Valley of The Moon Argentina Review – Land of Surreal Reality!
The Valley of the Moon Argentina is the name given to the badlands within Ischigualasto Provincial Park, located some 300 miles from the city of San Juan, and with good reason. The area is exceedingly old and holds clues to how life was like on earth some 225 million years ago when dinosaurs roamed free and strange and wonderful flora and fauna were the norm. Today the area is one of the most popular of Argentina tourist attractions, with visitors from all around the world wanting to see the magical formations that exist there for themselves.
The Valley of the Moon Argentina is a 223 square mile park that is an UNESCO World Heritage Site that once held lush lands and plenty of water but that is now classified as full desert, with dry temperatures that can reach extremes of -10C to 45C with a constant southern wind. It is here that the world’s oldest dinosaur fossils were found while the arid badlands made from wind and water erosion over millions of years have also given way to fossilized ferns and petrified tree trunks.
Some of the formations in the Valley of the Moon Argentina have been given names and as you and your guide travel around the 40 km loop by car, there are 5 distinct areas that you will visit. See formations like ‘The Worm’, ‘The Mushroom’, ‘Red Ravines’ and the ‘Painted Valley’ as the different colors of sediment make stripes in the formations. ‘The Bowling Field’ is aptly named because of the perfectly polished spheres that sit amid the other formations, looking like bowling balls but with no earthly explanation for their appearance. These landmarks in Argentina are certainly sites worth to see and wonderful places for photographs as the landscape looks eerily like the surface of the moon here on earth. The interpretive center on site houses examples of the many fossils found over the years in the park and also strives to inform visitors of our mutual history no matter where in the world you call home.
The word Ischigualasto means ‘place where the moon rests’ and anyone who has seen pictures of the moon would agree that the Valley of the Moon Argentina couldn’t have been blessed with a better name. The breathtaking terrain and the lookout points only drive home the fact that our planet wasn’t always how we see it today. The site is still one of the world’s most important paleontology sites, with ongoing discoveries about our ancient history still being carried out.
If you are planning travel to Argentina, you owe it to yourself to make a stop at this landmark that isn’t the easiest place to get to but is well worth the effort in the displays and history that it holds inside. We can’t go to the moon…yet, but we can definitely see something similar right here on earth at the Valley of the Moon Argentina.