Ischigualasto Provincial Park (map) is in the *Cuyo region of Argentina. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site with *Talampaya National Park in La Rioja. Both areas belong to the same geological formation, the Ischigualasto Formation (sometimes called the Ischigualasto-Talampaya Formation).
Ischigualasto was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site together with the adjoning Talampaya National Park. Its gray, red, ochre and white rocks hold unique fossils from the Triassic Period, including the oldest dinosaur remains that have been discovered. It also has many curiously shaped rocks eroded by the wind.
The nearest place to get in from is Valle Fértil (45 minutes, map), either with your own car or bus travel agencies in Valle Fértil. As many people go with their car, another option is to hitchhike. You can also get in the park from San Juan (around 4 hours, map).
There are 5 main view points in the park:
- El Gusano, rock formations that look like a worm.
- Valle Pintado where you can see the different parts of the triacic based on the landscape colors.
- Cancha de Bochas, rocks shaped as balls that formed by adherence in a river.
- El Submarino, rocks that look like a submarine viewed from a certain angle.
- El Hongo, a single rock that looks like a mushroom.
There is a “general” entrance fee and other fees for the Alternative Circuits such as trekking (Cerro Morado and Short Circuit), Nocturnal Full Moon, Bicycle circuit.
There is a museum with dinosaur replicas (entrance fee charged) and if you wan to camp in the park you can do so, paying a fee.
The best time is Autumn (Fall) and Spring because the weather isn’t too hot or too cold it is also sunny and dry.