The Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Mexico is recommended by Jorge Valencia of The New York Times as one of the top travel destinations for 2024. Experience the spectacle of over a billion monarch butterflies overwintering in Central Mexico’s green forests.

This 139,000-acre reserve has six sites where visitors can hike into the forest and see clusters of butterflies perched high in the tree canopy. Each sanctuary has a different appeal: The Rosario sanctuary is near the historic mining town of Angangueo, with quaint hotels like Rancho Cumbre Monarca, while Piedra Herrada is a two-hour drive from Mexico City. The overwinter season is from November to March, and the ideal time to visit is midweek when the sanctuaries are less crowded and noisy.

In 2022, the International Union for Conservation of Nature labeled the cherished black, orange, and white insect as endangered after years of declining populations.

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