Magical Mexico with Denver Botanic Gardens

January 15 - 21, 2023

Every winter, montane cloud forests in central Mexico host millions of over-wintering monarch butterflies. This aggregation of monarchs in Mexico’s central highlands ranks as one of the most impressive wildlife spectacles on the planet. When masses of butterflies are in flight, it sounds like rain falling. Their cumulative weight can even bend branches of towering oyamel fir trees. 
In addition to spending two days at monarch butterfly sanctuaries, travelers will also explore vibrant Mexico City known for its thriving art scene, charming neighborhoods, world-class gastronomy, and its unique blend of old and new. 

Collaboration trip with Denver Botanic Gardens hosted by Yvonne Garcia Bardwell, Associate Director of Community Relations.

About Your Host: Born and raised in South Texas, with a bilingual-bicultural background, Yvonne Garcia Bardwell brings a great mixture of experiences and knowledge to the tour. As the Associate Director of Community Relations at Denver Botanic Gardens, she is responsible for diversifying the Gardens’ constituency by establishing and strengthening relationships with community organizations across the Denver metro area. Since 2011, she has orchestrated Denver Botanic Gardens’ observance of Día de los Muertos – a celebration that has grown into a vibrant annual event celebrating one of Mexico’s greatest cultural legacies. Her multicultural orientation has developed through not only extensive world travel but also significant work and volunteer experiences as well as an academic focus on international and Spanish-language marketing. This tour offers an opportunity to educate and inspire, to create a connection to our past, and to learn about the cultural traditions of Mexico.


  • 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites – Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, Xochimilco, and Zócalo
  • 2 Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary visits 
  • Hands-on folk art workshop with contemporary artists Ruben Mica and Oscar Becerra
  • Casa Azul Frida Kahlo Museum
  • 4 nights in Mexico City – 3 near Chapultepec Forest, Latin America’s largest urban park and 1 at The Zócalo
  • 2 nights at Hotel Rodavento, an intimate hideaway nestled in the hills of Valle de Bravo

Itinerary Overview

  • Day 1 (Sunday, January 15): Arrive to Mexico City
  • Day 2 (Monday, January 16): Coyoacán Walking Tour, Welcome Lunch at Los Danzantes & Casa Azul Frida Kahlo Museum
  • Day 3 (Tuesday, January 17): Folk Art Workshop with acclaimed artists Ruben Mica and Oscar Becerra & Xochimilco Floating Gardens
  • Day 4 (Wednesday, January 18): Piedra Herrada Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary
  • Day 5 (Thursday, January 19): Second visit to Monarch Butterfly sanctuary & Valle de Bravo Walking Tour
  • Day 6 (Friday, January 20): Mexico City’s Zócalo and Farewell Dinner
  • Day 7 (Saturday, January 21): Departure