Monday Trips


Tour Weslaco's best butterfly attractions—including the ever-popular state park, a popular Audubon tract, and private oases into which you are lucky to set foot! There’s a good chance you may see a Potrillo Skipper in this neck of the woods. The Weslaco excurion often gets “edited” by scouts and guides who stay up-to-date on sightings in high-count yards and at feeding stations. Slow easy walking with restrooms and benches available.

  • Drive time approx. 30 min.
  • Lunch Provided - Yes


It's always a good day at the National Butterfly Center, where you may expect to see 65-70+ species! This trip takes you down the road to a refuge property around La Lomita Mission, a historical site, and then to the Riverside Club, where Captain Johnny will show you the sights up and down the Rio Grande River, on a leisurely cruise. This trips is a favorite for birders looking to add species to the Mexico and US lists!  After the cruise, return to our 100-acre preserve and get to know it better, with guides who will take you across the levee to look for butterflies on the wild side. Ever-growing gardens and native habitat expansion invite hundreds of species each year, including U.S. Records and ultra-rarities like the Red-sided Swallowtail and Dusted Spurwing, seen in 2015. The truth is you never know what you’ll see at the NBC! Slow easy walking (unless you’re on the chase) with restrooms and benches on the ‘front 30.’ Picnic under the palapa.

  • Drive time approx. 10 min.
  • Lunch Provided - Yes

Far West

Trek to far western Starr County, for a guided tour of the gardens at Falcon State Park. New park leadership is paying special attention to the small, but productive, butterfly gardens and 3-mile nature trail in this brushland habitat. Falcon also offers an opportunity to see uncommon birds, such as the Scaled Quail, Varied Bunting and Green Kingfisher. Then visit the parsonage, where Berry Nall's legendary garden once yielded a dozen hairstreak species and we’ll try to make sure the garden at Roma Bluffs is open, too. Slow easy walking with restrooms and benches available at Falcon (and Roma).

  • Drive time approx. 1 hour 30 min.
  • Lunch Provided - Yes



Imagine 9 acres of pristine native plant habitat on the arroyo in Willacy County, where many rare and two endangered plant species grow on land that has never been cleared (for as long as records of the site exist). While butterflies may be found in abundance, this is also a “quest trip” to a site where the Manfreda Giant-Skipper might be found. The larval host and adult habitat for this butterfly are both extremely limited in range, but present, here. The last verified U.S. sightings of this species are from the 1980s. This trip should include a stop at the municipal park where last year’s U.S. Record Shadowed Hairstreak was found. Hidden Heaven includes another 9 acres of reforestation and a 1-acre wildlife water feature that brings in birds and dragonflies. Easy walking with restrooms available.

  • Drive time approx. 1 hour 15 min.
  • Lunch Provided - Yes


What’s a little mud? Cruise out to the Smiley Face, among several sites, to search for Xami Hairstreak, Definite Patch, Blue Metalmark, Pale-rayed and Double-dotted Skippers. Not for the faint of heart, this trip offers multiple stops to rich or rare habitat that may be thorny, mucky and inhospitable—but the butterflies are worth it! Your guides will determine which hot spots and landmarks you visit to find rewarding specialties on the fringes of Cameron County. LONG PANTS, PROPER BOOTS AND PROTECTIVE CLOTHING/COVERING REQUIRED to contend with stinging pests, cactus and other hazards. Restrooms available along the way.

  • Drive time approx. 1 hour 30 min.
  • Lunch Provided - Yes

King Family

This private garden on the banks of an old caliche quarry hosts butterflies, dragonflies and birds a plenty. A ‘best kept secret’ this garden proves plant it and they will come! Paired with the Wm. Jennings Bryant House and the old Valley Botanical Gardens (now the new McAllen Nature Center), this trip offers something old and something new, with lots of room for discovery close to the hustle and bustle of town. One site contains steep inclines; otherwise, easy walking with plenty of shaded seating and restrooms available.

  • Drive time approx. 10 min.
  • Lunch Provided - Yes

Butterfly Beltway

Explore the public and private properties around the National Butterfly Center, where butterfly gardens large and small yield exciting and often unexpected species! Start your day at the Bentsen-RGV State Park with an easy walk around the Visitor’s Center, then embark on a 1.5 mile walk around Bentsen Palm RV Resort and the renowned wall surrounding Retama Village, as well as private gardens within the wall. In 2013, the 2nd & 3rd US Record Sightings for the Zebra Cross-streak occurred in this special corridor. See for yourself why this area of increasingly rich habitat is called 'The Butterfly Beltway.' Additional gardens may be announced, based upon sightings. Easy walking with restrooms available.

  • Drive time approx. 10 min.
  • Lunch Provided - Yes

Sal de Ray

South Texas' three salt lakes include the 530-acre Sal del Rey, which is surrounded by endangered Tamaulipan thornscrub and grassland habitat. The focus of this trip is butterflies; however, locals will tell you the areas around the lake, such as Brushline Road, offer wonderful opportunities to encounter birds and other wildlife, such as the threatened Long-billed Curlew. White-tailed Deer, a Diamondback Rattlesnake, and Turk's-Cap White-Skippers may be reasonably expected. An easy stop to check the butterfly gardens at the Edinburg Scenic Wetlands on the way back to town is likely. LONG PANTS, PROPER BOOTS AND PROTECTIVE CLOTHING/COVERING REQUIRED to contend with stinging pests, cactus and other hazards. Restrooms not readily available.

  • Drive time approx. 45 min.
  • Lunch Provided - Yes

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Texas Butterfly Festival
3333 Butterfly Park Drive
Mission, TX 78572
GPS Coordinates
26.180243 -98.364973

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Record sightings and "chase butterflies" from recent TBFs:

 trip firsts

What will appear this year?!