We invite you to travel into the past, to the Triasic period, and discover the Moon Valley and the Talampaya Park.
These two neighbouring parks, extend over 275,300 ha in the desert region on the western border of the Sierra Pampeanas of central Argentina. They contain the most complete continental fossil record known from the Triassic Period (245-208 million years ago). There are six geological formations in the parks, containing fossils of a wide range of mammals, dinosaurs and plants revealing the evolution of vertebrates and the nature of palaeo-environment in the Triassic Period.
Talampaya Canyon is the main tourist attraction in Talampaya National Park, receiving over 60,000 visitors per year. The 150-metre high reddish walls and the various geomorphologies (the Monk, the Tower, etc) make it a one-of-kind natural spectacle, as well as the astonishing rock engravings called petro glyphs.
Ischigualasto is known as “Valle de la Luna,” literary, “The Moon Valley.” The name is given because of the extremely arid landscape, slowly drawn by rain and wind over millions of year. The whim of nature created wonderful rock formations such as The Worm, The Sphinx, The Mushroom, The Submarine and The Bowling Court.
We offer you 2 different itineraries to discover these unique places:
Talampaya & Ischigualasto (Moon Valley)
Day 1: We will depart from your hotel in Mendoza, and travel the famous Route 40, into neighbouring province of San Juan. In the afternoon, we will visit the Moon Valley then continue to La Rioja Province and spend the night in Villa Union.
Day 2: After breakfast, we will visit Talampaya National Park and then return to Mendoza.
Barreal, Talampaya and Ischigualasto (Moon Valley)
Day 1: We will depart from your hotel in Mendoza, and pass by the famous Malbec vineyards of Lujan de Cuyo, heading west into the Andes. Here the foothills of the Andes turn into the first range of mountains (Precordillera), with nice views of the Potrerillos Lake. After crossing the colourful Mendoza River Canyon, we will reach Uspallata, a small Village surrounded by mountains. We will continue up to Barreal, a small agricultural Oasis in San Juan. This place has one of the clearest skies in the Worl, and for this reason, has two observatories, one of which will be visited during the day. The big attraction is the “Barreal Blanco,” a dried lagoon, nowadays a wide flat surface, ideal for wind cars.
Day 2: After breakfast we will continue our way through the mountains and at midday, we will stop at Iglesia to have lunch at the Trout farm. Afterwards, we will continue our way passing through the “Cuesta del Viento” lake, and the Huaco slope. In the afternoon, we will arrive at Villa Union, where the main attraction is the local “chivito,” grilled goat. Overnight at Villa Union.
Day 3: Full day visiting the Unesco World Heritage Parks Ischigualasto and Talampaya. You have the choice of an overnight at Villa Union or San Agustin del Valle Fertil.
Day 4: After breakfast we will return to Mendoza.