CAMPO DE LOS ALISOS NATIONAL PARK
Mountainous subtropical. The average summer temperature is 28 ºC in the low areas, and 0 ºC in “La Ciudacita”. During the winter, the average temperature descends to 16 ºC on the foothills, and to -10 ºC near the mountain tops. The average yearly rainfall is 2500 mm on the low areas during the summer. The weather varies in the area mostly because of the different elevations. In the lowland rainforest the weather is warm and humid in the summer. Most rainfall occurs during this season, with precipitations between 2500 and 3000 mm. The rains usually make visits difficult. The suggested season to visit the Park is from fall to mid-spring.
Accommodation: The best options for lodging are in the urban centers that are close to the Park. For camping inside the Park, ask the park ranger for information about where the camping areas are.
Nearby towns: The following towns are located near the National Park (click on them for more information). Population is indicated according to the information of the census of 2001 (Capital, 2010).
Services: Inside the Park there are camping areas at different heights, with camp-fires and tables, self-guided trails, information offices and sanitation groups.
- In Alpachiri, 12 km away, basic supplies can be acquired.
- The city of Concepción, 30 km away, offers hotels, hostels, restaurants, supermarkets and filling stations.
Recommendation: The Park is relatively new and, for that reason, it does not offer all the services for visitors. It is recommendable to visit or contact the Park Intendance in the city of Concepción, in Tucuman Province. Another suggestion is to talk to the park ranger when entering the Park.
Tours and activities:
- Paraje La Jaya (847 meters above sea level, entrance to the Park and starting point of walking trail).
- La Mesada Refuge (1500 meters above sea level, mountain refuge).
- Paraje La Mesada (1680 meters above sea level; free camping area).
- La Cascada (2700 meters above sea level; observation deck) and La Ciudacita (4400 meters above sea level; archeological site).
- In Cochuna, 16 km west of Alpachiri, there is a trail that takes to the captivating Laguna del Tesoro (lagoon). 1750 meters above sea level; 6 hour walk.
- San Miguel de Tucumán, the capital city of Tucumán Province, and cradle of Argentine Independence, is also worth to visit.
Parque Nacional Campo de los Alisos
24 de septiembre 2044 (4146), Concepción, Tucumán
Tel (03865) 421734
From Valles Calchaquíes. The Park can be accessed from Route 40, starting on Belén by Provincial Route 46, a rubble road except for the first 5 km. It is an 85 km trip to Adalgalá. From there, take the Provincial Route 46, which is paved up to where it merges with Provincial Route 48 (4 km away). At this point, take Provincial Route 48 to the west and keep on the rubble road for 4 km until Bella Vista (where a paved road to Río Potrero begins). If you take paved Provincial Route 48 up to Río Portero, you reach the interprovincial limit after 14 km in La Banderita. From there, follow to Alpachiri through the valley of Vallecitos River and Medina River (32 km of rubble road).
On this road, you pass by El Cochuna National Park.
From the city of Tucumán, the Park can be accessed by National Route 38 to the south. When you get to the city of Concepción (km 80), turn to the west on Provincial Route 365 and drive until reaching the town of Alpachiri (17 km away). From there, take a rubble road (which is not very well maintained) to the paraje La Jaya on the western limit of the Park (12 km).
Located on the Department of Chicligasta, in Tucumán Province, the Campos de los Alisos National Park covers an area of 10,000 hectares. The Park belongs to the High Andean Lakes Ecoregion and protects endangered species on national and international level, such as the condor, the neotropical river otter (lobito de río) and the guanaco. It also preserves important archeological sites, like the Ruinas de la Ciudacita, better known as “Pueblo Viejo”, which belongs to the Incan culture.
This Park was created on 1995 to protect the rainforest, the forest and the High-Andean biome, through the National Law Nº 24 526, enacted on September 6th, 1995. This was the first park created on Tucuman Province. Before the law was enacted, the provincial government transferred the lands to the national government through Provincial Law Nº 6603.
A tract of land approximately 24 kilometers long extends from the border with Catamarca Province on west-east direction, slightly inclined to the south, towards the confluence of rivers Las Pavas and Jaya. The area is located on the eastern mountainside of the Cerros Nevados del Aconquija, with a slope on west-east direction that goes from 5200 to 680 meters above sea level. The Cerro La Bolsa is the highest peak of the Park and it is approximately 5300 masl. The Portezuelo and del Becovel mountains are about 4900 meters high.
The Sierras Pampeanas (mountains) were formed by the tertiary movements that fractured it, creating the different mountain chains, which are the result of the block elevation made by faults. The block elevations occurred because of the faults that went from north to south, and were developed on the steepest peak, which is usually the western one, as a result of the impact that folded the Andes mountain range during the Tertiary era, in different periods.
The Park is crossed by diverse water streams that go from the west to the southeast. Most of the rivers in the province belong to the Salí, Hondo and Dulce riverbeds. Rivers are formed by intense rainfall and enter the collector river Salí in Tucumán. Two of the main rivers constitute the limits of the Park: the La Pavas River on the north, and the Jaya River on the south. The confluence of these rivers originates the Conventillo River, on the eastern edge of the protected area.
The Yungas are main characters of this Park. They are located mostly on the mountain openings, where heavy clouds cover the rainforest, as if it was fog, and brings enough humidity for them to develop.
Above 1000 meters high, there is the Giant Cane (caña brava). Above 1500 meters there are amancaes (amancay) and walnuts (nogal). But it becomes interesting above 2000 meters, where the forest of queñoa (Polylepis besseri) blends with mountain meadows, pampas grass (cortadera) and chaguares (Bromeliaceae family). There are also lupines and yaretillas (Apiaceae family).
In addition, on the western slopes there is the understory, a beautiful and patchy rainforest with specimens of laurel, walnut, horco molle (Blepharocalyx salicifolius), tala (Cannabaceae family), queñoa and cochucho (Zanthoxylum coco).
In the Park, the wildlife is very diverse. Only among vertebrates there are more than 400 species registered, from neotropical river otters and Catamarca water frogs (ranita Montana), to Andean mountain cats (gato andino), ocelots, pumas and guanacos.
Among rodents, there are pericote grande (Cricetidae family), Andean cotton rats and a species of tuco-tuco. The species with a high ecological value are taruca (north Andean deer), wildcat, raccoon, southern Andean deer and Puna tinamou (quiula puneña), among others.
The most noted animal is the Tucumán amazon (loro alisero), endemic species of the Yungas from the Argentine northeast and Bolivian south. This parrot nests only on the Montane Forest, between November and March. In the summer, it travels in flocks to the lowest areas, to feed on the Horco Cebil (Parapiptadenia excelsa) and other foothill plant fruits.
Above 2000 meters, in the Queñoa forests, which are escorted by yaretas, yaretillas and lupines in the highest levels, there are birds like Puna tinamou (quiula puneña) and Tucumán mountain finch (monterita serrana).