Baritu National Park


The park's inaccessibility provides critical habitat for the near-extinct jaguar and the onza, a puma-like cat species, making it a unique stop on Argentina tours. Smaller cats such as ocelots also roam the park as does the endangered tapir, giant anteater, speckled bear and the capuchin and howler monkey species. Baritu is also home to the raccoon-like coati, the neo-tropical otter and such bird species as toucans and the world's largest eagle, the harpy eagle.

Through its "Adopt an Acre" program, the Nature Conservancy is working cooperatively with a Bolivian environmental group to raise funds for a 40,000-acre corridor linking the park with Bolivia's 600,000-acre Tariquia National Flora and Fauna Reserve. Separated by a distance of nine miles, the Reserve protects the largest remaining Andean yungas forest. So far, over 15,000 acres of the corridor have been purchased. Villagers living in the area are being taught to employ sustainable methods in their use of natural resources and are paid to restore damaged habitat, making it worth their while to cooperate. Visitors on Argentina tours may explore the project, and volunteer opportunities exist to assist in the corridor's biodiversity conservation efforts.

The park contains no visitor services but does have many marked trails for those who wish to see the park when they travel to Argentina. One long distance hike begins in the park and ends in the colorful Quebrada de Humahuaca valley. With rainy summers, the best time to visit this park on Argentina tours is June to October when the lower rainfall makes for better road conditions. The closest towns are Los Toldos and Aguas Blancas. Getting to the park by car requires passing into Bolivia across an international bridge at Aguas Blancas outside of Bermejo, Bolivia's southernmost town, so one needs to carry a passport. The park may also be reached by river boat.