Calilegua National Park was created in 1979 to preserve a representative area of the “Oranense Forest”, also known as the “Yungas”. This forest is the most biologically diverse environment of Argentina along with the Misiones rainforest.
Calilegua is the only national park in the province of Jujuy and protect an area of 76 306 hectares making it the largest preserved area in Argentina dedicated to the conservation of tropical mountain forests.
The park has a beautiful landscape, which you can see when transiting the Provincial Route 83 that runs through it. Along the route, you see three different environments: the jungle foothills, mountain forest and mountain woods, each with their own characteristic vegetation. It is also possible to see certain species of birds and mammals in particular, which makes this site an ideal place to observe wildlife, especially birds, about 270 species were identified and its estimated that 230 more could inhabit the area, which makes Calilegua the home of 50% of all bird species in the country and a paradise for birdwatching.
Regarding mammals, it should be noted the presence of the largest predator of America, the jaguar, also known as “Tiger” along with other cats like the jaguarundi, ocelot, puma and cat of grasslands inhabit these forests. The tapir or “anta” is the largest of all mammals in the Yungas and you could see their footprints in the mud of the riverbanks and lakes. The observation of tracks is a way of verifying the presence of wildlife in the park; we suggest identifying them along with park guides.
Near the park entrance, there is a camping area known as Aguas Negras. There you can camp, after registration at the Park Ranger’s house near the park entrance. There are bathrooms but no hot water; we also recommend bringing water supply as that obtained from the taps is not potable.
An extensive network of trails offers different options to enjoy the natural beauty of the Yungas landscape and provide the opportunity of entering deep into the jungles, you can enjoy bird watching and hopefully you will find one of the rare mammals, like monkeys, agoutis, mayuato, otters and peccaries.
While the path signs are good and provided it is highly advisable to walk the trails with authorized guides from the National Park, as frequent fog and the possible absence of clear path references in few trails in-between a homogeneous landscape can make orientation difficult. There is also a circuit enabled for cycling, which is an unforgettable experience. It is possible to go with your own bicycle and equipment, or if needed, you can take full or half-day tour, which provides bicycles, safety features and a qualified guide who accompanies you and makes the experience a more interesting adventure.
It is advisable to book a guide with at least one day in advance, the same for booking cycling excursions and equipment.
To hire qualified guides do not hesitate to contact firstname.lastname@example.org
For advise and to book excursions (bike tours, trekking, hiking and horse riding) visit www.ecotours.calilegua.com or contact via e-mail to email@example.com
For more information about the Calilegua National Park you may also visit the official website of the National Park www.parquecalilegua.gov.ar