Piedra Herrada Sanctuary
Piedra Herrada Sanctuary
4.5
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A sanctuary for viewing Monarch Butterflies in central Mexico.
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles324 reviews
Excellent
206
Very good
78
Average
19
Poor
13
Terrible
8

Adam and Becki
Lynnwood, WA220 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Couples
This was an amazing experience. We did the hike with a guide and were amazed at all of the monarchs we saw at the top. There are thousands of them! A couple of notes, it’s uphill so if you’re going to go, you should be in decent shape. Guides leave every 30 minutes and you go as fast as the slowest person in the group, so if you’re a fast hiker, be prepared to wait a lot. They don’t want to disturb the monarchs, so you can’t get super close to them. Bring binoculars or a zoom lens. It’s 50 pesos to park, 100 pesos to go. Super cheap and easily worth it. The guides only speak Spanish, so knowing some is helpful, but you can see the butterflies regardless and look up information later if you need to. None of these things should stop you from going! The best times are November to March.
Written 21 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Charles B
Oxford, UK477 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023 • Couples
We were switched to Piedra Herada as it was not safe to visit Michoacán State where the best locations are. The butterfly population (16 February) was modest and you don't see any trees dripping with monarchs like in the publicity shots.
Written 19 May 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Laurie L
Boston, MA66 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2023
We went on a warm, sunny day and were pleased to see millions of butterflies, both in the trees and flying around. We hired a driver to take us from Mexico City to Piedra Herrada. It took about 2 hours. We were a group of 4 seniors and chose to hike up. The path is excellent. The altitude made it challenging so we took it slowly. To go by horse costs 300 pesos and looked very nice. We went with a guide to see the butterflies. They don't charge but rely on tips. The guide was a young girl, 15, who only spoke Spanish.
It is important to go on a warm, sunny day. If it is not sunny the butterflies will remain in the trees. The best time to arrive is between 10-2pm, as it is more likely to be sunny then.
Written 20 January 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Christine S
Emiliano Zapata, Mexico4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2022 • Family
This is a magical journey!!! Definitely worth the effort. That brings said... the hike up is pretty steep the entire time up. It is worth the 300 pesos for a house ride up there. There is an escort the entire time with you on the horse. The horses can only take you to the sanctuary, you will still need to hike/ climb the 15 minutes to the top to see the butterflies.

I had my 11 month baby attached to be in a baby sling the entire time. It is doable to take your baby, but as I mentioned it is a steep incline walking for about an hour.

Also walking sticks are extremely helpful!!! At the end of the cobble stone path there were a ton propped next to the rail. I would snag one there for your way up.

Make sure you grab a guide!!! They told us to go ahead without a guide, which was fine until we got into the sanctuary and couldn't figure out the safest trail to get to the top.

We went at the end of November and there were a lot of butterflies, but the guide said it was only 45% of what they see in December and January.
Written 5 December 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Camille M
4 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022
While the drive from Valle de Bravo is beautiful as it climbs from 6,300 ft. to 7,800 ft. at the entrance gate to the butterfly sanctuary, it was disappointing to find the gates locked and no one there. Understandable, we are there in May and not at the butterfly migration time, BUT, the online information for this place states that it is open 7 days a week….and in particular, today, Monday , May 9th.
Written 9 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ariel F
United Kingdom5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2022
Ride the horses to the top of the trail to see the monarch butterfly migration up close! You must be quiet so that you don't disturb them. Wear comfortable shoes. Bring hand sanitizer, the water in the public bathrooms does not work well and bring your own roll of toilet paper or pesos to pay for toilet paper. You will be out in nature so expect to be in the head space that you are going on an adventurous hike. It is very rewarding! Bring an empty bag to fill it up with the most beautiful souvenirs! There is plenty of amazing items to shop. Some of the most beautiful fabrics and hand made items made by the local people of the area.
Written 9 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

annminky
United States3,805 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2021 • Solo
I’m so relaxed to take this trip. The beauty of the countryside and the friendly people just made up more of how beautiful this place is . I got there early and hardly anyone except the local people. Had time to enjoy the local coffee, mushroom omelette and bread made by this kind lady, before I head up to the mountain. Cowboys waiting for people to depart. My guide, Santiago and my horse, Carla, took me up to this amazing trail. I loved the trees and the beauty of nature. Once you’re up, you need to take a few more steps to hike, to view the fluttering butterflies 🦋. The coppered color butterflies will amaze you. The park ranger will tell you to speak quietly and to move slowly as to not to bother the butterflies. Some of them would just fall on the ground and die. What a sight to witness. Another trip travelers should include in their must see in Mexico.
Written 17 January 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Janet A
Chicago, IL20 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2022 • Couples
This was a magical experience!

That said I found there was a lot of confusing information about the costs and details of the guides if you drive up yourself so I thought I’d address those issues here because we found the experience amazing. Here are the things I wish I had clarity on before I went.

1. Although you can absolutely see swarms of butterflies as you drive up and can park on the roadside and walk amongst them, seeing the millions of them up on the mountain in the sanctuary is next-level amazing. Go all the way up! Also you should be prepared to drive VERY slowly for a few miles to avoid smashing the swarms as you drive through them.
2. Parking cost $50 MX when we were there.
3. Entrance cost $100 MX which included a guide that took a group of people up. We were a couple but the guide gathered a group of 8 people before we departed. Horses are available although our group all decided to walk.
4. The hike up was fine for us, we went slow and took breaks, even still some in our group really struggled with the elevation.
5. Even if you ride a horse up, you have to walk the last bit and it is quite steep, with plenty of uneven ground. It is not for the unsure footed.
6. The guide does not speak English and is mostly there as a conservation ambassador to make sure people are respectful of the rules, stay on the trail, don’t litter, are quiet in the nesting area, or go outside of the boundaries. This is a good thing.
6. As always, you should tip your guide.

This experience is a true natural wonder and I highly recommend it to people that enjoy and respect nature and have the physical ability to handle the elevation and terrain.
Written 4 January 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

russel p
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2021
Didn"t really have an "unfavorite" part. We just went up this week though it was maybe a bit early in the season yet, we hit it on a good day & it worked out super for us. I agree with other reviewers that it's all about the weather really. Our day started sunny in Valle de Bravo, then went partly cloudy at the base getting our horses. We first arrived at the viewing area after a leisurely 25 min horseback ride to where the horses can't go on and then a 10 min. walk up a steep, slippery incline. Once we got to the view area there were just a view active fliers but millions packed up in their big balls like a giant grapevine. Then the magic began... sun came out & in 10 minutes there were thousands & thousands doing their thing, lighting up the sky. It was beyond spectacular. Of course, if the sun hadn't come out it would have been somewhat disappointing for sure, but even at that, since we all speak Spanish, getting to know Don Camerino & the the 2 other guides and their well-fed, lively horses and being instructed about so much regarding the flora & fauna of the forest and of course, the fabulous Monarchs, made it a big check on my personal bucket list.
As it was, we got to mount up & go down the mountain as the butterflies went right down with us. They didn't go as far as the quesadillas but we sure did & they were great (as previously reviewed - last stand from entrance the best) - get the mushrooms &/or huitlacoche.
Prices have gone up: $50 for parking, 100 per person entrance, 300 apiece for the horse- all MX pesos (personal opinion is to pend the extra $15 US, & enjoy the ride). My son & I would've liked the walk but my wife loved me for getting the easy way up. It felt good to help out the locals as well - super good people. We live in Mexico so well know who the scammers are & theses folks weren't. It would be very helpful if you have a fluent Spanish speaker along I guess, but for what we got, I think the prices are well below reasonable.
Russel
Written 16 December 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2020 • Friends
It was an amazing experience I can highly recommend it. We were taking the horse so it was more fun. But you can always walk. It’s not a long walk. It was amazing to see the butterflies. Make sure you go there when it’s sunshine. Otherwise it’s not fun
Written 18 December 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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PIEDRA HERRADA SANCTUARY (2024) All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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