When it comes to Argentina travel, you have to visit the fascinating Ischigualasto National Park, a hidden gem in the northeast of San Juan. There’s a reason why this national park is known to locals as the “Moon Valley.” With its grey sand at your feet, its rock formations that look like they came from space, and its ridge of mountains that look white under the sun, Moon Valley is sure to blow you away when you travel to South America.  

This beautiful stretch of landscape covers about 153,000 acres, a neighbor to Talampaya in the province of La Rioja. The Ischigualasto National Park and its Moon Valley are both definitely two of the best kept secrets of Argentina and probably aren’t on the itinerary of the every-day travel lover. That’s why, here at Ecophiles, we’re giving you a sneak peek into what it’s like to discover the stunning Moon Valley. Get ready to travel into the moon.

Moonscapes and Valleys

What’s truly fascinating is what lies underneath the surface. On your travel experience to Argentina, you’ll be walking in the footsteps of dinosaurs. Below its dusty, pale sands are the remains of majestic giants that lived millions of years ago, layers of geological history at your feet. These rock formations are nearly 240 million years old, and offer us a complete fossil record of the Triassic Era, something that’s not only pleasing to the eye, but a representation of how much our world has changed since its beginning. The Moon Valley opens a space for us to explore that even further than we could have ever imagined.

Valley of the Moon in Argentina

Valley of the Moon in Argentina. Photo: M.Bustos via Wikimedia Commons

Argentina’s Moon Valley showcases the different movements and collisions of tectonic plates, as the valleys are blanketed by thousands of meters of younger rocks. There’s no other place in the world that gives us so much information about the evolution of life as the Moon Valley in the Ischigualasto National Park. It allows us to look into the past of Earth and see history in its physical form. Your travel experience to the Moon Valley will be one for the books!

Ischigualasto National Park, Argentina

Moon Valley Rock Formations. Photo: Kevin Jones via Flickr

An Argentinian Travel Journey into Space

Through telling us a story of what our world looked like millions of years ago, the Moon Valley will make you settle into the beautiful landscapes of Argentina’s rich pieces of nature. Morado Mount, a peak for visitors to climb, will offer you a view of towering walls and panoramic scenery, perfect to take some pictures and share your travel experience with friends. The terrain has so many lush, flora species, like cacti and native flowers (the retamas and larreas). If you’re lucky, you might even be able to spot some wildlife on your Argentina travel too!

Moon Valley in Argentina

Valley of the Moon Photo: AHLN via Flickr

What to See in Argentina’s Moon Valley

There are several look-out spots to take photos, too, such as “The Worm,” “Painted Valley,” “Bowling Lane,” and the “Mushroom” (quirky names, but stunning views nonetheless). Once you travel to these stations, you can explore the quiet, unwavering workings of nature, the rock formations in their unique forms. It won’t be like anything you’ve ever seen in your lifetime!

Valley of the Moon in Argentina

Photo: Moon Valley by AHLN via Flickr

How to travel here: 

The interior of the Ischigualasto National Park offers a main circuit that’s 26 miles long to navigate to this popular travel site. Allotting about 3 hours to cross, you can travel by car or with an authorized guide. At the entrance, you’ll find the Interpretation Center, a place where you can get maps, travel information, travel guides, and the like. It also has a unique display of replicas of some of the most important fossils found in the park. The Ischigualasto is truly an other-worldly experience that should not be missed on your Argentina travel!

Moon Valley in Argentina

Photo: Valley of the Moon by AHLN via Flickr

Walking through the Painted Valley and stepping on dinosaur lands in the silence of the night could only be described as an unforgettable travel experience. Travel to Argentina to see this natural wonder.

Happy moon-walking!

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