Monarchs in Mexico – February 13-17, 2014
AN EXCLUSIVE TRIP HOSTED BY AMERICAN FORESTS
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2014 – MONDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2014
Join us on a once-in-a-lifetime study mission to witness one of nature’s most breathtaking phenomena: monarch butterflies overwintering in the highlands of Michoacán, México. See thousands of monarch butterflies fluttering in the branches of sacred fir and white pine trees and weighing branches down with their staggering numbers.
American Forests and La Cruz Habitat Protection Project have worked together for almost a decade to reforest this precious habitat critical to the monarch, planting nearly one million native trees. As a member of our study mission, you will experience one of nature’s most remarkable events and learn about this invaluable ecosystem and remarkable habitat restoration project from our tour leaders, including the director of the La Cruz project and American Forests’ CEO and director of forest restoration.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2014 – DAY 1
On day one, arrive at Morelia International Airport, Mexico, and be greeted by a member of our team who will drive you and the other members of our adventure in a private motor coach to the new and beautiful Mansión de San Antonio Hotel in Tlalpujahua. Upon arrival, our guests will have time to check-in and relax. Later that evening, we will toast our arrival with a private welcome reception, followed by a wonderful, traditional Mexican dinner prepared by the hotel’s master chef.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2014 – DAY 2
Happy Valentine’s Day! Wake up in our romantic hotel and get prepared to feel butterflies all over again with that special someone. Following breakfast, we will explore the Sierra Chincua Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary, where we will receive a personal orientation before heading off on a two-mile hike to the trees housing the wintering monarchs. After spending a couple hours experiencing the monarch habitat, we will hike back to the Chincua Sanctuary, where we will be served a Mexican picnic lunch. You may also choose to spend this time browsing through some of the local shops, where the owners have various handmade crafts available, to help remember this day with the monarchs. Next up, we will tour the tree nursery located at the sanctuary and learn about the sanctuary’s efforts to protect the delicate butterflies’ winter homes against a relatively recent invasive species of beetle that is slowly killing trees in this habitat. Upon arriving back at the hotel, take some time to relax before cocktail hour, which will be followed by a special Valentine’s Day dinner in the hotel. During dessert, we will hear from the executive director of the La Cruz Habitat Protection Project about the ongoing restoration efforts with the sanctuary.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2014 – DAY 3
Welcome to a day dedicated to celebrating Mexican culture and the monarch butterfly! Today, we will pass through several small villages, where we will get a glimpse into the lives of the local people. Our destination is the Estanzuela Ceramic Studio, a beautiful professional pottery facility, where we will receive a demonstration on how this Mexican pottery is formed, hand-painted and fired. Following the demonstration, you’ll have time to browse and purchase pieces of this wonderful local pottery. During the monarch wintering season, many of the studio’s works are delicately hand-painted with monarch butterflies. When this tour concludes, we will spread beautifully woven Mexican blankets on the lawn of the studio and have a relaxing picnic lunch. Next, we will tour the ancient city of Tlalpujahua on foot, seeing how locals celebrate the arrival of their annual monarch visitors and honor them with art, food and festivities. The day will conclude with a traditional Mexican feast and entertainment.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2014 – DAY 4
Today, we will visit a very special tree nursery that provides trees for our habitat restoration efforts and learn more about the process for collecting seeds, growing native seedlings and American Forests’ efforts to protect this precious habitat. In the afternoon, we will head to the El Rosario Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary, spending several hours hiking the mountainside and watching monarchs as they swarm from one landscape to the next. Later in the day, we will return to our hotel, celebrate our time with the monarchs and say farewell to the new friends we have made on the trip.
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2014 – DAY 5
Sadly, our time with the monarchs and the Mexican people comes to an end today, as we have breakfast and take our private coach back to Morelia, where we will catch our flights home.
TRIP PRICING AND OTHER DETAILS
The total cost for this trip is $1,500 excluding airfare. If you would like to participate, please complete and return the RSVP form with your non-refundable deposit of $750.00 by December 31, 2013. Payment in full is required by January 31, 2014. This trip is sold on a first-come, first-serve basis and is limited to just 26 participants.
- Four nights of accommodation at the Mansión de San Antonio Hotel in Tlalpujahua
- Private ground transportation for the group to/from Morelia International Airport, Mexico, and all scheduled events
- Private motor coach to be used to and from all destinations during the trip
- Scheduled meals for the duration of the trip
- Open bar during evening receptions and dinners
- Entrance and activity fees
- Tips for meals and guides
- This trip is limited to just 26 guests in double occupancy rooms. Single guests are certainly welcome, but a higher rate will be calculated.
- This trip is open to American Forests members and their guests.
- This trip is not recommended for people with diagnosed heart problems since it takes place at very high altitudes.
To sign up for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, download a PDF of our RSVP form by clicking here and return it to Matthew Boyer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1220 L Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20005. To secure your spot over the phone, call Matthew Boyer at 202-737-1944.