The land of endless steppes in the southern part of South America is mostly known for beautiful peaks and glaciers of southern Andes. However, the Patagonian landscape can also offer insights into the history of our planet. Under endless deserts and grasslands, ancient giants are buried.
You can visit them about 100 km out of El Calafate in Petrified Forest La Leona. On the way there, you can enjoy spectacular views. If you are lucky and the weather plays along, you can also catch a glimpse of the famous Fitz Roy massive.
Coffee or mate break in a historic hotel La Leona takes you back to the colonial times. This lovely hosteria also served as a hiding place to notorious bandits – Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid – after robbing a bank in Rio Gallegos.
After arriving at the edge of the petrified forest, a vast moon-like landscape takes your breath away.
Once you get in, your guide points out the fossils of prehistoric trees and flowers. After a while you come across something big, that looks like a tree trunk at first, but then you realise you are standing above a huge dinosaur bone.
And they are big! Look at this dino’s femur compared to the one of a lama.
In fact, the biggest dinosaur species were found in Patagonia, some of them up to 150 million years old.
But in Patagonia, you also have to look out for the predators of the present. You never know, when a mountain lion decides to protect its lands. Maybe it won’t just show you a paw print in the sand.