La Payunia Provincial Reserve, Argentina. The natural reserve is known for numerous volcanic cones and arid surroundings, creating an unearthly landscape. But unlike in Valley of the Moon – another impressive park in the country, La Payunia is also a home for various species of plants as well as animals, including flamingos, condors and venomous snakes.
The park is about the size of Rhode Island and even has approximately 150 residents. It is best to visit the reserve on a guided tour, which will introduce to the terrain and drive around the most popular sites. Tourists get to admire the outlandish fields of basalt, Pampa Negra – a black lava field, Pampa Roja – a red lava surface and more.
Why to go there?
Geologically unique and interesting site, which gives a glimpse to the unspoiled nature, constantly being reshaped by wind, water and underground volcanic activity. Other similar places can be found in Iceland, Hawaii and Mars.
When to go there?
Anytime – the area receives scarce precipitation. Summers are hot, while winters are colder, but rarely freezing.
How to get there?
Get on a tour in Malargüe – it is 160 km (100 mi) away from the city.
Read more about other great places in Argentina: Quebrada de Humahuaca, Perito Moreno Glacier and Mount Fitz Roy
Lead photo by Albert Claveria