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Province of Chaco

Chaco National Park was set up in 1954 to preserve a sample of the eastern chaco. Covering some 15,000 ha it is 130 km NW of Resistencia, the provincial capital.

Within the park's limits one can find several types of habitat such as the chaco woods, palm-dotted savannahs and marshes and lagoons. The woods are composed of the "red" quebracho reaching some 15 m in height, the Gleditsia with its trunk covered with a thick wad of long and sharp thorns, Tabebuias which are covered in pink flowers at the end of winter, the guayacán of colourful bark. There are also algarrobos (Prosopis sp) and guayaibí. The lower storeys are covered in impregnable stands of ground bromeliads with bright pink flowering heads which make any idea of walking through these woods an impossible dream.
The Negro river cuts off the NE corner of the park and its riverine forests are particularly dense. In the north-western corner of the park the two "red" quebrachos grow side by side indicating that the park is on the transition zone with the "dry" chaco. The difference is to be found in the leaves - simple or compound.
The fauna of the Chaco is abundant and becoming used to the presence of man. Plush-crested and purplish jays are curious and approach in search of left-overs from picnics. The giant woodrail saunters through clearings near the water. Also seen is the cream-backed woodpecker with its brilliant red head and crest, and at night owls, nightyjars and the potoo are active. Brockets and the howler monkey are abundant in the woods, the latter justifying its name by the sounds it produces at dawn and dusk. The white woodpecker and the savannah hawk are found in the vicinity of palm trees; the grasslands where palms grow are the habitat for a gamut of insects including colourful grasshoppers and mantis, some camouflaged in their background.
On the lakes, Panza de Cabra, Yacaré and Carpincho, one can appreciate the abundant waterfowl of the área. Neotropic cormorants hang their wings out to dry, perched on some snag, the wattled jacana dances over the leaves of floating plants and waterlillies, screamers scream and herons such as the rufescent tiger heron wade. Common raptors at waterholes are the snail kite and the black-collared hawk which prefers fish, watching for them from a look-out from which it also emits its not-unpleasant call. In summer wet places accumulate a surprising variety of frogs and toads which shriek their invitations to their females in a mad chorus. Some species are tree-frogs with specially adapted finger-pads for climbing.

From Resistencia take route 16 as far as the turn off northwards or route 9 to Colonia Elisa, some 28 km away. From here it is some 15 km to Capitan Solari some 6 km from the park. There is a daily bus service to Solari.

There is a large shaded camping area from which all the trails leave. There are bathrooms, fire-pits, tables, drinking water and electricity.
A road heads NW from the HQ/camping area - please drive very slowly. From it one can walk two trails which lead to:
* Carpincho and Yacaré lagoons; three kilometres through riverine forest take one to the look-out over these bodies of water to see the great variety of waterbirds.
* Sendero de la Flora leaves from the camping area; 1.5 km long, it helps you identify and enjoy the tree species of the park.
A vehicle trail to Panza de Cabra lake is another alternative to see and enjoy the nature found in the park; 12 km long through chaco woods where one can see what the chaco quebracho stands once were, eventually reaching the lake.


Thanks to APN - Administración de Parques Nacionales



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