LOS CARDONES NATIONAL PARK
Los Cardones National Park is located in Payogasta, central west of the province of Salta. It covers an area of 64,117 hectares that house environments of the High Andes, Puna, Monte de Sierras and Bolsones and Yungas eco-regions.
It was created in November of 1996, by Law 24,737 About ten years before its legal creation, the procedures that allowed its creation to begin were started. Among these efforts, the promulgation of Provincial Law No. 6,805, whereby Salta cedes to the Nation the jurisdiction of the lands that should constitute the National Park.
From the city of Salta, by national routes 68 and provincial 33 (97 km to Piedra del Molino - east entrance of the park - and 147 to Payogasta, its administrative headquarters).
Take into account that it rises in height from the valley of Lerma (1200 m.s.n.m) to more than 3,000 m.s.n.m, traveling along its route along a path of Cuesta.
Places to visit and activities
Valle Encantado, in the steepest part of the Cuesta del Obispo.
Piedra del Molino (3,348 masl), a landmark in the region's history.
Regarding Cachipampa and Laguna el Hervidero, it can be seen from Provincial Route 33.
From the Tin Tin Straight you can see one of the largest Cardinals in South America (10,000 hectares) and a Churquis forest (carob tree). The geological history is exposed from the Tin Tin hill.
The park completely lacks tourist services. In Payogasta there are inn and dining rooms. And in Cachi, 11 km beyond, ACA lodge, hostels, cabins, family lodgings, well-equipped campsite, restaurants, service station and hospital.
The Park has samples of natural environments from different ecoregions: the High Andes, the Puna, the Monte de sierras and Bolsones (where the cardonal one develops); and even a sector with mist pasture, typical of the Yungas region.
The climate is arid in a large percentage of the Area, with great thermal amplitude; average temperatures: 11 ° C in winter (with lows below zero) and 18 ° C in summer (with maximums of 30 ° C); up to 150 mm per year of rainfall, concentrated between November and March; Exceptional snowfall in the lower areas.
Flora and fauna
This National Park preserves a dense sample of cardón or pasacana (Trichocereus pasacana). Although there are other species in our country, this is the typical one, the one that comes to mind when the cardon is mentioned, that huge tree-shaped cactus and a candlestick shape. Its use by man in the Andes has been especially important for different cultures that inhabit and inhabit the region.
In addition, the Park has samples of natural environments of different ecoregions: the High Andes, the Puna, the Monte de sierras and Bolsones (where the cardonal one develops); and even a sector with mist pasture, typical of the Yungas region.
The high Andean communities are steppes of grasses and / or low shrubs. In places where the water emerges, the tall vegas are formed, water eyes surrounded by a green and tight lawn, small oases in the desert.
In the prepuna, the presence of forests of churqui (Prosopis ferox) at 2,600 m is surprising. high, in those areas where the emergence of groundwater allows. They constitute true oases, a site of congregation of both native fauna and man with his domestic animals. Abundant lithic and ceramic remains scattered on the ground, give us an idea of the great value that has historically had the churcal, source of firewood, fodder and shelter, and the overexploitation it has suffered.
On the Mount, the diversity of cactus stands out. It is the site with the greatest diversity in the country and one of the highest in the world. Some examples are the natural hybrid Trichomoza roseinflora, which grows almost exclusively in this National Park. Or the small Trichocereus smirzianus cardoncito, an endemism of the tall grassland of the Calchaquí valleys, which is poorly represented in the Park. However, there are other species in the area such as Lobivia walteri (endemic and threatened), which are not protected in it.
As for the fauna, threatened species like the cat of the pajonal, the mountain mountain range (Poospiza baeri) or the fox coloring also inhabit the Park. Examples of typical fauna of their environments are the tuco tuco puneño, the Andean carpenter, the Andean snake and the frog of the stones. In addition, there is mention of guanaco, Andean Condor, gray fox, zorrino, guaipo (or copetona) and chinchillón. The presence of the "yasto" or "carpenter of the stones" (which is the emblematic bird of the Park) is highlighted.
Los Cardones National Park Municipality: Plazoleta perpendicular to National Route 40, kilometer 4510, Barrio Nuevo- Payogasta town-Cachi department, province of Salta. CP 4415.
Tel .: (03868) 15414365
Office Jumps: (0387) 4319641