Ana is a native of Macheros, Mexico, home to 350 people and 100 horses. She has been around horses all of her life and also spent a lot of time in the forests surrounding her town, where her father worked as a forest ranger. She studied English intensively as part of her degree in tourism and has worked as a guide on Cerro Pelon for the past three years. Ana likes hiking, being in nature, and traveling.
Joel has been riding horses and exploring the trails Cerro Pelon as long as he can remember. He worked in customer service in the United States for a decade before returning to his hometown of Macheros to start work as a mountain guide in 2010. He met his wife Ellen on a tour in 2011 (when he coaxed her onto a horse) and in 2012 they started their own ecotourism business, JM Butterfly B&B. Over the last eight years, Joel has led groups that range from one person as many as 37, giving him ample opportunity to talk many inexperienced riders through the basics of horseback riding.
Easily accessed by bus & taxi from Mexico City, Ellen & Joel's B&B is of a very high standard. Brightly coloured bedrooms with, certainly in our case, stunning views plus a beautiful garden in which to relax after the horseback trip to see the Monarchs. The sight of millions of butterflies was well worth the ride up the mountain. If you're planning a trip to Mexico this should be high up on your list of "must dos".
Heather C United States
Our stay was a highlight of our trip to MX. Everything from the booking process, questions about transit and safety, to our experience once we arrived, was awesome. We visited towards the end of the migration season, not sure if we would see the Monarchs. Ellen even let us know this and asked if we still wanted to visit. We were up for the adventure and we did end up having an amazing Monarch experience with just our family of 4 (kids ages 9 & 11). The horses are smaller Spanish style horses, but they were well cared for. We ate every meal at the restaurant next door, Dona Rosa's. The rooms were also very nice and clean. Everyone seemed genuine and helpful and we had a couple stand out moments that made us really appreciate the kindness of everyone there. Ellen and Joel and their entire family works together to bring a very authentic and special experience to their guests. We would reccomend this B&B and Cerro Pelon to anyone.
An amazing opportunity to visit the MOnarch butterflies with support by Joel and Ellen. A beautiful setting but it can be cold. Be prepared with warm clothing . There is only one restaurant in the village but they work very hard to accommodate your needs. The owners will help you with arranging guides and horses. Well worth the trip off the beaten path