. We got back to the hotel, changed and back out onto the beach.


We hope you enjoyed our adventure, as much as we did!

  • Intro Updated Sep 13, 2008
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Comments (4)

  • Arial_27's Profile Photo
    Sep 2, 2009 at 6:38 AM

    Hey, I just noticed we're from the same hometown! I grew up in Tottenham, and still miss it a lot. :)

  • timshghal's Profile Photo
    Mar 18, 2008 at 9:23 PM

    Hi Sharon happy birthday to you and wish you enjoy all ur time,,,, mohamed

  • myrnaserhal's Profile Photo
    Mar 4, 2007 at 2:52 PM

    I enjoyed ur adventure as much as you 'cause God gave you the gift of writing. You made me laugh tonight reading your misadventures. My husband would have killed me... Welcome to Vt, and happy 50th anniversary. You surely celebrated it the right way;)

  • imran8852's Profile Photo
    Mar 4, 2007 at 10:06 AM

    Hi Sharon, Let Us Be The First One To Welcome You To VT.

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Sharon Burkhard
Tottenham, Canada
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