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El Rey National Park (Spanish: Parque Nacional El Rey) is a 44,000-hectare park in the central to eastern part of the Salta Province of Argentina. It protects the landscape of the so-called Yungas or cloud forests and is quite easily accessible.



The park was created in 1948 on the site of the old Finca El Rey, founded in 1767 as a fortress by the Spaniards.


The national park is located in a slightly mountainous area in the border area between the Yungas and the Chaco plains and is therefore somewhat drier and less jungle-like than the parks further west. The lowest vegetation zone is therefore also occupied by the Chaco dry forest, which merges into the cloud forest at an altitude of 800 m, followed by mountain forests at an altitude of 1400 m.

Flora and fauna[edit]

Each vegetation zone has its own fauna and flora. In the Chaco dry forest, for example, thorn bushes and low trees such as algarrobo and quebracho predominate , while the cloud forest is home to dense vegetation and several species of orchids. In the mountain forests one finds firs, alders and some native species. The fauna is also rich in species with numerous bird, small animal and insect species as well as some large carnivores such as the puma.


The climate is subtropical, not too humid with 500 to 700 mm of precipitation per year, whereby the main part falls in the summer half-year. In summer it is muggy, in winter it is often pleasantly warm and sunny, but cold snaps with frost do occur.

Get in[edit]

Map of El Rey National Park

Public transport does not serve the park, but it is easily accessible by car.

From Salta, take the RN 34 to Lumbreras (about 100 km), then turn onto the RP 5 and RP 20 to the park entrance, 80 km from Lumbreras. The visitor center is 11 km into the park, which is also where the campsites are located.

Fees and permits[edit]

Entry to the park is free.

Get around[edit]

There are several driveways and footpaths.



From the visitor center there are several paths and trails that can be hiked and partly explored by bike, some can also be mastered by car.

The path to the bird-rich Laguna Los Patitos (1 hour), to the Río Popayán with another campsite (10 km, possible by car), Pozo Verde (12 km, with forest nature trail), Cascada Los Lobitos (4 km, in the car possible) and Chorro de los Loros (higher level of difficulty, only on foot, 10 km).






There are no towns with hotels near the park. The next town, Las Lajitas, is 90 km to the east.


There is a free campsite at the visitor center. It is comparatively well equipped, has drinking water, sanitary facilities, and fireplaces.


Stay safe[edit]

Go next[edit]

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