AMÉRICA DEL SUR HOSTEL CALAFATE | TOURS
PETRIFIED FOREST LA LEONA TOUR
Full day tour 9 am to 5 pm
This tour is organized for all the people that really like to be outdoors, walking in the wildness of Patagonia, while exploring a paleontological site full of large petrified tree trunks, with massive sizes, and heaps of dinosaur bone fragments, as well as big parts of dinos.
A fair physical condition is required from our “explorers” due to the fact that the site is abundant of steep hillsides, broken terrain and loose soil, rating our walk from moderate to difficult.
Departing east from El Calafate following provincial route 5 for about 33 kilometers, we turn left at “highway” 40 and drive north other 67 kilometers. We travel mostly trough open steppe with magnificent views of the valley of lake Argentino, with a panoramic background of the Southern Andes, cross mighty Santa Cruz river, and coast along the valley of La Leona river with chances to sight mount Fitz Roy.
Just about 12:00 pm we reach the foothill of Cerro Los Hornos, near the stop starts a large depression formed by water erosion where most of the fossils can be found.
This is where our trekking starts: we go down trough steep inclines of loose, dry claylike soil and explore a seemingly endless system of gorges and ravines almost saturated with petrified wood that “sprout” from the soil.
After 3 hours walking (including the time for lunch) we return to El Calafate the same way with stopover of 15 minutes at La Leona Hotel.
Wind and water erosion take place at a very fast rate, so every season we encounter new surprises.
The site enjoys a benign microclimate so dress in layers and expects to get warmer as you walk down the ravines.
A minimum of two participants is required to confirm the tour.