El Rosario sanctuary

Ejido del Rosario

National Parks


From $50 MXN

Located a few kilometers away from the Magic Town of Angangueo, the El Rosario sanctuary is the largest and most visited inside the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve.

Every year millions of butterflies arrive from the USA and Canada, covering the oyamel trees in orange and black, a unique natural event. The sanctuary is open between November and March, when butterflies are here. Before you climb up the mountain, watch the video explaining the life of this beautiful butterfly and the incredible deed of migrating thousands of kilometers away from home. 

It is mandatory to register as a visitor and to visit the colonies with the assistance of a local guide. The trail to the colonies is quite steep. It will take you about an hour to hike uphill, a bit less if you choose to ride up on horseback, which you can arrange at the visitor center. Once uphill your guide will take you to the lookouts. The visit lasts 20 minutes, a limited timeframe to allow all visitors to enjoy this wonder without compromising the wellbeing of the butterflies. It is important to follow the instructions from your guide. Do not tresspass the area, do not smoke and stay quiet.

At the end of your visit you may rest and recharge energy at one of the restaurants at the plaza. Try the corundas (local tamal), the barbeque and the raspberries. You may also stroll around the arts&crafts corridor where you will find all sorts of souvenirs: textiles, pens, t-shirts, shawls... We recommend to visit the sanctuary in-between days to avoid crowds. If you'd rather watch the butterflies without so many people around we suggest you head to the Sierra Chincua sanctuary, a few kilometers away on the other side of Angangueo.

Please follow the visitor rules and do not forguet to check out our traveler's tips.


  • Parking
  • Guides
  • Horseback riding
  • Restaurant with typical food
  • Shop

Getting there

Federal road 15 Mexico-Toluca-Zitacuaro. From Zitacuaro drive towards Ciudad Hidalgo. At the San Felipe de los Alzati crossing, take a right towards Angangueo. You can access the El Rosario from either Ocampo or downtown Angangueo.

Highway 15D Mexico-Morelia-Guadalajara. Exit at Maravatio and head towards Ciudad Hidalgo. Before the village of Irimbo make a left towards Aporo. This road finishes on a T junction, make a left and head to Angangueo or a right towards Ocampo. You can access the sanctuary from either town.

Highway 15D Mexico-Morelia-Guadalajara. Exit at the Contepec toll booth and head towards Tlalpujahua. From there, take the road to Maravatio. Make a left at the Santa Maria village towards Angangueo. When you arrive to this Magic Town take the road up to the El Rosario sanctuary.


Domicilio conocido. Ejido del Rosario, Ocampo

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