Parque Natural Mexiquillo


To the Waterfall

We did a day trip up to a stunning waterfall.

We stopped at a small town to do some sightseeing and shopping 

Beautiful bread loafs

Spectacular mountain views along the way

This is a beautiful  state park with cobble stone walkways, picnic tables and a play area for the kids. Parque El Salto is located near the town for Ixtapan del Oro.  19.280132   -100.252362

There were many families enjoying a family outing.

What an idyllic spot

Another snake found me. I don't know what kind it is.

The water plunges down 200 feet


Monarch Butterflies

Today we are headed for the wintering site of the Monarch Butterflies. This one has been on my bucket list for years.
On the way there we made a detour to a nearby Buddhist Stupa.  "A Stupa or Chorten is a symbolic representation of the mind of Buddha or enlightened mind and also represents the stages of the path to enlightenment. It is also a source of blessings since it contains relics which to radiate its blessings, favor the achievements in practitioners. In short, it represents the spiritual path to enlightenment Dharma practitioners."

I climbed up behind the Stupa and discovered a Coral Snake. They are poisonous, but not aggressive.

According to Tibetan Buddhism you can intensify its power by walking around the Stupa 3 7, 11, 21 or 108. Some of my fellow adventures are doing so below.

There are two ways to reach the butterflies, walk or horse back. Susie and Roy along with other members of our group chose wisely, the horse. I decided to walk. 19.174007  -99.958302 

Starting at 9,000 feet the gentle slope of the paved trail "says no problem, you can do this". 

It is a 3 km hike to the butterflies. The horses take you up 2.5km. The last 0.5km is a steep "goat trail" up through the forest to an oxygen deprived altitude of 10,442 ft.

Clumps of thousands of butterflies huddled together for warmth. This is one of Earth's great migrations. Monarchs leave their summer home in Eastern North America commencing a multigenerational flight to central Mexico and back. Genetic imprinting directs them back to the same trees that their ancestors left the year before.

A few that are warm enough to fly around

Photo by Kevin Read

Photo by Kevin Read

Heading back down. I survived the Monarch death march.


Party On

Chago and his lovely wife Carmen invited us to their Christmas Eve dinner.  Carmen prepared an awesome turkey dinner with all the trimmings.

Having a wonderful time around the fire. 
Ruth, Chago's daughter Mariel, Chago, Denise and Susie.

Christmas day we had a pot luck for Chago's family and friends. Ruth and Kevin bought several chickens and we all prepared sides. No one went away hungry.

The other end of the table

Brian dancing with Fatima. She has some really great moves.

Paco leading yet another viva Mexico toast.


 Chago, the marina's owner, is an avid sailer and gave us a great tour of the waterfront.

Paul, Ruth and Kevin in the foreground 

One can climb to the top of this rock.

The down town water front

I assume the yacht club

There is a westerly wind across the lake every evening. This predictable wind make Valle de Bravo a world class parasailing spot.

They land on a very small patch of grass by the lake.

There are some really nice water front homes 

Kevin and Ruth

Jeannie, Susie and Wendy

Chago, captain extraordinaire. 

Susie, Lynnette and Barry


What a great day on the water.