Introduction

In the local indigenous language of Pehuenche, Lihué Calel means Sierra de la Vida (Range of Life), and describes a series of small, isolated mountain ranges and valleys that create unique microclimates in a nearly featureless and flat pampean landscape.

This desert-like park is a haven for native cats such as puma and yagouaroundi. You can spot armadillo, guanaco, mara (Patagonian hare) and vizcacha, while birdlife includes the rhea-like ñandú and many birds of prey such as the carancho (crested caracara).

Lihué Calel receives only about 400mm of rainfall per year, but sudden storms can create brief waterfalls over granite boulders near the visitors center. Even when the sky is cloudless, the subterranean streams in the valleys nourish the monte (a scrub forest with a surprising variety of plant species). Within the park’s 10 square kilometers exist 345 species of plants, nearly half the total found in La Pampa.