Monarch Butterflies and Playa Viva: An Eco-Friendly Adventure


Head first to the fir tree forests of Michoacán to see one of nature’s greatest spectacles — the mass migration of millions of monarch butterflies. Stand in awe as clouds of orange and black glint and glisten in the sun’s rays.

Then head to Playa Viva, an eco-chic resort built with sustainable, luxury living in mind. Here, you will enjoy a beautifully secluded beach and daily yoga sessions. You will also have the chance to take part in a heart-warming turtle release, helping newly emerged hatchlings make their way to the sea. Throughout your stay at Playa Viva, enjoy nature-focused trips including a snorkeling adventure in Zihuatanejo and a sunset horse ride.


Monarch Butterflies – Experience one of nature’s greatest spectacles as you witness the mass migration of millions of monarch butterflies in the Michoacán forests.

Pátzcuaro – Explore the cultural center of Michoacán, Pátzcuaro, uncovering architectural marvels, plazas, and ancient side streets.

Baby Turtle release – Help baby turtles through their first difficult journey in life with a baby turtle release activity

Hotel Playa Viva – Stay in the ultra-luxurious and eco-friendly hotel, Playa Viva. Eat locally harvested foods, enjoy daily yoga classes, and relax on its secluded beach

Day 1: Arrival day to Mexico City

You will be greeted at the airport and privately transferred to your hotel for check-in. Relax before the following day’s travel to Rancho San Cayetano, a gateway to the monarch biosphere reserves.

Overnight: Casa Nima


Day 2: Zitacuaro via Butterfly Biosphere Reserve

After breakfast and hotel check out, journey towards the rugged and verdant winter home of the brilliantly colored monarch butterfly. Upon arrival at El Rosario Sanctuary, leave the vehicle and walk a groomed (but at times fairly steep) trail into the fir tree forest. Note how the forest thickens as you near the spot where millions of butterflies congregate after eight months of migration. On arrival, watch these regal animals as the sunlight glints off their fluttering wings.

Your expert guide will narrate this unparalleled spectacle; discussing the ecology, natural history, and conservation issues surrounding this phenomenon.

Spend the night among pine and fruit trees outside the reserve before a further exploration among the migrating monarchs

Overnight: Rancho San Cayetano


Day 3: Butterfly Biosphere Reserve & Patzcuaro

After breakfast, board your private vehicle for a visit to another butterfly biosphere reserve (reserves are selected based on butterfly concentration and are therefore subject to change). In many locations, you will have the option to ride horseback (or walk if you prefer) to reach the point where the butterflies gather. In the quiet of the forest, listen to the beating wings of these delicate creatures.

Head next to Patzcuaro. On arrival, you may check in and enjoy the rest of the evening at leisure.

Overnight: Casa de La Real Aduana


Day 4: Patzcuaro, Santa Clara del Cobre & Zirahuen City Tour

Your private, expert guide will meet you at your and you will be driven to Pátzcuaro.

Your day will start with an exploration of the town of Pátzcuaro, wandering its cobblestone streets and taking in its colonial and indigenous feel. You will visit the central plaza, named after Vasco de Quiroga, the Spaniard in charge of building the town after the Spanish conquest, which is large considering the size of the town. As you visit the sites of most interest and stroll through the streets lined with cafes, restaurants and handicraft shops, your guide will tell you all about the history of this pueblo mágico, or magic town.

Heading next to Santa Clara del Cobre, located on the south side of Lake Pátzcuaro, you will visit the workshops of local copper workers. While the mines of this copper mining town are now closed, copper crafting continues. Watch families of three or four generations as they work on items with ease and skill.

You will then stop for lunch (not included in the price) before heading on to drive around Lake Zirahuén, to enjoy a peaceful boat ride in this fishing lake bordered by fields, the lakeside is an idyllic spot to enjoy cool, country air permeated by the smell of woodsmoke. Zirahuen is a place with colorful flowers – pink and red geraniums, waxy white calla lilies, delicate begonias, roses and petunias all thrive in the climate. taking in the landscape and with time to take photos. Upon completion you will be driven back to your hotel in Pátzcuaro.

Overnight: Casa de La Real Aduana


Day 5:  Private Transfer From Patzcuaro to Morelia’s Airport – Playa Viva Zitacuaro

After hotel check out, you will be privately transferred to Morelia City Airport.

Playa Viva, a gorgeous boutique hotel built on a foundation of sustainable design and eco-friendly living.

On arrival, you will be met by Playa Viva staff and given a tour of the facilities. Make yourself at home in your beachfront room and enjoy wandering the private, pristine sands. Take a swim and then clean up for the evening, joining the other guests around communal dining tables for a buffet-style dinner. The menu is built around healthy Mexican dishes with an international flair and a focus on locally grown and sourced ingredients. Enjoy a complimentary organic basil margarita, the house drink, and a fresh appetizer most likely harvested from the Playa Viva farm that very day.

Overnight: Playa Viva

**Commercial Flight From Morelia to Zitacuaro Via Mexico City**
Service Cost Not included


Day 6: Health and Wellness

Begin your day with a baby turtle release organized by Playa Viva’s turtle sanctuary. If you tell your Holistic Host the night before that you want to be woken up for the turtles, then you will receive a call when the time comes. Nature won’t wait around so make sure you’re up and out quickly when you receive the call.

After, grab a quick bite to eat from the continental breakfast and then head over to the yoga shala. Morning classes are included in your stay (you can arrange a private class later as needed). You don’t have to be an expert yogi, either, the Holistic Hosts lead classes for all levels providing you with opportunities to go deeper into your poses.

After, head to the Common Area for a full breakfast which includes a wide variety of options, from green juice made from locally sourced ingredients to eggs from Playa Viva’s chickens. Also, enjoy locally harvested coffee.

Today is your chance to recover, rejuvenate, and regenerate.  We recommend starting the day with a farm tour to get to know your surroundings.

Playa Viva is located on 200 acres of land which, before 2009, was a coconut, mango and tamarind grove and working farm. It now has a full-time Permaculture Manager who would be happy to take you on a tour of the property visiting the mangroves, wetlands, and the forest restoration works as well as the orchards and farm.

Alternatively, you could grab a Discovery Guide Book and follow the trail markers to discover the many wonders of the property on your own.

Along the way, pick your own veggies and bring back your harvest to the open kitchen where the team will be happy to help you make your own salad or prepare it for you.

You could also arrange a cooking class, learning to make something as simple as handmade tortillas or as complex as mole.

After lunch and a nap in a hammock, sign up for a beachfront massage (not included) with your Holistic Host.

Dinner, like all meals, is included. If you are ever hungry throughout the day, snacks are included as well, so let the team know if you want fresh guacamole or another treat prepared.

Overnight: Playa Viva


Day 7: Explore and Adventure Day

Today is for exploration and adventure. Build your strength with breakfast and then take a private transfer to Zihuatanejo. Waiting for you, will be an expert snorkeling guide who will take you on an underwater adventure to meet the local marine life.

After the morning on the water, take a walk around town. Maybe shop for gifts among the local arts and craft stores, mezcalerias, and other boutique outlets. After, it’s back to Playa Viva for a chance to relax into the evening

Overnight: Playa Viva


Day 8: Local Impact

Begin your day in what will now feel like a time-honored tradition, releasing turtles, enjoying a yoga class, and eating breakfast. Then it’s time for a cultural immersion, meeting the locals and discovering more about their day to day lives. Playa Viva’s Social Impact Manager will meet you at the hotel and take you into the community of Juluchuca.

Dependent on the time of year, you can visit the local school (many guests bring spare school supplies for the kids) and the local coconut candy factories. You could also join one of the many community projects run by Playa Viva, including beach cleans, kids’ soccer, and community kitchens.

After a day of fun, charitable work, you will be rewarded with a sunset horseback ride on the beach.  Enjoy the feeling of being completely free on an almost deserted beach in paradise.

Overnight: Playa Viva


Day 8: Turtles, yoga, and goodbyes

You’ll feel like you never want to leave having made friends with so many of the staff and fellow guests, but it’s time to head back to reality. Spend your final morning releasing turtles into the wild, squeezing in a last yoga session, and, of course, enjoying a delicious breakfast.
After, you will be privately transferred to Zihuatanejo-Ixtapa International airport for your flight home.



  • Daily yoga
  • Snorkeling tour
  • Horseback riding
  • Social impact experience/cultural encounter in local community
  • Turtle release activities
  • Farm tour to pick up veggies
  • Optional cooking class to make your own salad

*Four nights minimum at Hotel Playa Viva


Our trips are fully customized, allowing us to build your itinerary for any time of the year.


Our custom-tailored journeys start from $1,000 USD per day for two travelers. Contact us today to discuss your travel desires and design a personalized proposal with exact pricing.

Please note, our pricing guideline is a starting from price and is not necessarily applicable to the suggested hotels contained within the suggested itineraries on this web site. Itineraries are customized prior to final pricing.