La Leona Petrified Forest from El Calafate

La Leona Petrified Forest

La Leona Petrified Forest is a fossil forest located in the Argentine Patagonia, near the border with Chile. It is named after a nearby abandoned ranch called “La Leona,” which means “The Lioness” in Spanish.


How was formed the petrified forest?

The petrified forest is believed to be over 150 million years old and dates back to the Jurassic period. It is comprised of trees that were buried by volcanic ash and lava flows, which preserved them over time. As a result, the trees have been turned to stone and have become a unique and fascinating natural wonder.

Visitors to La Leona Petrified Forest can see a variety of tree fossils, including conifers, ginkgos, and other ancient plants. The forest also has a visitor center, where visitors can learn more about the history and geology of the area. Guided tours are available, and visitors can also explore the area on their own by following the marked trails.

The La Leona Petrified Forest is not only a fascinating tourist attraction, but it is also an important site for scientific research. Scientists have been studying the forest for years, trying to understand the geological processes that led to the formation of the fossils.


How to arrive to La Leona petrified forest from El Calafate?

To get to La Leona Petrified Forest from El Calafate, you can follow these steps:

  1. Rent a car: The easiest way to get to La Leona Petrified Forest is by renting a car in El Calafate. There are several rental car companies in town, and you can book a car in advance online or in person.
  2. Take Route 40: From El Calafate, you will need to take Route 40 north towards Perito Moreno. The distance between El Calafate and La Leona Petrified Forest is approximately 120 km, and the drive takes about 2 hours.
  3. Look for the La Leona Petroglyphs: About 1 km before the La Leona Ranch, you will see a sign for the La Leona Petroglyphs. Turn left here and park your car in the designated parking area.
  4. Follow the trail: From the parking area, follow the trail for about 1 km until you reach the visitor center. Here you can buy tickets and join a guided tour or explore the area on your own.


La Leona Petrified Forest: location map


La leona petrified forest map


It’s important to note that the road to La Leona Petrified Forest is unpaved and can be rough in some areas, so it’s recommended to rent a car with 4-wheel drive or high clearance. Additionally, the weather in Patagonia can be unpredictable, so be sure to check the forecast and pack appropriate clothing and gear.


Picture of Ramiro Rodriguez

Ramiro Rodriguez

25 years working in travel market, as Sales & Marketing Manager in RipioTurismo, Marketing Manager in Nuevas Ideas Travel Consulting Group. Writer and travel lover.

Table of Contents