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La Payunia Provincial Reserve
La Payunia Provincial Reserve

La Payunia Provincial Reserve

Free admission

Discover some of Argentina’s most striking landscapes during a visit to La Payunia nature reserve, one of the largest volcanic areas in South America. The 1,100-acre reserve is home to hundreds of extinct volcanoes in addition to prairie lands, lakes, and lava fields. The Rio Grande flows through the reserve’s basalt and lava flows, volcanoes, and caves.

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The basics

Travel to La Payunia to see dramatic landscapes and a variety of wildlife. Nature enthusiasts are drawn here for wildlife spotting and photography, including a range of animals such as llamas, pumas, foxes, guanacos, lizards, and eagles. A comprehensive itinerary includes a visit to the volcanic lake on top of Payun Matru, the Payun Liso volcano, and the rock-studded Field of Bombs (dotted with balls of lava solidified into boulders).

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Things to know before you go

  • La Payunia is a must-see attraction for hikers, nature enthusiasts, photography lovers, and families seeking educational experiences.
  • Some of the landscape is flat and accessible to wheelchairs and strollers, but the nature reserve is largely rocky and contains obstacles for wheelchairs.
  • A visit includes the chance to hike up to the edge of volcano craters.
  • Be prepared with sturdy shoes, sun protection, and plenty of water.
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How to get there

Also known as El Payen, La Payunia nature reserve is located approximately 100 miles from Malargue, in the southern stretches of the Mendoza Province. Route 40 leads to La Payunia from San Rafael, south of Mendoza. Most visitors arrive as part of a tour with guides that are knowledgeable about the roads, wildlife, and landscapes.

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Trip ideas

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When to get there

The most popular time to visit Argentina and Mendoza is from October through April. Many travelers with an interest in wine plan a trip to coincide with the harvest months of late February, March, and April. The spring months of October and November are also known for their pleasant temperatures.

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Scientific Research

During a visit to La Payunia, there is a chance of bumping into a certain kind of traveler: scientific researchers. Geologists and volcanologists are drawn to this part of Argentina as its landscapes are comparable to only a few other places on Earth.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What else should I know about attractions in Mendoza?
A:
As well as visiting the La Payunia Provincial Reserve , check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: