"SAN JUAN provincia argentina" Provincia de San Juan by luzmaria

Provincia de San Juan Travel Guide: 69 reviews and 110 photos


The Province of San Juan in Argentina possesses one of the greatest nature marvels of the world , the Valley of Ischigualasto (so baptized by the indigenous ), well-known as Valley of the Moon.

The Natural Provincial Park Ischigualasto, created in 1971 is 330 km away from the capital of the province of San Juan in northeast direction, limiting with the province of La Rioja.

With a surface of 62,000 hectareas, 70% of them belong to the department of Valle Fertil and the rest to the Jachal department.
Due to its exceptional geologic and paleontological value and being a community with natural characteristics of great scientific interest, the Ischigualasto - Talampaya site has been declared by UNESCO as WORLD HERITAGE on Nov. 29th, 2000.

The sculptures of Ischigualasto.


Known with popular names such as Fungus ("Hongo" in Spanish ), Submarine ("Submarino"), Sphinx ("Esfinge") , etc.
They are the product of the differential wearing of the different rock classes. The softest rocks are quickly eroded by the water, wind, etc., whereas the hard ones, being more resistant, conserve longer their structure and the formation acquires these peculiar forms.

THE SUBMARINE ("El submarino")
Colorful stone figure within the Formation the Signs ("Formacion los Rastros" ) that shows the differential erosion process by which the nature carves stones. It also provides a panoramic view towards the south and the east.

PURPLE HILL ("Cerro Morado")
The first distinguishing element when arriving at the park, is constituted by this hill, formed by great basalt layers (lava), with its 1,400 meters of height above the sea level it dominates the landscape. Observing it from the east as from the west, it resembles, according to the popular interpretation, an Indian laying down with the head directed to the north.

BOWLS FIELD ("Cancha de bochas"): Name given to a layer of stoneware mantle within the Ischigualasto formation characterized by round concretions. The formation of concrete usually is based on a nucleus around which it is added mineral in concentric form. Here they are different and they maintain its horizontal original stratification, being grain of sand cemented in circular form by the process still not well understood.

According to the geologists, about 200 million years ago this site was a vergel of gigantic ferns and dinosaurs. Today is one of the most important paleontological locations of the planet and one of the biggest natural formations .
Several geologic strata are identified in the area, with footfalls of reptiles of millions of years of antiquity originated when averaging the Triassic period , also very old petrified forests of vegetable species such as gigantic ferns and coniferous of the same period , of which stay preserved the impression of their leaves . The petrifying process reached the same plants and even the animals of the same prehistoric period, which after dying may have been caught by the mire or lacustrine waters, today the skeletons and bones are conserved, as well as clear prints that dazzle the paleontologists from all over the world.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:unique natural rock formations in a far away solitary desert
  • Cons:the sun / el sol
  • In a nutshell:for adventurers only
  • Intro Updated Mar 6, 2004
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