Travel Notes: For The Love of Butterflies in Valle de Bravo, Mexico

BUTTERFLIES are loved and have a very special place in our hearts and home …

This time last year, we went on a meaningful journey to a town named Valle de Bravo which is 90 miles southwest of Mexico City. Inspired by the breathtaking imagery in the movie “Flight of the Butterflies” we set out to see the monarch butterfly reserve at Piedra Herrada Sanctuary.

As many as 60 million to one billion (the numbers have dwindled in recent years) monarch butterflies migrate a distance of 2,500 miles each year from eastern Canada to the forests of western central Mexico. Starting in late-October their arrival coincides with Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) which is one of Mexico’s most important holidays. It is believed that Dia de los Muertos is when deceased loved ones return home as they are remembered and honored with feasts and offerings. The local legend goes that the arrival of the monarch butterflies are the souls of the deceased returning to earth.

At their final destination, the butterflies spend the next five months in winter hibernation clustering together for warmth and covering the tree trunks and branches in a blanket of orange and black. The daytime sun breaks the cluster as the butterflies awaken.

A visit to one of the sanctuaries, where the trees are full of life, is truly an experience to have and behold.

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