Introducing The Gran Chaco
The Gran Chaco is a vast alluvial lowland, stretching north from Santa Fe and Córdoba provinces, across the entirety of Chaco and Formosa, and into Paraguay, Bolivia and Brazil. It reaches far to the west, drying up as it goes: the western side, known as the Chaco Seco (Dry Chaco), has been dubbed the Impenetrable, due to its severe lack of water across an endless plain of thorn scrub.
Deforestation continues apace here, with vast areas being cleared to plant soya, of which Argentina is now one of the world’s major producers. This has seriously affected Toba tribes, whose traditional environment is being destroyed.
Crossing the Gran Chaco from Formosa to Salta along the northern RN81 is brutal and can take nearly two days; RN16 from Resistencia is much faster.