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“Otherworldy Cool” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Parque Provincial Ischigualasto

Parque Provincial Ischigualasto
San Agustin del Valle Fertil 5400, Argentina
(0264) 4305931
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Type: Geologic Formations, National Parks, Valleys, Outdoors
Activities: Dig (archeology)
Attraction details
Atlanta, Georgia
Top Contributor
156 reviews 156 reviews
51 attraction reviews
Reviews in 104 cities Reviews in 104 cities
124 helpful votes 124 helpful votes
“Otherworldy Cool”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2011

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.

Visited November 2010
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English first
Potosi, Bolivia
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“An Essential Stop”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2010

Ischigualasto is slightly off the beaten track of most travellers in Argentina, but its most definately worth the effort of travelling there. The tours are all in Spanish which is a pity but dont let it put you off as the experience is mainly visual anyway. Its a real dinosaurs playground-its like being on the set of the Flintstones movie, simply fantastic!

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australia
1 review
“Amazing!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2009

It's a beautiful place. So beautiful that one has to see and live it to understand any description about it!

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Buenos Aires, Argentina
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
277 helpful votes 277 helpful votes
“One of the most magnificent places in Argentina”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2007

I visited Ischigualasto Provincial Park in August 2007 and loved it. I found it to be one of the best places I've seen in Argentina.
I had planned to visit it one afternoon and see Talampaya National Park the following day but as it was snowing heavily we had to visit both parks on the same day. We visited Talampaya in the morning and arrived at Ischigualasto at about 2:30 pm.
The entrance fee is AR$20 per person, but that was a resident fare so it might be more expensive for foreign tourists. You must enter the park with your own car so if you don't have one you'll need to rent one or go with a remis. The roads of the park are not paved but they are safe. The cars depart from the reception centre like in a caravan (there were more than 30 cars for the 3:00 pm excursion) and stop at 5 points: 1) el gusano (the worm) rock formation, 2) valle de la luna (Moon's valley), 3) cancha de bochas (a place with round-shaped rocks), 4) 'el submarino' (the submarine) rock formation and 5) 'el hongo' (the mushroom) rock formation.
I thought I'd like Talampaya more than Ischigualasto but I was wrong. I loved Ischigualasto very much. The place is so strange and beautiful. The rock formations, the colours of the mountains, everything was magical. A person told me it was better to visit the park in the afternoon and she was right. The colors were enhanced at sunset.
The whole excursion lasts about 3:30 hours including the visit to the museum. I don't know if the excursion is available in English. Maybe you' ll have to get there with your private guide to translate what the park ranger is saying.
Ischigualasto closes at 4:00 pm in winter and 5:00 pm in summer. I was there in winter and it was cold but not freezing. They say it's extremely hot in summer.
The park is far away from any urban centre so it would be better to leave the place before it gets dark. The best base of operations to visit the area is San Agustín del Valle Fértil, about 60 kilometres south. The road is paved but there are some goats around, so be careful.
All in all, both parks have some of the nicest landscapes in Argentina. They are right up with the Northwest in terms of natural beauty. In my opinion, they are as nice as the Humahuaca Gorge and much, much nicer than Rio de las Conchas's gorge in Cafayate. Don't miss San Juan & La Rioja provinces... they are beautiful places! Thanks for reading.

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