Sanctuary of the fireflies, wonder in Mexico

You like the fireflies? The bug itself is unattractive, somewhat ugly, but let it be a luminescent bug makes it pretty. Could we say that fireflies are very cuteVery kawaii?

Cosmopolitan adjectives aside, if you like these critters a lot there is a place in Mexico that you can visit: the Sanctuary of the Fireflies.

Fireflies and fireflies


First it must be said that fireflies are actually beetles belonging to the family of Lampyrids, although night owls. Most of them have wings and that is precisely their distinguishing feature among other glittering insects.

There are 2000 species and they live all over the world but preferably in warm, temperate zones. That is why they are a classic insect in summer and if you have enjoyed the world for, I do not know, thirty years ago, you will surely remember those hot nights full of sparkles in the air. Why do they shine? Is that they have some light organs located in the lower abdomen and when they absorb oxygen and this is combined with a substance, luciferin, a process that takes place at the cellular level, that beautiful light is ultimately generated.

Blinking light, soft, that hardly generates heat in the insect and that differs in each species. What is the purpose of this light point? It is simply a beacon, an optical signal that allows them dating. Others, from the fact that the larvae also glow, argue that it is a Defense mechanism to avoid being eaten.

The Sanctuary of Fireflies

This is in the state of Tlaxcala, east of Mexico. It is the smallest state in the country and it hardly receives foreign tourism, although not because it does not have anything to offer, but because Mexico is so, so beautiful and complete on a tourist level that foreigners go to other destinations.

Here in Tlaxcala visitors can know the La Malinche National Park, with the volcano more than 4 thousand meters high and dozens of outdoor activities, and of course, the Sanctuary of the Fireflies. She nature reserve which is within the municipality of Nanacamilpa and if you travel especially to see the bugs that shine you will have to go in the Mexican summer, that is, between June, July and the first weeks of August.

The reserve occupies 200 hectares of forest and was inaugurated in 2011. It is about 123 kilometers from Mexico City, almost 80 from Puebla, 55 from Tlaxcala and 133 from the city of Hidalgo, so that you have a reference. If you don't have a car, you should get to the city of Tlaxcala first and from there take a combi to Nanacamilpa and from there a taxi to the reserve. Allow more than an hour of travel. The path through the interior of the forest is four kilometers long and there is no mobile phone signal.

The official firefly season runs from June 18 to June 6. August, according to the official site, and the visit must be made in the evening for obvious reasons. The insects appear between 8:30 and 9:30 pm But the entrance to the forest is only allowed until 7 pm (so the lights of the cars do not disturb the bugs), so you have to do some calculations so as not to be left out for being late or arriving too early.

Then, the tour is at nightThere are no lamps or flashlights and one walks through wet terrain so it is not advisable to go with slippery shoes or with very young children. Of course, you can't help but bear in mind that you may not see fireflies or that you don't see as many. The amount cannot be predicted because it is a natural spectacle and consider that if it rains the fireflies do not appear. Not that it happens often, thankfully.

In general, what tourists do is hire a tour Because this way you avoid making calculations with the schedules and distances that you do not drive. The tour does all of that for you and you don't have to worry about a taxi or rental car on unkind grounds. Also, write down this list of things that cannot be carried or done:

  • there is no mobile signal nor can you use your mobile
  • pets cannot be taken
  • fire cannot be lit
  • Cannot record videos or take photos
  • flashlights cannot be used
  • music can't play
  • you can not bring food or drink

If the idea of ​​taking a tour appeals to you, here are some facts: The Fireflies Tour Includes transportation from Tlaxcala, entrance to the forest, snack consisting of bread, coffee, and tamale, 24-hour travel insurance, and the guide. The departure is at 5 pm, the interpretive trail "Nada entre fireflies" is followed, a coffee break and then the return is undertaken.

Includes a souvenir and a guide. You return to the starting point averaging 11 pm and the price per person is 800 Mexican pesos per adult and 750 per child between five and eleven years old. This is the basic tour but if you want to take advantage and learn more about the area, you can add other destinations to the Sanctuary of the Fireflies such as Huamantla, Magueyes, a visit to a typical hacienda and others.

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