National Park El Rey
El Rey National Park is located 200 kms towards the east of Salta city. The last 45 kms of road before getting there is very muddy during rainy seasons in Salta province, between December and March. In normal conditions, the driving time is around 3 hours each way.
Starting early in the morning in Salta city, we will arrive at the National Park around 10:00 AM. Right at the entrance, a park ranger will welcome us and give us some brochures, and then we will keep driving to the central part where the administration and the ranger's head quarter are. Once we get there, we have two sectors to go in a 4x4 and visit.
Once is Popayan River; after driving 40 minutes more over the forest, we will get into an abandoned camping area where we can leave our truck and walk around a little to see the wonderful landscape of the river in the middle of the forest with lash vegetation on it. If it is not during rainy seasons, we can see lots of fish through the clear water of the river in many natural pools.
Among the fish we can find dorados (goldfish), cat fish, sabalos and bogas. Fishing is forbidden in this National Park. In order to go to another sector of the park, we must return to the central part and then continue to the parking area of the way to Pozo Verde.
If it is time for lunch (included in the price), we can do it near the river bed. Then we can walk a little bit around this area to see a different kind of forest like in Popayán, in this case the trees are higher because it is called transition forest with different species and environment.
The 4 tree species we can find there are: cedros, tipas and laurels specially, and in a dark part of the base forest we can see a lot of offerns.
Not in all trips will we be able to see a lot of fauna in the park because that depends on the weather, season and time. It is nice when we can see large groups of wild pigs (pecarí), Tapir (antas), Lobito de río, and more
In the forest, some season are ticks who drop on your clothes looking for your skin.
So, arund 4:30 PM, we will start the return to Salta because we have 3 hours driving back.
Estimated time of arrival in Salta: 7:00 PM.
To sum up, it will be 6 hours driving and 3 hours hiking.