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
Province of Entre Ríos. 50 km (31.25 mi) to the north of
When to go
All year long
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
Trekking, observing wildlife and flora.
Center of Interpretation and camping.
Colón, Paysandú, Concordia.