Los Cardones National Park is located in the central part of the Salta Province, and it occupies approximately 160,000 acres. It was established in 1996 to protect the high elevation vegetation located in the colorful sierras and dry gorges of this area. The cardones are column-like cactus plants that thrive in high altitudes and are found throughout the national park, which is where the park got its name. The area also boasts small forests of the leguminous Churqui. Many animals live in the national park, including more than 100 species of birds.
Three different environments are represented in the park. They include the mountainous area of the sierras, the piedmont and low lands, and the basin. Fossils from many extinct animals, including dinosaur tracks, have been found in the park. Other attractions in the park include pre-Inca cave art.
Los Cardones National Park is located 62 miles southwest of Salta. It can be reached by routes 68 and 33.