One of finest of the four government Monarch sanctuaries, Sierra Chincua takes a little bit more effort to visit than El Rosario. Although it isn’t too far from El Rosario, the trail goes up 3,200′ compared to El Rosario’s 800′. As a result, most visitors hire horses rather than simply trek.
Sierra Chincua has attracted more scientific research than El Rosario, probably because it is less accessible. Most of the current Monarch research occurs here. The climate is much colder than El Rosario, and the vegetation and birds are different.
The reserve is often dryer than El Rosario, resulting in periods of considerable dust. But the trek is certainly worth the effort. The congregations of Monarch are often larger than at El Rosario. The higher altitude and colder temperatures often results in less butterfly activity, but the site of a heavily laden tree is truly awesome. Because everything is slower and colder here, the government has hired “minders” to make sure that visitors don’t step on butterfly colonies which often fall to the ground.