Los Cardones National Park occupies approximately 160,000 acres (64,750 hectares) where three different environments are represented: the mountainous sierras, the piedmont and lowlands, and the basin. Most visitors explore the park as part of a day trip to Cachi from Salta. Itineraries typically include lunch and time to shop at the indigenous handicrafts market in Cachi, as well as stops at Escoipe Gorge, Payogosta, and the national park. The park also features on some multi-day tours of northwestern Argentina, along with Cachi, Laguna Brealito, Cafayate, and Salinas Grandes.
Things to know before you go
- Los Cardones National Park is a must-visit for birdwatchers, outdoor enthusiasts, and adventure travelers.
- Bring plenty of water as well as sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat.
- Wear sturdy shoes suitable for walking over uneven surfaces.
- Take precautions against altitude sickness as areas of the park are above 9,800 feet (3,000 meters).
How to get there
Los Cardones National Park is located 62 miles (100 kilometers) southwest of Salta. It can be reached by routes 68 and 33. The most convenient way to enjoy the park is on a guided tour from Salta.
When to get there
Plan to visit the national park between February and October, when temperatures are cooler. While April and November tend to be the busiest months, crowds are rarely a problem in the national park.
Wildlife of Los Cardones National Park
Its remote location in the far northwest reaches of Argentina make Los Cardones National Park one of the region’s best spots for spotting wildlife. While in the park, keep an eye out for wild donkeys, gray foxes, vicuna, eagles, and condors.
- Cuesta del Obispo (encosta do bispo)
- Cavernas Acsibi
- Vale Calchaqui
- Desfiladeiro Toro (Quebrada del Toro)
- Rio Salado (Rio Juramento)
- San Lorenzo
- Convento São Bernardo
- Trem para as nuvens (Tren a las Nubes)
- Centro Cultural das Américas (Centro Cultural America)
- Museu Histórico do Norte (Museo Historico del Norte)
- Catedral de Salta
- Igreja de São Francisco
- Morro San Bernardo (Cerro San Bernardo)
- Garganta do Diabo (Garganta del Diablo)
- Quebrada de Conchas (Quebrada de las Conchas)