The National Parks of the Northwest


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.

Calilegua National Park
The park was donated by the Ledesma Sugar Company that had previously cultivated the land and altered the area's transitional jungle for the growing of its crop. Of Argentina's national parks that protect the yungas, Calilegua is the most accessible to visitors on Argentina tours.

The terrain of the park includes mountainous areas with peaks up to 9,090 feet, deep canyons, high grasslands and transitional forest in addition to its subtropical jungle. The yungas forest is one of the last reserves protecting the endangered jaguar and also contains tapirs, otters, bats and different species of deer, guaranteeing you'll have a unique experience when you travel to Argentina. Among its 260 species of birds are the toucan and several different hummingbirds and woodpeckers.

Originally inhabited by the San Francisco tribe, the area became part of the Inca Empire, and today the Koya people make their home here. The park contains some pre-Inca artifacts.
Winters are dry and mild. Summers are hot with a rainy season lasting from November to April. There are marked trails for hiking and many nature walks. Camping is allowed in the park for those who wish to stay the night there on their Argentina tours. The closest town is Liberator General San Martin.

(Finca) El Rey National Park
The park is mountainous, containing different types of forests and jungle. Its lush vegetation includes beautiful orchid species and epiphytes. Among the many animal species that inhabit the park and which you might see on your Argentina tours are the tapir, Peruvian guemal, anteater, peccary, red brocket deer, otter, raccoon, scrubland fox and puma in addition to several fish species.

The park contains a camping zone with potable water and bathrooms. The weather is warm year-round, and the best time to visit on Argentina tours is from May to November. The park is located fifty miles from the provincial capital city of Salta.

Los Cardones National Park
Elevation in the park ranges from 8,800 to 16,400 feet. The terrain of mountains, lowlands and basin supports a variety of wildlife including the endangered northern guemel and vicuna as well as 100 bird species typical of Argentina. The park contains dinosaur tracks from its previous inhabitants, a remarkable sight on Argentina tours. One of the park’s other attractions is its pre-Incan cave art.

Winter temperatures average 52F and in summer, 64F, making this park a temperate place to visit year-round when you travel to Argentina. Most of the region's eight inches of rain falls during the summer months from November to March. Because the park is new, it does not yet offer any visitor services for travelers on Argentina tours. It is located sixty-two miles from the provincial capital city of Salta. The nearest town is Cachi.

Copo National Park
The park provides habitat to the critically endangered jaguar and is home to the giant anteater, the giant armadillo and the pig-like Chacoan peccary, unique sights for those on Argentina tours. The most important bird species inhabiting the park is the blue-fronted parrot.

The climate is warm and dry. Though camping is allowed for travelers on Argentina tours, there are no visitor services in the park.

Campo de Los Alisos National Park
Campo de Los Alisos contains two archeological sites, ruins of Inca settlements linked by an Inca road at what was once the southern border of the empire. These sites are not yet open to the public.

The mountainous regions get snow in the winter, and summers are hot and humid in the jungle areas, something to keep in mind when you travel to Argentina. The nearest town is Alpachiri.