Parque Nacional de Calilegua

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Calilegua is a national park two hours by car north-east of Salta. I went there together with Sandy from London and our guide Mario from Clark Expediciones. This was something completely different than the standard bus trip to Cachi. Mario is a biologist by training, and a specialist in birds, and bird-watching was one of the main points with the trip. No, I am not really a bird-watcher, but in Calilegua you don't get to see very many mammals. (There are better chances for this in a park called El Rey. It is in fact in closer distance from Salta, but the road there is in bad condition, making it difficult to go to the park for a day trip.)

The Calilegua park is on a mountain slope, and we started an the entrance on 600 metres above sea level. We first took a walk along te river, and then followed a path up in the forest until we hit the road. Mario went back and picked up the car, and we drove along the forest road until the exit of the park on an altitude of 1400 m.

Calilegua is an unusual spot in the Salta area in that it offers cloud forest, something that Argentinians outside the area, is largely unaware of. (Sandy told us that when he had booked the trip from Buenos Aires, he was met with disbelief when he talked about cloud forest.) There is a small strip of subtropical rain forest that stretches from the Bolivian border and further south. The mountains here are better in holding the moisture, so the forest remains wet all the year through.


1. Path

2. Along the River

3. Canyon Side

4. Canyon Side II

5. Spider

6. Liane

7. Foliage

8. Frog Pond

9. Outlook

10. Outlook II

11. White-Throated Antpitta

12. White-Throated Antpitta II

13. Underbrush

14. Bushes with Violet Flowers

15. View with a Road

16. Pale-Orange Flowers

17. Fire Frog

18. Fire Frog II

19. More of the Forest

20. Bushes with Red

21. The Hummingbird Bush

22. Hummingbird in the Telescope

23. Another Hummingbird Bush

24. The River outside Calilegua

25. The River outside Calilegua II