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  Argentina : Destinations : El Palmar National Park

El Palmar National Park


El Palmar National Park

The El Palmar National Park is located approximately 46 kilometers (29miles) to the north of Colon. It covers an area of 8,500 hectares (21,000 acres) and was founded in 1966, with the objective of preserving the "yatay" (Syagrus yatay), a species of palm tree.

These palm trees grow to reach heights of 10 to 20 meters (33-66ft), with leaves up to 2.5 meters (8ft) long, producing a succulent orange fruit, and the trees are said to possess an average life span of 400-600 years. At one point, the palm trees covered huge areas of land in the provinces Entre Rios and Corrientes in Argentina, along with Uruguay and southern Brasil. Agricultural and livestock needs, however, exploited the land, leading to the gradual destruction of its habitat and thus an alarming decrease of the trees.  

The terrain in the park is, for the most part, undulating and sandy, interrupted occasionally by jutting sandstone rocks and streams from the high plains that travel down towards brooks, quietly hidden among the dense vegetation of the forest. This is the continuation of the missionary forest that borders with the Uruguay river, and that at this latitude, does not exhibit much richness in its flora. The most characteristic trees of the area are the laurel, ceibo, ingá, willow, espina corona (thorn of crown), among others.

In another area of the park, close to the administrative center of the park, the species are different.. There, the palm trees give way to ñandubays, coronillos, molles, talas, and locust trees, typical xerophytic vegetation.

The wildlife of the park, a majority of the animals already extinct, is comprised of chinchillas, ferrets, capybaras, nutrias, giant river otters, skunks, mountain cats, rattlesnakes, painted and river turtles.

There is a Center for Interpretation in the park where they inform visitors about the characteristics of the environment, wildlife, and flora. Close by is also an area for camping. 

 

Location
Province of Entre Ríos. 50 km (31.25 mi) to the north of Colón
When to go
All year long
Attractions
Uruguay River, Ruins of Calera Barquín.
How to get there
From Colón, by car or by bus, head north on route RN 14 towards Concordia.  From the exit to the entrance of the park it is 14 km (8.7 miles). 
Activities
Trekking, observing wildlife and flora.
Services
Center of Interpretation and camping.
Surroundings
Colón, Paysandú, Concordia.

 

 

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