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Valley of the Dinosaurs, Argentina
Fast Facts
Paleo & Archeo
Family Travel Tips

Giganotosaurus Carolinii


Photo by Subsecretaria de Turismo de Neuquén

Valley of the Dinosaurs, as the badlands of Argentina are called, is a truly remote family travel destination. So why take the kids? Dinosaurs of all shapes and sizes once roamed this corner of western Patagonia. Giganotosaurus carolinii, one of the largest carnivores yet discovered, inhabited the Patagonian steppe during the late Cretaceous Period. Argentinosaurus huinculensis, one of the largest dinosaurs to have walked the earth, lived here a few million years earlier. Titanosaurs passed through long after the previous two. But what makes Valley of the Dinosaurs so spectacular is what's happened in the interim. An eon of doings fossilized prehistoric life and unearthed it again. Museo Carmen Funes, a small natural history museum, is home to the biggest and smallest giants of Patagonia, Argentinosaurus huinculensis and sauropod eggs. The Ernesto Bachmann Museum is all about Giganotosaurus carolinii. Auca Mahuevo, a nesting site for titanosaurs, is littered with dinosaur eggs. Cañadón Escondido is a great place to hunt for dinosaur footprints and steal a look at some really old rock. History is made present at Centro Paleontológico Lago Barreales. More than 400 fossils have been uncovered at this dinosaur dig site!
Getting There
Valley of the Dinosaurs is situated north and west of Neuquén in the Argentine province that bears the same name. This fossil rich area is located 1150 km (715 miles) from Buenos Aires, 400 km (250 miles) from San Martín de los Andes and 350 km (217 miles) from San Carlos de Bariloche. Neuquén is 90 km (55 miles) distant. Aerolíneas Argentinas and LADE fly to Neuquén from Buenos Aires, San Martín de los Andes and Comodoro Rivadavia. The bus trip to Neuquén is 16 hours from Buenos Aires and 5 hours from San Carlos de Bariloche.
Getting Around
Area attractions are a great distance from one another making car rental or guided tours essential. Driving requires more legwork but results in greater independence such as a leisurely hike and impromptu stopover. Guided tours put the organization in someone else's hands. Rental car companies are located in Neuquén. Local tourism offices are a great resource for independent travelers.
When to Travel
Summers are hot and dry with an average high of 30°C (89° F). Winters are mild with an average high of 15°C (59°F). The nighttime temperature is significantly lower than the daytime high throughout the year. Plan to dress in layers whether you visit in June or December.
Things to Keep in Mind
Distances are great and the wind never ends.
Travel Trivia
An empanadas is a:
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