Despite the 10-hour round trip drive from Mendoza, plus a night stopover, to get to this place, we made it fit into our tight schedule and are glad we did. This was one of those places you visit and reminisce longingly about for many moons later. We hired a private guide to take us (from Valle Fertil) through the park so as to avoid waiting for and with hourly scheduled groups. He was extremely knowledgeable and has been working for the national park system for almost a decade. We didn't set a rate but asked what he usually received in tips for private tours and then added a bit on top of that, 150 pesos I think. He rode with us from our hotel and back.
From the point of entry to exit, the self-driven tour was about 2 1/2 hours. There are 5 principal stops/natural wonders: El Gusano - a rock that looks like a 'worm'; Valle Pintado - an aptly named colorful valley; Cancha de Bochas - a collection of perfectly smooth cylindrical stones that look like a bunch of bowling balls; Submarino - yes, the rock looks like a submarine from several angles; Hongo - a mushroom-shaped rock formation that has since dominated my laptop computer wallpaper ever since. :-)
I believe that this and 'Valle de la Luna' are one and the same. I was a bit confused by this at first with the separate entries in the 'Attractions' category for San Juan.
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