Quebrada del Condorito National Park

The Quebrada del Condorito National Park, located in the city of Córdoba in Argentina, known in Spanish as the ‘Parque Nacional Quebrada del Condorito‘, offers a unique ecotourism experience. It combines stunning landscapes, rich biodiversity with numerous species of fauna and flora, and an important cultural heritage.

Within the protected area of Quebrada del Condorito in Argentina, lives the Andean Condor, the largest flying bird in the world, with a wingspan reaching up to 3.3 meters. This national park is home to various species of animals and plants, making it one of the country’s iconic locations.

National Park Information

Quebrada del Condorito National Park

History of Quebrada del Condorito National Park

Established on November 28, 1996 (Law No. 24,749/96), the Quebrada del Condorito National Park was created to protect the habitat of the Andean Condor, the world’s largest flying bird. It encompasses an area of over 35,396 hectares and is located in the province of Córdoba, in the center of Argentina.

The process of creating and legislating the National Park took place over several years. Between 1956 and 1984, various projects were developed to establish a conservation area in the Pampa de Achala.

On December 22, 1994, an agreement was signed between the National Government and the province of Córdoba, through which the latter committed to cede jurisdiction and eminent domain over the territory that would be declared a national park. The National Government would carry out the expropriation of the 12 parcels totaling 36,373 hectares and 4,529 square meters.

On August 1, 1995, the Legislature of Córdoba approved law number 8486, which ratified the agreement. Subsequently, on November 28, 1996, the National Congress enacted law number 24749, which accepted the land transfer and declared its public utility for expropriation. This law established the creation of the Quebrada del Condorito National Park.

The National Parks Administration took possession of the lands corresponding to the national park between the years 1998 and 1999. Likewise, the provincial water reserve of Achala was created through provincial decree number 361/1999, which encompasses 146,000 hectares contiguous to the national park.

In 1998, the Management Plan was approved, which sets forth the guidelines for park management, and in 2017, the Management Plan for Quebrada del Condorito National Park was published.

As for administration, through resolution number 126/2011 of the National Parks Administration, it was determined that the national park is categorized as protected areas of complexity II for administrative purposes. This means it has a superintendent in charge, who oversees four departments (Administration, Works and Maintenance, National Park Rangers, Conservation and Public Use) and two divisions (Dispatch and Reception Desk, Human Resources and Training). The superintendent’s office is located in the city of Villa Carlos Paz.

Location and How to Get There

The park is located approximately 90 km west of the city of Córdoba. It can be reached by car or through local bus services. Once in the park, the tour is primarily done on foot. It can be geographically located with coordinates: 31°40′00″S 64°40′00″W / -31.66666667, -64.66666667 or with the address: Av. J.S. Bach No. 504 (corner of Drago) B° Costa Azul, X5152 Villa Carlos Paz, Córdoba, Argentina.

Getting There by Car

To access Quebrada del Condorito National Park by car, the main entrance is located at La Pampilla, along Provincial Route 34, also known as the Ruta de las Altas Cumbres. This entrance is located 60 km from both Villa Carlos Paz and Mina Clavero.

From La Pampilla, you should take a distributor bridge and travel approximately 2 kilometers of gravel road until you reach the designated parking area in front of the Visitor Center. Here, it’s necessary to complete the corresponding registration.

Once registered, you can continue by vehicle to the second parking area, which is the starting point of the trail leading to Quebrada del Condorito. From this point, the journey continues solely on foot along a trail until you reach the Balcón Norte viewpoint, with an approximate distance of 5 km.

Additionally, there’s the option to enter the Central Area of the Park. The road to this area begins at Dos Puertas, along Provincial Route 34, at kilometer milestone 47. Eight kilometers from there, you’ll find the Paso de las Piedras river ford, where daytime picnics and salmon fishing are permitted. However, beyond this point, the road is not suitable for vehicles with low clearance.

It’s important to consider road conditions and follow the park’s signs and regulations to ensure a safe and respectful visit to the natural environment.

Getting There by Bus

At La Pampilla, where the main entrance to the park is located, buses that cover the route between Córdoba, a city with flights and bus services from all over the country, and the towns of Mina Clavero and Villa Dolores usually pass through. It’s important to note that during the high season, due to high demand and limited availability, it’s recommended to book tickets in advance to secure a spot.

It’s advisable to check the schedules and transportation companies that provide bus services to these towns and coordinate with the park’s opening and closing hours.

Ecological Importance and Biodiversity Conservation

The park plays a crucial role in protecting the region’s biodiversity. It’s particularly known for being home to the largest population of Andean Condors in Argentina, but it also hosts a wide variety of other flora and fauna species.

Geography and Geology

Description of Geography and Topography

The park is situated in the Chaco Serrano ecoregion, within the Sierras de Córdoba, presenting a diversity of landscapes that include plains, hills, and mountains. The impressive cliffs are ideal for condor nesting.

Interesting Geological Formations

The rock formations present in the park are a testament to millions of years of geological activity, with visible layers of sandstone and shale.

Climate and Seasonal Variations

The park has a cold temperate mountain climate, characterized by a wide temperature range throughout the year. During summer, average temperatures are around 14.5 °C, while in winter, they drop to around 5.5 °C, with absolute lows that can reach -10 °C. The park receives approximately 800 mm of annual precipitation, with most of the rainfall concentrated in the summer months. Winter snowfall is likely, and frequent fog is recorded throughout the year.

Visiting the park during spring and autumn is recommended, as summer brings more intense rains and trail access is closed during dense fog. These intermediate seasons offer moderate temperatures and are ideal for enjoying the blooming flora and changing landscape colors. However, it’s important to note that the climate can be variable, and it’s advisable to bring appropriate clothing to adapt to the changing weather conditions of the park.


Iconic Species of Quebrada del Condorito

The Andean Condor (Vultur gryphus), with its wingspan of approximately 3 meters, is an exceptional gliding bird that utilizes thermal currents to soar to great heights. Its plumage is mostly black, with a white collar and dorsal wing area. Males have a red crest on their featherless head, while females lack a crest. Juveniles are brown and lack the characteristic white markings. Condors rest and nest on the vertical cliffs of the narrow Quebrada del Condorito, which has a depth of 800 meters. From there, they embark on long-distance gliding flights in search of food. The Andean Condor is classified as an endangered species.

The Achala Green Lizard (Pristidactylus achalensis) is an endemic species to the Pampa de Achala and Cerro Champaquí in Córdoba. Males exhibit a striking emerald green or bright blue color on their dorsal side, while females have a yellowish hue with transverse brown bands. Their diet mainly consists of insects, although they also consume vegetation.

The tabaquillo (Polylepis australis) is a tree or shrub that can reach up to 8 meters in height. Its trunk features a cinnamon-colored bark that peels off in thin layers, resembling tobacco leaves, from which its name derives. Tabaquillo forests are exclusive to Argentina and play a significant role in preventing soil erosion caused by rainfall.

Characteristic Flora

The flora of Quebrada del Condorito National Park is characterized by the presence of high-altitude grasslands dominating the landscape. These grasslands intermingle with isolated groves of tabaquillo, similar to those found in the Northwestern region of Argentina. These tabaquillo groves are considered "biogeographic islands" as they harbor a significant number of endemic species and subspecies found in the high summits of these mountains.

In the lower areas of the park, grasslands give way to scrublands of romerillo, a characteristic shrub species of the region. As you ascend the mountain foothills, trees like molle and coco can be found.

The presence of these different plant formations creates a mosaic of landscapes and contributes to the biological diversity of the park. The adaptation of flora to the extreme conditions of high altitude and cold mountain climate is remarkable and showcases the plants’ ability to survive in these challenging environments.

Observable Fauna in Quebrada del Condorito

Quebrada del Condorito National Park hosts a rich variety of fauna, including both exclusive and iconic species of the area.

Among the characteristic animals of the region is the Achala Lizard, an endemic species found only in the Pampa de Achala and Cerro Champaquí. Additionally, a subspecies of the red fox specific to the area can be encountered.

However, it’s the condors that are the true protagonists and one of the main attractions for visitors. These majestic birds establish their nests in the gorge that gives the park its name and utilize thermal air currents generated between the rocky cliffs to soar in flight. They also use this condition to teach juveniles the fundamentals of gliding flight. The presence of condors in the park is truly impressive and offers visitors the opportunity to observe these magnificent birds up close.

Furthermore, since 2007, reintroduction efforts have been carried out for an ancient inhabitant of the area: the guanaco. These conservation efforts aim to restore the presence of this species to its natural habitat within the protected area.

Recommended Activities and Excursions in Quebrada del Condorito

Balcón Norte (North Balcony)

The Balcón Norte (North Balcony) is an observation point that offers breathtaking views of Quebrada del Condorito. Additionally, it features interpretive trails that allow visitors to learn about the park’s fauna, flora, and geology while enjoying its natural beauty.

Descent to Río de los Condoritos (Condoritos River)

This option allows for descending to Río de los Condoritos, providing the opportunity to explore this beautiful natural environment. It’s important to follow the park’s signs and regulations when undertaking this activity.

Balcón Sur (South Balcony)

The Balcón Sur (South Balcony) is another strategic observation point from which you can appreciate the majestic condor birds soaring over Quebrada del Condorito. It’s an impressive spot to enjoy this unique natural spectacle.

Trekking Guided Expeditions

For those wishing to explore the park further, guided trekking expeditions are available, requiring the presence of authorized trekking guides. These professionals will lead visitors through scenic routes and provide valuable information about the natural environment.

Recreational Fishing

Recreational fishing is allowed in the park from October 30th until the end of May. A mandatory permit is required for fishing. Visitors can request this permit for free by sending an email to [email protected] or by filling out a virtual form.

It’s important to note that if you plan to fish in the Paso de las Piedras area, there’s no need to register in the online entry form. In this case, you only need to process the corresponding fishing permit.

Nocturnal Visits

Nocturnal visits to Quebrada del Condorito National Park are conducted from Monday to Sunday and require the hiring of authorized guides. These visits offer the opportunity to explore the park during the night, including the option to enjoy the beauty of the Full Moon. It’s recommended to contact the authorized guides for more information about these nocturnal visits.

Bicycle Rides

The use of bicycles is allowed only on park vehicular roads 2 and 7. However, bicycles are not allowed on the trail leading to Quebrada del Condorito. It’s important to respect this regulation to ensure visitor safety and preserve the park’s natural environment.

Camping within National Park Areas

The park has designated camping areas, such as La Cañada and, if available, Pampa Pajosa. It’s necessary to process the corresponding entry and camping permits and verify the availability of these areas. It’s mandatory to bring an approved camping heater. Spending the night within an authentic natural setting is a unique experience. Highly recommended.

Visitor’s Guide

Visitor Registration: In-Person

Upon arriving at Quebrada del Condorito National Park, it’s mandatory to complete the visitor registration. This registration can be done in person or virtually, prior to the visit, to expedite the process upon arrival at the park. If you intend to access Balcón Sur, go on expeditions, or partake in nocturnal visits, the guides hired for these activities will complete the registration.

Advance Virtual Registration

There’s the option to complete advance virtual registration through a web form. This allows you to provide the required information before your visit and streamline the entry process into the park. It’s important to follow the instructions and provide the requested information accurately. Registering accompanying individuals is also necessary.

Services and Facilities

The park features a visitor center where you can find detailed information about the attractions and park regulations. Additionally, there are educational facilities where you can learn more about the biodiversity and conservation efforts within the park.

Guides Required for Some Activities

To access Balcón Sur or engage in cross-country trekking within Quebrada del Condorito National Park, it’s necessary to book an excursion with an authorized guide prior to your visit. Guides have separate quotas and handle online registration, so if you hire this service, you won’t need to fill out individual registration. It’s recommended to consult the cost and details of each excursion with authorized guides and providers, which can be found in the downloads section at the end of the page.


The park offers the option of free, unregulated camping in designated areas like La Cañada and Pampa Pajosa. It’s important to note that the camping check-in time is until 4 PM.

To engage in camping, you need to obtain a permit in advance, once the aforementioned entry registration is confirmed. The permit can be requested from Monday to Friday, 8 AM to 4 PM, by sending a WhatsApp message to +54 9 3541 53 2153 or writing to [email protected].

Lodging Options Inside and Around the Park

While camping within the park isn’t allowed, there are various lodging options available in nearby areas. This includes hostels, hotels, and country houses.

What to Bring on Your Visit

We recommend that visitors prepare for mountain weather and bring enough water and sunscreen. Wearing appropriate hiking footwear is essential. Remember, you’re visiting a protected natural space: keep nature clean and do not feed the animals.

Behavior and Safety Rules

To ensure a pleasant and safe experience for all, it’s important to adhere to the park’s rules. This includes staying on marked trails, refraining from feeding the animals, and taking all generated trash with you.

Cultural Heritage

Towns and Local Communities

The region surrounding the park is full of local communities with rich history and culture. We encourage you to explore these towns and enjoy their hospitality and traditions.

History of Indigenous Peoples

The region has been home to various indigenous groups throughout history, each contributing their own cultural richness to the area. The history of these peoples is an integral component of the park’s heritage.

Local Festivals and Events

Several local festivals and events occur throughout the year. These can be an excellent way to experience local culture and make your park visit even more memorable.

Research and Conservation

Ongoing Conservation Projects

There are several ongoing conservation projects in the park, all focused on protecting the biodiversity and habitat of the Andean Condor.

Scientific Research Programs

The park is also a significant hub for scientific research. Researchers study everything from the ecology of the Andean Condor to the park’s geology and plant adaptation to extreme environmental conditions. These research programs contribute to a better understanding of biodiversity and the development of more effective conservation strategies.

Participation and Volunteering

The park offers participation and volunteering opportunities for those interested in contributing to the area’s conservation and preservation. These activities may involve monitoring of fauna and flora, habitat restoration, and environmental education.

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