Talampaya Canyon Review – Red Rocks of Argentina!
Talampaya Canyon is part of the Talampaya National Park and like the Valley of the Moon it is one of the must-see landmarks in Argentina. Located in the La Rioja province, the park makes for a fascinating day trip from the city of La Rioja where visitors can see the impressive red rock formations and the towering sides of the canyon in the site that was named a World Heritage Site in 2000.
Talampaya Canyon is nestled in the 830 square mile park that sits at 1500 meters above sea level. It is an important archeological and paleontological site to this day, having been home to dinosaurs and aboriginal communities millions of years ago. The many geological formations are the product of both wind and water erosion that has carved them into the beautiful creations they are today. The desert climate of today is a lot different to what it was like millions of years ago when lush foliage and lakes dominated the area. Now the daily temperatures can range from -50F to 115F and there are torrential rains in the summer that follow the strong winds of spring. Whatever the weather, none of this seems to deter visitors, as the area is still one of the top of Argentina tourist attractions.
The giant sculptures and impressive red rocks of Argentina can be seen on several hiking routes, some of which take you to the edge of the Talampaya Canyon where you can see the 3km long expanse and the treasures it holds inside its towering walls. Some tours are hiking and 4×4 combined giving you the best of both worlds. Other tours can take you to the mountain caves where artifacts like pottery and spearheads have been recovered and now placed in the Museum of Natural Sciences for all to enjoy. Still other hikes lead you to the remains of aboriginal settlements and their hieroglyphs that have stood the test of time. Personal cars that once were a dominant source of transportation in the park have now been replaced by guided tours, some of which are conducted in open top vehicles giving you plenty of opportunity to sightsee and capture those memories while being informed of the history of the area at the same time.
Talampaya Canyon is a prominent entry in any Argentina travel guide because of the mesmerizing natural beauty that is captured within its walls and surrounding national park. The name Talampaya means ‘dry riverbed of the Tala’ aptly named when you consider the canyon was once home to a raging river that helped shape what we see today.
If a trip to the northeast region of Argentina is in the cards, make sure you make a point to take in the amazing Talampaya Canyon where beauty and nature come together as one. Millions of years later and still going strong, this area is a testament to the forces of nature that we so often take for granted.