by Guadalupe Corvalan
Travel Specialist in Trips SouthAmerica
My Trip to Talampaya and The Moon Valley
Hi! Today I am going to tell you about this amazing region of northern Argentina, in the provinces of San Juan and La Rioja.
I visited them this way for instance, by National holidays of August 17th (Day of commemoration of the death of José de San Martín, an Argentine hero)
This post is perfect for passionate about Paleontology, or, if you haven’t heard about the famous “Dinosaurs Route”, it might interest you!
This circuit begins in La Rioja province, in the North, and finalizes in Santa Cruz, in Patagonia, but today, we’ll focus on the Cuyo region: La Rioja and San Juan provinces, where you will note that, despite they are neighbors, Talampaya and Ischigualasto Parks have many differences.
My Trip Tip
During the same trip you can visit both parks, and 2 nights are enough.
How to get there. A Self Drive would be great!
Of course you can get there by air and this region has good connectivity. You can take a domestic flight from Buenos Aires to La Rioja or San Juan, and we’ll be happy to help you booking accommodation, transfers and excursions!
The ideal is on a self-drive, so that you can also visit other attractions in the area, such as: the Difunta Correa Sanctuary, Potrerillos Dam, El Leoncito National Park, Cuesta del Viento Dam. You can combine it with Mendoza as well, the wine area, pick up the car there and drive around the region.
Where to stay
There are 2 possibilities to visit these parks:
- Villa Unión, La Rioja.
- San Agustín del Valle Fértil, in San Juan.
My Trip Tip
You can find more and better options in Villa Unión.
I recommend Pircas Negras or Cañón de Talampaya hotels
Ischigualasto Provincial Park
www.ischigualasto.gob.ar (in English and Spanish)
This park, well known as the “Moon Valley” because it’s quite similar to the moon surface.
Entering the park you must pay the entrance fee, which costs ARS 600. Once you pass the ticket office you will see the Paleontology Museum, where you can see different dinosaur species of the Triassic period, which were found within the Park. It’s very worthy to visit it, in the meantime you wait for the guided circuit to begin.
The Park visit takes about 3hs. You can enter with your own car, and the guide is only 1 for the whole caravan.
If you are not driving, the options are: trekking or biking.
For adventurous people we recommend the hiking to Morado Hill or the Full moon visit!
There are 5 stop in the traditional circuit: the Painted Valley, the Bocce Court, The Submarine, Dr. WILLIAM SILL Site Museum and The Fungus.
My Trip Tip
if you are the first, the guide will enter with you, in your car, so you’ll have extra info!
My favorite was The Fungus. Our guide took us very fun photos with the different formations at the background.
Talampaya National Park
www.talampaya.com (Only in Spanish!)
This one cannot be visited by car, you have to take an excursion. But you can leave the vehicle at parking in the entrance.
You have to pay the National Park entrance fee + the tour you prefer.
I recommend you to book the tour through the webpage, especially if you are going in high season. You’ll have more available options.
The alternatives are:
1- Talampaya Canyon 2,5hs by van or minibus
2- Talampaya Canyon + Shimpa Canyon 4hs by 4WD truck
3- Full Talampaya 6hs by 4WD truck, but it finalizes with a trekking to the Talampaya balconies (only 1 DEPARTURE each day)
My Trip Tip
It’s more fun by truck! If you have luck and you can do it on the yellow truck, you can stand up on the seat and take your head out through the roof to take photos.
Options 2 and 3 include a catering service: delicious typical products like homemade bread, olives, “membrillo” and walnuts with lemonade and “torrontés” white wine, also very common in the region.
Well that’s it for now, I hope you enjoy your trip to Talampaya and The Moon Valley!
For futher information, don’t hesitate in contact me!
Travel Specialist, Trips SouthAmerica.