Argentina is distinguished not only by its natural beauty, but by its incredible diversity. Nowhere is that more evident than in the sweeping range of its many natural parks. Boasting over three dozen parks nationwide, some of them as large as 2 million acres (8094 square kilometres), this South American country is a nature lover’s dreamland. Convinced? Here are the parks to hit.
With an award-winning waterfall that’s so big it spans two countries, tropical rainforest and a churning Amazonian river, Iguazu’s got some top-notch nature. If you’re planning a trip, make sure you read this guide before you go.
As well as some amazing natural wonders, Tierra del Fuego’s got one big draw: it’s at the proverbial “end of the world.” Argentines can mean anything by that phrase, from the island at the very tip of the country, to the nearby city of Ushuiua, to the whole southern tip of Argentina. At any rate, the Tierra del Fuego national park, accessible by car or boat, has glaciers, mountains, forests, and waterfalls, as well as numerous unusual animals such as guanaco, and native trees such as coihue.
This guy‘s the big guy, coming in at a whopping 2 million acres (8094 square kilometres) of beautiful landscapes. The huge park, the oldest in Argentina, surrounds the charming mountain town of Bariloche. Nahuel Huapi has massive lakes, looming mountains, and lots of other cool stuff.
Who doesn’t love a good glacier? Well, the ice cap in Los Glaciares National Park feeds 47 of them, so there’s a lot of love for this national park. Los Glaciares is also home to some of the nation’s best-known sights, including the Perito Moreno Glacier and Mount Fitz Roy.
Otherwise known as the Valley of the Moon, this one’s for all the desert-lovers out there. While technically only a provincial park, not a national park, Ischigualasto’s got so much going for it that we’re making an exception. Located in the northwestern province of San Juan, Ischigualasto (believed to mean “dead land”), has loads of dinosaur fossils, a rock formation reminiscent of the Sphinx, another that looks like a mushroom, and many other geological wonders. It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Ah, lovely Lago Puelo, picturesque site of Patagonian beauty. The park, situated in the Andes mountains, contains the gorgeous turquoise-colored Lake Puelo, and ancient forests of twisted pitra trees. Keep an eye out for the rarely seen pudu deer; you may be able to spot a great deal of other wildlife.
Dinosaur lovers unite; this one’s for you (along with neighboring Ischigualasto, which has good dino stuff, too). Situated in the country’s eastern province of La Rioja, Talampaya features dinosaur remains, petroglyphs, indigenous ruins, a huge Grand Canyon-like gorge, and more.
Located on the shores of Lake Nahuel Huapi near Bariloche in Patagonia, Los Arrayanes National Park draws visitors from the world over to see its enchanting groves of molasses-colored myrtle trees. The forest contains specimens as much as 300 years old. If you’re into mountain biking, the park also features an enchanting hilly circuit. Originally a part of Nahuel Huapi National Park, Los Arrayanes was designated its own park in an effort to better protect the forest.