CAMPO DE LOS ALISOS
Province of Tucumán
This park was created in 1995 to protect
an area of montane habitat. It occupies some 10,000 ha of slope from 800
to 5200 meters above sea level at the southern end of the Sierra del Aconquija,
the easternmost range of mountains west of the great chaco-pampean flats.
The borders of the park are
the rivers Las Pavas and Jaya which meet at the eastern corner. The western
limit is the ridge which is also the interprovincial border (Tucumán/Catamarca).
The highest point within the park is the peak of Cerro de la Bolsa at
5,200 metres above sea level.
The montane forests, here near their southern extremity, are impoverished
versions of those further north but marvellous for all that. Above are
the alder and podocarp woods starting at 1500 m, the austral wallnut,
and the floor of the woods is cloaked in red lilies in due season. Yet
higher one encounters the upland grasslands with occasional clumps of
Polylepis at the 2000 m elevation. Up at the 3000 m level clumps of bromeliads
cover the vertical rock faces, lupins and cushion plants (Yareta) are
even higher up.
This is the zone where the puna tinamou is to be found, and the tucuman
mountain finch, of very limited distribution, until recently thought to
be an endemic of the Aconquija range. Pumas, guanacos and several strange
rodents including an underground tuco-tuco are found in the park.
Near the crest of the range
there is an archaeological site of major importance where Inca ruins are
found, the basis for studies into that period in northern Argentina. These
are the Ciudadcita or Pueblo Viejo (4,300 m) dated at about 1480 of our
era, which consists of two built up areas joined by a paving-stone path.
They containg circular, rectangular or square edifications built of dry-stone,
with patios, plazas and look-out sites dominating the valley and pedemont
flats. These are the remains of the southern inca empire, in their province
of Collasuyu and are believed to have been the site of different aspects
of their social, political and economic organisation, where the symbolic,
ritual, astronomical and political is ever present. There are theories
that it may have had some sort of military function connected with the
defense of territory, resources and settlements of the highlands and lands
to the west against incursions by warring neighbours from the eastern
plains, not then under Inca rule.
HOW TO GET THERE
South from the city of Tucuman
take route 38 as far as Concepción (80 km). There westwards for
14 km to Alpachiri. Further west along a dreadful dirt road for 10 km
to a place called La Jaya which is on the border of the national park.
Due to its recent creation
there are absolutely no services in the park. A badly marked trail leads
up through the park to the topmost reaches.
Thanks to APN - Administración
de Parques Nacionales