El Palmar National Park

A world of pristine nature and extraordinary biodiversity awaits in the heart of Argentina, where the Uruguay River provides a splendid entrance to El Palmar National Park. This hidden gem offers visitors the chance to experience one of the last Yatay palms and the unique variety of fauna in its natural environment. Get ready for an unforgettable journey filled with awe and admiration.

El Palmar National Park Information

El Palmar National Park


El Palmar National Park is located in the Colón Department, in the Entre Ríos Province, in Argentina, just a few hours from Buenos Aires. It stretches along the right bank of the Uruguay River and covers a total area of 8,213 hectares. It is situated in the Colón Department and is also known as Palmar Grande de Colón or Palmar de Colón. This park hosts one of the southernmost natural palm groves in the world and is home to the ruins of Calera de Barquín. Since June 5th, 2011, it has been part of the Ramsar site Palmar Yatay, internationally recognized for its importance in wetland conservation.

How to Get There

To get there, you can take National Route 14, a scenic highway that will lead you directly to the park entrance. Its geolocation coordinates are: 31°51′11″S 58°19′21″W.

By Car or Private Vehicle

If you decide to travel by car, there are different routes from nearby cities to reach El Palmar National Park:

  • From Buenos Aires: You can take the Zárate-Brazo Largo Complex and then routes RN 12 and RN 14 to the park entrance. The distance is approximately 365 km.
  • From Santa Fe-Paraná: Take RN 18 to Concordia and then RN 14 to reach the park. The distance is approximately 315 km.
  • From Rosario: You can take the Rosario-Victoria Viaduct, then RP 26, RP 39, and finally RN 14 to the park. The distance is approximately 320 km.

It’s important to note that there is a 12 km gravel road between the main park entrance and the Recreational Area.


If you prefer not to travel by car, another option is to reach the town of Ubajay, which is 6 km from the park. Buses from Buenos Aires, Corrientes, and Posadas arrive there. From Ubajay, you can take a remise or a radio-taxi to reach El Palmar National Park. Keep in mind that some buses also stop at the entrance of the protected area, but they don’t pick up passengers.

National Park History

El Palmar National Park was established on February 28, 1966 (Law No. 16.802/65) under the Spanish name "Parque Nacional El Palmar", with the purpose of preserving a representative area of Yata palms, one of the last concentrations of this palm species. Since then, it has become a refuge for rich biodiversity and a popular tourist destination.

Encompassing an area of 8,213 hectares, the park hosts a variety of landscapes, with savanna being predominant. This savanna is characterized by being a herbaceous meadow dotted with palms.

However, due to the terrain characteristics, soil type, and water availability, the park also features other environments such as forests and riparian jungles, xerophilous woods, and floodplain areas, each with its associated fauna.

The creation of El Palmar Park ensures the preservation and natural functioning of a complex ecosystem, where numerous species interact and form a vital chain, with each playing a fundamental role. This park offers us a landscape of extraordinary beauty, in contrast to a highly modified and productive agricultural region in the southern hemisphere.

Opening and Closing Hours

  • Days and hours: Monday to Sunday from 8 AM to 6 PM.
  • "Tierra de Palmares" Information Center: 10 AM to 4 PM.
  • Visitor Center: 8 AM to 6 PM.
  • Hours for pedestrian and vehicular trails: 8 AM to 7 PM.
  • Administration Office: Monday to Friday from 7 AM to 3 PM.

Climate of the Region

The climate is temperate. During summer, average temperatures hover around 25°C, with highs reaching around 40°C. In winter, average temperatures are around 11°C, with occasional frost possible.

Regarding precipitation, the park receives around 1,400 mm of rainfall per year, with the summer months seeing the highest peaks of precipitation.

In terms of seasons, El Palmar National Park is a destination that can be visited year-round. Each season offers its particular charm and the opportunity to enjoy nature under different weather conditions. So, regardless of when you decide to visit, you’ll find unique and wonderful experiences in this beautiful park.

Biodiversity: Fauna, Flora, and Emblematic Species

It’s situated at the confluence of the Pampa and Espinal ecoregions, in the western region of Entre Ríos, with a unique diversity of natural features and biodiversity.

Emblematic Species of the Park

The emblem of El Palmar National Park is represented by two iconic species of the region:

  • Viscacha (Lagostomus maximus): a large and robust rodent that inhabits the park. It has short front legs with strong claws for digging, and long, powerful hind legs. During the day, it rests in burrows and lives in groups. At dusk, it comes out to graze in open areas. The viscacha is a symbol of the park’s fauna.
  • Yatay Palm (Butia yatay): a palm tree that grows in sandy soils and forms dense groups in the park. It can reach a height of up to 18 meters. Both the trunks and crowns of the yatay provide shelter and nesting sites for various birds, such as woodpeckers, parrots, and red falcons. The yatay’s fleshy, bittersweet fruits are an important food source for many species, including parrots, rheas, foxes, and brocket deer.

These two species, the viscacha and yatay palm, are representative of the rich biodiversity and natural environment of El Palmar National Park.

Flora: Yatay Palms and More

The National Park is famous for its Yatay palms, which can reach heights of up to 20 meters. These palms lend their name to the park and are a symbol of the region.

Fauna: A Variety of Endemic Species

Here you can observe a variety of endemic species, from capybaras to black caimans, and more than 200 bird species in different ecosystems:

  • In the palm savannas: it’s possible to see birds like woodpeckers, parrots, and red falcons. These birds seek refuge, food, and suitable nesting sites in the trunks and crowns of trees.
  • In the grasslands: it’s common to find ground-dwelling birds like tinamous, which move agilely to evade predators such as foxes, bobcats, and ferrets.
  • On the banks of the El Palmar, Los Loros streams, and the Uruguay River: you’ll find riparian jungle, which provides shelter to a variety of animals. Among them are brown brocket deer, raccoons, capybaras, and river otters.
  • Within the jungle: you can observe birds like the rufous-capped antthrush, the common magpie, and antbirds, which are common species in this area.
  • In the lower areas of the grassland: temporary wetlands form, attracting birds such as herons, jacanas, southern lapwings, and aquatic turtles.
  • Near the camping area: it’s common to see Argentine tegus during hot days. During the nights, viscachas graze peacefully near their burrows.

Each of these animals contributes to the richness and balance of the ecosystem, creating a fascinating natural environment for visitors.

Representative Ecosystems

The Park protects important ecosystems of grasslands and riparian forests, crucial for the conservation of regional biodiversity.

Recommended Activities and Excursions

The Park offers numerous hiking trails and points of interest, including panoramic views from the Loros Viewpoint and the old El Palmar estate.

Hiking Trails

  • El Mollar and "Calera del Palmar" Historical Trail: These trails are of low difficulty and offer an interpretive hiking experience.
  • Downhill Walk to the Mouth of Los Loros Stream: Enjoy a walk to the mouth of Los Loros Stream and admire the beauty of the surroundings.
  • Crafts Walk: Explore the crafts walk and discover local products.

Intendencia Gardens

The Intendencia Gardens are landscaped areas located near the park’s administration building. These gardens offer a tranquil and beautiful environment, where you can enjoy well-maintained vegetation and landscaping arrangements. Strolling through the Intendencia Gardens will allow you to appreciate the natural beauty and harmony of the surroundings.

Historical Center of the Old Estate

It’s a place of significant historical value. Here, you can explore the remains of an old estate, which was part of the history and heritage of the region. The Historical Center offers an evocative atmosphere, allowing you to imagine what life was like on the estate in the past.

Both the Intendencia Gardens and the Historical Center of the old estate provide the opportunity to immerse yourself in the past and enjoy the natural beauty and history of El Palmar National Park. Exploring these areas will provide you with an enriching experience and connect you with the park’s culture and environment.

Río Uruguay Viewpoints

The Río Uruguay viewpoints offer breathtaking panoramic views of this impressive river. These observation points allow you to enjoy spectacular landscapes and appreciate the natural beauty of El Palmar National Park.

When visiting the viewpoints, you’ll be amazed by the waters of the Río Uruguay and admire its vastness and serenity. Observing the river from these elevated points will provide you with a unique perspective of its grandeur and allow you to connect with the surrounding nature.

The viewpoints are ideal places to pause, relax, and admire the scenery. You can capture stunning photographs, breathe in fresh air, and enjoy moments of tranquility amidst nature.

Activities with Car or Private Vehicle

  • "Calera del Palmar" Historical Site: Visit the historical site and explore the ruins of the old lime kiln.
  • Beach on the Río Uruguay: During the high summer season, you can enjoy the beach with lifeguards present. Outside of that season, water access is not allowed.
  • "De la Selva" Trail: This long-duration and medium-difficulty trail requires mandatory registration at the Visitor Center and informing about your return.
  • Vehicular Drive to Los Loros Stream Viewpoint: Enjoy birdwatching in the "floodable lowlands" and take advantage of the panoramic point.
  • Vehicular Drive to El Palmar Stream Viewpoint: This drive will take you to a bird observatory in the grassland environment, also offering a panoramic point and a low-difficulty trail to El Palmar Stream.
  • Vehicular Drive to La Glorieta Viewpoint: Explore the Yatay Trail, enjoy a panoramic point, and walk the Glorieta Trail.
  • Wildlife Watching: While driving, it’s common to spot wildlife. Remember not to feed or disturb the animals and give them priority on the roads. The maximum allowed speed is 40 km/h on the main road and 20 km/h on the trails.

All vehicular circuits are suitable for cycling, but the use of bicycles is not permitted on pedestrian trails.

Other Activities

  • Capybara Adventure (bike and canoe tours): If you’re seeking adventure, you can book a bike or canoe tour with Capybara Adventure.
  • In addition to wildlife and flora observation, visitors can enjoy recreational activities such as canoeing, sport fishing, picnics, and educational activities such as talks and workshops on conservation.
  • Guides and Tours: Guided tours are available to help explore and learn more about this incredible National Park.

Conservation and Park Management

Threats and Conservation Challenges

The Park faces various conservation challenges, including the invasion of exotic species and climate change.

Conservation and Restoration Programs

There are various programs aimed at protecting and restoring the flora and fauna of the Park, as well as educating visitors about the importance of conservation.

Involving the Local Community

The Park closely collaborates with the local community to promote conservation and sustainable tourism.

Visitor Services and Facilities

Visitor Centers and Accommodation Facilities

The Park features a visitor center, picnic areas, and camping facilities, with accommodations for those who wish to stay longer.

Rules and Regulations for Visitors

To protect the Park and its inhabitants, there are a set of rules and regulations that visitors must follow.

Best Time to Visit and Travel Tips

The Park is beautiful in all seasons, but spring and autumn are especially impressive. Remember to bring sunscreen, water, and comfortable footwear for hiking.

Picnic Area Overlooking the Río Uruguay

Rest and enjoy a picnic with views of the beautiful Río Uruguay.


You can enjoy a meal at the park’s restaurant, relax, and savor the local cuisine.

Integration of El Palmar National Park in Argentine Culture

Cultural Relevance and Heritage

The Park holds significant cultural relevance, housing diverse historical ruins and being part of Argentina’s natural heritage.

Special Events and Festivals

Regular events and festivals are celebrated that highlight local culture and the rich biodiversity of the Park.

The National Park in Literature and the Arts

The Park has inspired numerous artists and writers over the years and continues to be a source of creativity and inspiration.

Photo Gallery