ANGANGUEO: Tourism office in Angangueo, Mexico, is at 011-52-715-156-0044, but you may not be able to get information in English. Hotels include El Hotel Albergue Don Bruno (011-52-715-156-0026, rates begin at $80) or Las Margaritas (011-52-715-156-0149, rates begin at $27). They can arrange transportation to the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve. Transportation is also available from the town's main plaza.
FOOD: Bringing food into the reserve is prohibited, so plan on staying for a few hours and then heading back down to the entrance to enjoy quesadillas or tostadas at stands that cluster there.
WHAT TO WEAR: Because weather can be extremely cold in the morning, dress in warm, layered clothing that can be easily shed, and wear comfortable hiking boots. A raincoat might also be a good idea, since mist and light rains are common.
WHEN TO GO: The butterflies begin arriving in November and leave by late March. The best time to see them is between 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., when they are at their most active.
TIP: On cloudy days, the butterflies remain still to preserve body heat. It's advisable to plan your trip to include an overnight stay in the area so you can come back on a different day if the weather doesn't cooperate.
OTHER ATTRACTIONS: Morelia is a beautiful, colonial city with great food and arts and crafts; Patzcuaro, a tiny village on a breathtaking lake, has a great food and crafts market and two lovely plazas and is known for its Day of the Dead celebration in early November; Tlalpujahua is a tiny, picturesque town, an ideal place to stop for lunch.
ECOTOURS DE MEXICO: www.ecotoursvallarta.com or 011-52-322-222-6606.