The Happy Nomad

A Firefly Experience in Mexico

As a travel agent, my job is to plan an unforgettable trip for others, but finally it was my turn! My work colleagues and I were going on a truly unique trip to the firefly sanctuary in Nanacamilpa, a few hours outside of Mexico City, in the state of Tlaxcala. Between July and August it is possible to witness one of the most amazing shows in nature. The fireflies light up the skies of the forest, looking for love and a partner to reproduce. What’s amazing about witnessing this beautiful light display, is that even with technology today, it can’t be caught on camera. I was excited for my first firefly experience.

I arrived to the meeting point and everyone was really excited for our trip. We had a really experienced tour guide, who spoke more languages than I could count on both hands! Even though it was a little rainy, it didn’t dampen our excitement. Ready for the adventure, the day faded into the evening, and everything was almost dark. The perfect setting.

Our guide gave us some instructions before entering the forest, ensuring we were respectful of the sanctuary and the tiny lanterns living within. I listened carefully to different tales of the carer who looked after the forest and if you are disrespectful, he appears as a warning. The Aztecs believed that the light from the fireflies, were considered tiny lights of truth. An awesome treat was being able to taste some of the berries blooming in the forest, which was a delicious surprise. We enjoyed our treats while roaming further into the darkening forest, it was then we saw the lights start to flash and the fireflies came to life.

And then the show began, it was like the inside of a Christmas tree! They shone so bright that you forgot about the darkness, they were everywhere! In your hair, hands, on your clothes- almost like you were a guest star in their show. Locals say that if a firefly touches you, you will be lucky in love (here’s hoping). We were witnesses to one of the greatest shows nature has to offer. One of our coworkers had taken a professional camera to try and capture the magic, but no matter how good your camera is, it is impossible to reproduce! I think one of the most beautiful things about this trip is that you can only keep it in your mind’s eye. The only picture is the one you paint with words, or to see it for yourself.

Just as soon as it began, it was all over! Our tour guide was eager to find out how we felt about the experience, but our silence spoke volumes. I left the forest feeling unable to articulate the beauty of what I had just seen. We got our coffee fix for the journey back to the city, and I was eager to share my experience with anyone who would listen. My firefly experience was more than I could have ever hoped for.

Have you had your own firefly experience? Tell us all about it in the comments below!