National Parks in Argentina: Iguazu Falls

National Parks in Argentina

Argentina is a large country with a variety of landscapes and climates. Hence, it is no surprise that it has 35 national parks ranging from enchanting deserts to breathtaking glaciers. The 35 parks are spread through 20 provinces, and through all climate regions of the country. While some parks have no entrance or camping fee, others charge their services. The oldest national parks are Iguazu National Park and Nahuel Huapi, as both were declared in 1943. However, the newest parks were declared in 2018 – Ibera National Park and Traslasierra National Park.

Four out of thirty-five parks are recognized as UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites

List of national parks in Argentina

Here is the list of all national parks in Argentina with a short description of each.

Aconquija National Park

Aconquija National Park stands in the Aconquija mountain range. Furthermore, it is a national park that encompasses the territory of the former Campo de Los Alisos National Park and the nature reserve it neighboured. Since the park is relatively new, there aren’t many tourist facilities. But of course, there is still much to see and do. Many trails lead into the mountains and along the river that flows through the park. Additionally, visitors can spend a night on one of the park campsites if they wish. However, visitors must register online 48 hours in advance to enter the park.

El Palmar National Park 

El Palmar is a national park that mainly protects the Yatay palm trees. The park is very popular with tourists, and it is not hard to see why. Since El Palamar has many different trails, visitors can experience it in many ways. However, the most popular trail is La Glorieta, famous for the beautiful views of sunsets. In addition to walking and exploring the park, visitors can also relax at the picturesque sand beach at the bank of the Uruguay River or explore the nearby ruins. Furthermore, they can enjoy a meal at the restaurant or have a relaxing picnic in the shades of palm trees. Of course, camping is also possible, but only at designated campsites. 

El Palmar National Park

El Palmar National Park

Baritu National Park

This magnificent national park is one of the five core areas of the UNESCO-protected Los Yungas Biosphere Reserve, a territory that protects around 50% of Argentina’s biodiversity. Baritu is also the only tropical national park in Argentina. Interestingly, the park covers the territory of several valleys and mountain peaks. Due to its geographical nature, the park preserves the mountain forests. Furthermore, three rivers flow through the park: Lipeo, Pescado and Bermejo. Visitors can enjoy hiking and camping. 

Chaco National Park 

With over 14 000 hectares in the territory, Chaco National Park protects the lagoons and the pampas of eastern Chaco. Interestingly, the park was established in order to protect the quebracho trees that humans exploited during the 19th and 20th centuries. Along with its significance for natural diversity, it is also where two indigenous communities – the Mocovi and Toba – reside. Visitors who come here can enjoy many trails that will lead them along the lagoons and through the wetlands. After some sightseeing, they can enjoy a relaxed picnic or even spend the night at the park campsite. 

Iguazu National Park 

Iguazu is perhaps one of the most popular national parks in Argentina. In fact, it received over 1.6 million visitors in 2019. The park centers around Iguazu falls, the breathtaking wonders of nature. In fact, the area is of such beauty that UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site. The park has a counterpart just across the border with Brazil, the Iguacu falls, another World Heritage Site. Indeed, the territory of the park is vast, and visitors can take several hiking and walking trails to get different views of the falls. However, the most famous viewpoint bears an eerie name – the Devil’s Throat. In contrast to its name, the viewpoint resembles a piece of paradise.

Iguazu Falls

Iguazu Falls

Islas de Santa Fe National Park

This national park consists of five islands surrounded by rivers, meanders and streams. It nestled in Santa Fe, one of the northern Argentinian provinces. Furthermore, there are three major rivers that provide water in the park: El Tereno, Parana and Coronda. Out of those three, Paraná is perhaps the most well-known. Interestingly, Isla de Santa Fe National Park is a restricted area, which means that visitors are not allowed. Because of that, there are no boat excursions organized and tourist infrastructure is not developed. 

Campos del Tuyu National Park 

The national park stretches along 3 000 hectares of the pampas grassland. Its main purpose is the conservation of pampas deer, a fascinating animal close to extinction. Also, the park protects one of the last pampas grasslands in Argentina. Of course, Campos del Tuyu is a beautiful piece of intact nature with fascinating views of lagoons, wetland and grassland. Unfortunately, as was the case with Isla de Santa Fe, visitors are prohibited from entering the park grounds. This decision was put in place in order to ensure that the endangered animals and environment remain as protected as possible. 

San Clemente del Tuyu

San Clemente del Tuyu

Sierra de las Quijadas National Park 

The astonishing scenery in Sierra de las Quijadas is composed of sediment and metamorphic rock outcrops. Moreover, the colours and the rocks are reminiscent of the Grand Canyon, minus the river flowing through the centre. Interestingly, this national park is also an interesting archaeological site as the fossils of the pterosaurs, the winged dinosaurs, were found there. Fortunately, the park is open for visitors, but the entrance is possible only if you make a reservation in advance. Once there, visitors can enjoy guided tours or hike solo along two beautiful hiking trails. 

Tierra del Fuego National Park 

The Land of Fire is the southernmost national park in Argentina, nestled on an island separated from the land by the Strait of Magellan. Tierra del Fuego National park is not too far away from Ushuaia, a city often referred to as ‘the end of the world’. Of course, this national park does not lack remarkable sights. The snow-capped mountains, the beaming blue lakes breathtaking waterfalls and glaciers create unique, tranquil landscapes. Visitors can hike through the forest or along the coast. Furthermore, those who wish to take their time and soak up the atmosphere can camp in the park. 

Tierra del Fuego

Tierra del Fuego

Mburucuya National Park

Mbcuruya is centered around the puzzle of wetlands, hills, lagoons and forests. This national park encompasses three different regions. First, there is the Eastern Chaco which is an area of palm grooves and grasslands. Secondly, there is El Espinal. Similar to the Eastern Chaco, El Espinal is characterized by its palm grooves. However, what differentiates it from Chaco is the endangered yatay palms. The third region is the Parama jungle with scenery made up of the pindo palms and laurel. As for activities, visitors can enjoy four different trails and spend the night at the campsite. There is also a grill area, an ideal location for lunch after a long walk. 

Bosques Petrificados National Park 

The largest petrified forest in Argentina is also one of its most unique national parks. It is located in Santa Cruz province and centered around the largest petrified forest in the world. In contrast to its present-day steppe vegetation and scenery, about 150 million years ago the area was covered in thick forest. Of course, it was the Jurassic period, a time when dinosaurs roamed the Earth and there was no trace of mankind. However, the scenery changed due to volcanic activities and the change of climate. Nowadays, it is a beloved national park where visitors can take guided tours to learn more about our planet’s history. 

Los Glaciares National Park

Ice covers 30% of this park’s surface, which makes it one of the glacier national parks in Argentina. Los Glaciares is situated in the area of Patagonia close to the Chilean border, and it is one of the most visited national parks in Argentina. By far the most famous attractions are Lake Argentino and Lake Viedma. Of course, the lakes are not the only beauty worth seeing. When visiting Los Glaciares, visitors can enjoy the sights of trails, waterfalls, and lakes. Furthermore, there are many glaciers in the park, and the most famous is Perito Moreno. Along with simply walking through the park, visitors can enjoy boat rides and different excursions. However, it is important to keep in mind that drone usage is prohibited within the park’s borders.

El Rey National Park

With its amphitheater-like shape, El Rey National Park is one of a kind in Argentina. A valley surrounded by several mountain ranges covered in many different forests may not be a popular tourist attraction, however, nature-lovers and adventurers will surely enjoy it. Interestingly, the varying forest types enable diverse and colourful wildlife. Furthermore, the entangled jungle and mountain forest sceneries hide different sights. As such, the most beloved attractions in the park are Chorro de los Loros waterfall and Laguna de Los Patitos. Visitors can explore El Rey via several hiking and walking trails, and those who wish to take several days can camp in the park.

Laguna Blanca National Park

Laguna Blanca is another hidden gem among national parks in Argentina. It is centered around the lagoon of the same name in the Patagonia Steppe and is one of the most important bird nesting areas in the country. Because it is not heavily popular among tourists, this is a park where you will experience the peace and quiet of the wilderness. Thus, Laguna Blanca is mostly loved by sport fishing enthusiasts as the fishing season is open from the beginning of April until the end of October, although a special permit is required in order to participate. Moreover, Laguna Blanca is also an ideal place for nature photographers, as it is here where one can see the most beautiful sunsets. 

Nahuel Huapi National Park 

Nahuel Huapi National Park is the oldest national park in Argentina and the largest national park in the region. Admittedly, the park bears the name of the lake Nahuel Huapi it is centered around, a body of water the size of Buenos Aires. As the lake itself is at the foot of the Patagonian Andes, the nature surrounding it includes beautiful forests and snow-capped mountain peaks. However, Nahuel Huapi is not the only beautiful sight in the park. Actually, one of the most popular tourist attractions is the 7 lakes route. Importantly, visitors can also enjoy many recreational activities like trekking, hiking and boating. In addition, the park surrounds San Carlos de Bariloche, a town famous for its delicious chocolate production.

Nahuel Huapi National Park

Nahuel Huapi National Park

Iberá National Park 

Iberá National Park was established in 2018, and it is one of the youngest national parks in Argentina. The park focuses on the protection of the wetland wildlife, with miles of unspoilt nature. Hence, visitors can mostly enjoy hiking and walking trails through the park, as well as guided tours or animal watching. For instance, there are many capybaras and deers visitors can see and appreciate. As the development of the park is focused on eco-tourism, the tourist infrastructure – namely restaurants and activities – are not present within the park’s territory. However, those who wish to explore the park to its fullest can camp in the park. 

Pre-Delta National Park 

Pre-Delta National Park is situated on the bank of the Paraná river. It is a landscape consisting of lagoons, islands and a stunning river that had carved its path through the land. Particularly, the best way to reach and explore the park is through the La Juala area. First, it is the only area of the park accessible from land. Second, it is where visitors can find different types of tours and boat excursions, ideal for those who seek guidance through the park. Interestingly, various bird species live in the park, which is why Pre-Delta National Park is a popular birdwatching destination. Furthermore, those who wish to spend a little bit more time in nature can camp in the park, and the campsite includes bathrooms with showers. 

Perito Moreno National Park 

This national park is often undeservedly overlooked, and unfortunately often confused for the Perito Moreno glacier. However, it is truly a wonderful destination that offers beautiful landscapes and experiences. In order to enter the park, visitors must pre-register and inform the staff of their planned activities. Furthermore, there are several options for sleeping over in the park, from camping to staying in shelters that must be booked in advance. Once at the park, visitors can choose between six different trails. Perhaps the most stunning is the one leading to the viewpoint above Lake Volcán. Additionally, visitors can enjoy birdwatching and hiking. 

Perito Moreno glacier

Perito Moreno glacier

Monte León National Park 

Monte León is a park that encompasses both sea and the coast. It is an area of large biodiversity, and the most beloved animals include sea lions, Magellan penguins and dolphins. However, diverse wildlife is just a portion of what Monte León has to offer. There are several walking trails in the park, each allowing visitors to explore a different corner of it. For example, the trail that leads to the Lion’s Head viewpoint is stunning on its own, but the view at the end of the trail is breathtaking. Also, another beloved trail is the one that leads to the Magellan penguins nesting area. Other virtues of the park include a turquoise sea and beautiful sandy beaches. 

Los Alerces National Park 

Los Alerces National Park is centered around the largest alerce forest in Argentina. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 2017, due to its fascinating age and natural importance. Interestingly, the oldest alerce tree is over 2600 years old and stands at 60 meters tall. Furthermore, the forest treasures many lagoons and lakes visitors can explore. There are, however, other activities visitors can enjoy. For instance, sport fishing enthusiasts will be delighted to know that the fishing season lasts from the beginning of November until the beginning of May. However, fishermen must acquire a permit before engaging in that activity. Additionally, visitors can enjoy horseback riding, beautiful beaches and various excursions

Menendez Lake

Menendez Lake

Lanín National Park 

Along with glaciers and lakes, Patagonia harbours geological landmarks. Volcano Lanín is a dormant stratovolcano in Neuquen province and the heart of Lanín National Park. The snow-capped volcano is surrounded by crystal clear lakes and stunning, deep green nature. Namely, the park is important because of the diversity of its flora and fauna. Furthermore,  Lanín is one of the most well-known national parks in Argentina. Thus, it might get a bit crowded during a visit, but the sights are well worth it. Visitors can enjoy hiking and animal watching. Photographers will also find themselves amazed. Additionally, the park has a quite good tourist infrastructure and offers several accommodation options, restaurants and camping areas. 

Copo National Park 

The vast, yellow grasslands form the heart of Copo National Park. Situated in the Gran Chaco, in the pampas region, Copo is a national park with quite different scenery from that of more popular Patagonia. Nevertheless, tourists and the infrastructure undeservedly overlook this park. While its tourist attractions and infrastructure are scarce, meaning that excursions and tour offers are rare, Copo prides itself on its wilderness. Visitors can enjoy their walks among the protected quebracho trees, and those feeling adventurous can spend the night at the park campsite

El Impenetrable National Park 

Conservation of El Impenetrable National Park has been long and complicated. The territory of what is nowadays a national park was a private territory up until ten years ago. Since then, the government of Argentina and scientists have been pushing the conservation of an otherwise heavily exploited area. Thus, the national park was declared in 2014. However, it wasn’t open to the public for several years. Unfortunately, the heart of Gran Chaco and its surrounding rivers are still not completely ready for the public. While there are occasional visitors who wish to explore it, there is no systemic tourist infrastructure, and even trails in the park are scarce. 

Quebrada del Condorito National Park

Streams, mountains and pampas compose the scenery of Quebrada del Condorito National Park. The vast park near Cordoba used to be mostly inaccessible in the past due to its location in the mountains. Nowadays, Quebrada del Condorito welcomes visitors young and old. Of course, there are plenty of things to see and do in the park. For instance, many visitors come to Quebrada del Condorito due to its ideal trekking terrain. Furthermore, recreational fishing is allowed from November through  May. The park also has a free campsite for visitors who wish to spend multiple days exploring the area. 

San Guillermo National Park

As a part of San Guillermo Biosphere Reserve, the national park is a piece of pristine, unspoilt nature. High in the Andes, at elevations over 2000 meters, it is a park that is as mesmerizing as it requires a good condition to explore it. Despite its reputation as an extreme and lonely place to visit, the park beams with magnificent sights and fascinating wildlife. However, it is important to keep in mind that entering the park is possible only with a licensed guide, and only in the spring and autumn seasons. For their own safety, visitors are recommended to spend the night in the park accommodation that has to be booked in advance. 

Lago Puelo National Park 

Lago Puelo, or lake Puelo, was once a part of Los Alerces National Park. However, the government declared it a separate park in 1971, and the park has since then attracted many visitors. The turquoise, crystal clear water and surrounding green nature of Patagonia are spellbinding. As it stands, the park offers many different activities to its visitors. For instance, they can explore the park while horseback riding, enjoying one of many excursions, kayaking or simply taking their time for trekking and hiking. Furthermore, recreational fishing enthusiasts who acquire a permit can enjoy this activity from November through May. Also, those who wish to pamper themselves can enjoy the spa offer at La Playita beach

Lago Puelo

Lago Puelo

Lihué Calel National Park 

The hills of Lihué Calel in La Pampas province are a significant area of the local flora. In fact, around 40% of plant species native to this province can be found on the territory of this national park. But of course, Lihué Calel National Park is stunning regardless of its visitors’ botanical knowledge. The hills and the grassland make an amazing hiking area and the valleys are sights to behold. Furthermore, Lihué Calel is also an important archaeological site. The Valley of Paintings treasures cave paintings that are thousands of years old. The park doesn’t organize many tourist activities. However, visitors can enjoy spending the night in the camping area or have a good meal in the picnic area after their hike. 

El Leoncito National Park 

This collection of unique Andean grass scenery is one of the world’s most important observatory sites. In fact, it has on average 300 clear nights annually, which is why there are two astronomical observatories in the park itself. Along with the stunning night sky, the park has four different walking trails of low to medium complexity that pass by beautiful waterfalls or lead visitors to breathtaking viewpoints. For instance, at El Manazar and CESCO visitors can soak in the magical panoramic view of the Andes. Furthermore, the free campsite enables spending the night beneath the starry night sky. 

El Leoncito National Park

El Leoncito National Park

Talampaya National Park 

This World Heritage Site is a magnificent national park with many different activities and wonders. It is most famous for the dinosaur fossils that were found in the park. In fact, Talampaya National Park is, along with Ischigualasto Provincial Park, the most complete continental set of fossils in the world. Thus, some of the main attractions in the park feature dinosaurs. Namely the Triassic trail, which features 16 life-sized replicas of dinosaurs. Additionally, visitors can take trekking and hiking tours or full Moon walks which take place at night 2 days before and after the full Moon. Furthermore, attractions in the park include petroglyphs, a botanical garden and viewpoints.

Rio Picolomayo National Park

The park is located on the border with Paraguay, in Formosa province, in the region of endangered Humid Chaco. Thus, its main goal is the conservation of lagoons and pastures found within the park borders. While the park is open and welcomes visitors, it is important to keep in mind that there are days they cannot enter. Because heavy rainfall causes floods that make the roads unusable, the park is closed on rainy days and 72 hours after the storm has passed. However, on the days when its doors are open to visitors, visitors can walk through the park, go birdwatching, hike to Pilcomayo viewpoint and even camp at one of the two camping areas. 

Los Arrayanes National Park 

Los Arrayanes protects the forest of the Quetrihué peninsula on Nahuel Huapi lake, another national park. Although it used to be a part of Nahuel Huapi National Park, it was declared a separate park in 1971. Interestingly, getting to the park is possible only by boat. Once there, visitors can enjoy several different walking trails. For instance, the one to Quetrihué viewpoints is among the more popular trails, as the panoramic view of the Andes and the beaches at the Nahuel Huapi lake is worth the long walk. However, there are other ways to explore the park. Some of them are horseback riding, cycling and, depending on the season, sailing. Furthermore, visitors can enjoy relaxation at one of the two beaches – Bahia Bansa and Bahia Brava.

Los Arranyes National Park

Los Arranyes National Park

Traslasierra National Park 

The scenery of Traslasierra National Park is composed of Guasapampa and Pocho mountains stretching through Chaco. The park protects the habitat of several endangered animal species, as well as forests. Namely, some of the endangered animals include the tortoise, the honey bear and Chaco peccary. Because there are many endangered and sensitive animals in the park, Traslasierra National Park is not open to the public

Los Cardones National Park 

Los Cardones National Park is situated in the Argentinian Monte, an ecoregion in which the dry grasslands dominate the scenery. Interestingly, this is the area with the greatest cacti diversity in Argentina. Also, nature changes depending on the altitudes. That is why at the lower altitudes you can see beautiful Churuqui forests, while the higher altitudes are covered by plains. Moreover, visitors can explore the park by taking three different trails of low difficulty: Enchanted Valley, Eye of Condor and Path of the Past. Unfortunately, there is no tourist infrastructure in the park beside the trails. 

Calilegua National Park 

The territory of Calilegua National Park has a long history. The communities of the indigenous peoples have lived here for centuries. Nowadays, it is the largest national park in the northwest of Argentina, and home to Qualla people. Interestingly, the scenery of the park is a combination of thick jungle and mountain forests. Thus, Calilegua has many places worth visiting and makes great hiking and camping destination. Some of the fantastic locations include Aguas Negras and Mesada de las Colmenas. Furthermore, the campsite in the park has no showers, but there are stoves, toilets and grills. 

Calilegua National Park

Calilegua National Park

Ciervo de los Pantanos National Park 

Ciervo de los Pantanos is a beautiful national park in Buenos Aires province. Since the park is in the pampas ecoregion, vast grasslands dominate the scenery. The native flora and fauna of the pampas can be seen throughout the park. However, there are also several beautiful lagoons with many types of fish and other underwater life. Although there aren’t many tourist services in the park, taking a walk down one of the four walking trails is an interesting experience on its own. Furthermore, while there is no campsite in the park, there is a picnic area with grills where visitors can enjoy the company of their friends and family while surrounded by intact, beautiful nature. 

Argentina National Parks by size 

The national parks make up around 1% of the total surface of Argentina. The largest national park is Los Glaciares National park, with a territory of 726 977 ha. The following list includes the 10 largest national parks in Argentina

  1. Los Glaciares National Park 
  2. Nahuel Huapi National Park 
  3. Lanin National Park 
  4. Los Alerces National Park
  5. Talampaya National Park 
  6. San Guillermo National Park
  7. Perito Moreno National Park
  8. El Impenetrable National Park
  9. Ibera National Park
  10. El Leoncito National Park

Entrance to national parks in Argentina

Only 8 out of 35 national parks in Argentina have entrance and camping fees. The 8 that do charge entrance are some of the most frequented and most famous. Interestingly, prices vary depending on whether you are a foreigner, an Argentine citizen or a resident of a province the park is in.

The park with undoubtedly the highest entrance fees is Iguazu National Park. In order to enter the park, foreign citizens must pay 2800 pesos, while people from Argentina will pay 2680 or 610 pesos, depending on their residence. Entrance tickets for children ages 6 to 16 range from 350 to 700 pesos. 

Iguazu National Park is followed by Tierra del Fuego, where adults will pay an entrance fee ranging from 120 to 2100 pesos, depending on their residence. 

The other 6 parks charge adult tickets in the range of 120 to 1820 pesos or 90 to 1120 pesos. Tickets for children aged 6 to 12 cost 130-140 pesos. However, children aged 5 and younger have free admission to all the national parks. 

Universal entrance tickets and special offers are not available for national parks in Argentina

Map of national parks in Argentina 

National Parks in Argentina FAQs

How many national parks are in Argentina?

There are 35 national parks in Argentina. 

What is the largest national park in Argentina?

The largest national park in Argentina is Los Glaciares National Park. 

What are the oldest national parks in Argentina?

The oldest national parks in Argentina are Iguazu National Park and Nahuel Huapi National Park. 

What are the newest national parks in Argentina?

The newest national parks in Argentina are Ibera National Park and Traslasierra National Park. 

What is the most visited national park in Argentina?

The most visited national park in Argentina is Nahuel Huapi National Park. 

What is the least visited national park in Argentina?

There are four national parks that are not open to the public and thus have no visitors. However, out of those open to the public, Perito Moreno National Park is the least visited. 

Which national park in Argentina is located on the coast?

Monte León National Park is located on the coast.