It was declared a Protected Area by the Government of the Province of San Juan on November 3, 1971, mainly for its paleontological value, which was subsequently confirmed with the Declaration of World Heritage by UNESCO on November 30, 2000.
WILLIAM SILL, who was a leading paleontologist and researcher, was the author through his scientific publications that Ischigualasto is recognized worldwide and responsible for exposing to international organizations the geological and paleontological importance of the place obtaining the highest recognition to a protected area. That is why the Interpretation Center that is in the tourist circuit, deservedly bears his name and inside it the visitor can know fossils that will allow you to better understand the evolution of that species that interests both young and old, as well as They are the dinosaurs.
The Park has a “Management Plan”, where its fundamental pillars are the care of the anthropological heritage, the development of the host communities as well as the tourist activity.
The Ischigualasto Provincial Park is located northeast of the province of SAN JUAN, in the departments of VALLE FÉRTIL and JÁCHAL; and it borders the province of LA RIOJA to the north.
The height above sea level includes a range from 1200 to 1800 meters in the highest peaks.
According to the records of Directorate of Geodesy and Cadastre of the province of SAN JUAN of May 24, 2005, the extension of the Park covers 62,916 hectares.
“Conserve the only place in the world that possesses the complete sequence of continental sediments of the Triassic period, with an abundant fossil record which reveals the evolution of the life of the vertebrates and the nature of the paleoenvironments.”
1. Conserve the complete Ischigualasto – Villa Unión basin and the particular geological processes that take place in it.
2. Conserve and protect paleontological sites of global relevance.
3. Conserve biological processes and critical sites or particular biotypes for species of special value.
4. Conserve a representative sample of the Bio-Geographical Province of Monte, Pre-Puna and CHACO.
5. Conserve and protect the archaeological and historical heritage.
6. Conserve sites of unique scenic beauty.
7. Contribute to the socio-economic development of the region through sustainable public use.
“A protected area of international recognition, fully conserved, adaptive management model, with diverse options of sustainable use, which generates a strong sense of belonging in the community, and which is a producer of knowledge of great relevance to transfer it to the world.”
We offer the visitor a traditional circuit, with a duration of 3 hours, where they will be able to know the most famous geoforms of this site, such as the Mushroom, the Submarine, Bocce Court and Painted Valley. Also in the middle of the circuit you can visit the WILLIAM SILL Site Museum. There you can see real fossils and see “in situ” how you work with them.
The traditional circuit is complemented by the tour of the Interpretation Center of the National University of SAN JUAN, there you will know the scientific value of ISCHIGUALASTO and they will be able to observe the timeline of the Triassic era up to the present.
Every month during 4 days we offer the Full Moon Circuit, as well as alternative trekking and mountain bike circuits.
We also have great amenities at the base of the park as a mobile phone signal from Movistar, Wi-Fi, bathrooms, showers, confectionery, craft center and camping area.
How to walk it
The Ischigualasto Provincial Park offers different options to visit it and each of them with different modalities. In all the circuits the visitor will be able to know fantastic landscapes being the main attraction the multiplicity of colors that contrast depending on the time of day in which one enters.
The traditional route and the circuit with a full moon takes place in the vehicle with which the passenger arrives at the attraction. It is mandatory to enter accompanied by a park guide, who will have as main objective to explain the importance of the place, as well as each one of the visitor’s questions.