TOURISTIC ACTIVITY IN LA PAMPA

Parque Luro Reserve

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PARQUE LURO RESERVE - The only natural reserve of caldén (var. of tree) (Prosopis algarrobilla) in the world

It is located 35 km south of Santa Rosa, on National highway Nº 35. It is a protected area of 7,600 hectares, plenty of caldén forest (approx. 6,000 hectares). The name of the Reserve refers to Pedro Olegario Luro, who in the first decade of the 19th established San Huberto farm and built the first organized game reserve of Argentina.
His marriage with Arminda Roca (Julio Argentino Roca’s niece) related him to one of the most illustrious families of that time, because of the Roca’s military activity and public life. Apart from hunting, Luro conducted other activities like cattle breeding, cultivation of fruits and vegetables, and logging. The caldén wood was carried to the railway station of Naicó by road, and then transported by railway toward Bahía Blanca.
Luro was physician, businessman, farmer, and keen on literature and arts. As regards his public life, he was a legislator during several periods. He was a restless supporter of La Pampa Province autonomy. The main fence of the Farm (today called “The Castle”) was the meeting point of the great crusade for the provincialization of the territory.
Dr. Luro dies in 1927, without seeing his undertaking finished. In 1939, Antonio Maura buys the property in the middle of a great worldwide crisis that affected our country. He exploited the caldén wood, reconstructed the reserve, refurbished the premises and stables to breed polo ponies and thoroughbred horses. He projected to build a Country Club, similar to the one he had constructed in Tortuguitas (Buenos Aires Province) on the property of his wife, Sarah Escalante. Maura dies in 1964, and his daughter, Inés Maura Roviralta fulfills his father’s will and sells the premises to La Pampa Province’s government for the creation of a Provincial Park, thus being it incorporated to the province patrimony.
Fauna Paradise: the wide green stripe that crosses the pampean territory from north to south was named by the mapuche aborigines Mamüll Mapú, which means Forestland, Woodland. The caldén is the typical tree of La Pampa; it reaches a height of 15 m. The reserve has several specimens which are more than 100 years. There are other species like chañar, sombra de toro (“bull shadow”), carobe trees, bushes, herbs and grasses. Apart from the caldenes, there are other natural environments. The lagoon or saltpeper deposit occupies the valley’s bottom and crosses it from east to west. There you can find thickets, bushes and chañares. Going northward, the sand bank shows the attractive the rolling landscape in which the caldenes and grasses grow.
The fauna is represented by species entered by Luro like red deers and wild boars, which adapted and spread in the forest environment. Among the autochthonous species there are pumas, wild cats, gatos del pajonal (“cats from scrumbland”) (Felis colocolo), foxes, shunks, ferrets, “dwarf weasels” (Ver mamosa), and ophidians like the yarará ñata (Bothrops ammodytoides) or “snub-nosed” yarará, the “cross snake” (Hippocamelus bisulcus), false coral, “crystal snake” and the culebra ratonera (“mouse-eater snake”).
The most representative specimen are fowls; there are more than 130 different species. Among them: doves, budgerigars, woodpeckers, chincheros (“bug-eater bird”), churrinches, flamingos, teros (var. of lampwing), teros de agua (var. of lampwing living on water surface), migratory plovers from North America, hawks, caracaras, Turkey buzzards, ducks and gooses of different kinds.
From the Reserve gate to the Interpretation Center: the reserve entrance is limited by two circular columns that recall the ancient access to San Huberto Farm, and then the large iron gate that extends toward the fence that surrounds the premises. Inside, a exquisite fauna can be found in its own environment. We suggest that you should move slowly and quietly, and sharpen your senses. By taking the road on the right, you can see that it separates a dense woodland. After a few meters, still on the right, it appears the lagoon, that water surface, which in certain seasons is surrounded by flamingos, ducks and gooses. By following the winding road, early in the morning or late in the evening, you may see deers among the trees or surprisingly encounter a herd of them on either side of the way. Once you traveled 2,500 meters from the entrance, you will see the magnificent Castle, and on the right you will find the Interpretation Center, whose architectural design symbolizes the caldén. There you will find all the information relative to the Reserve, displayed in thematic blocks and panes with photos and texts. Along the circular gallery, the information is approached in different ways: the wood as a whole, as a natural system, and how each environment (lagoon, sand bank, wood) is cared of. Emphasis is given on the fauna species, the natural spots and the park history, supported with documents and photos, supplemented and deepened with the projection of a video.
From the Interpretation Center to the natural environments: in order to understand the natural environments, the Reserve has three Self-guided Paths for Pedestrians: the Lagoon path, the Wood path, and the Sand bank path. In front of the Interpretation Center, on the left, there is a large sign indicating basic instructions, and during the journey subsidiary signs will help you understand the environment you are visiting. By following the path, during the 45 minutes’ walk (or one hour), you will find rustic seats made of wood, arranged in attractive places to have a rest or recover energy; trash containers are available here. To observe nature, it is necessary to respect its timetables, the times at which animals are more active. Their activity increases early the morning or late in the afternoons, as they walk seeking for food. It should be born in mind that it is difficult to observe animals in their habitat without being previously seen, smelled and heard by them. If you cannot see any animal, probably it has left signs of its presence like foot prints, crushed grass on which they rest, food leftovers like eggs and feathers, caves, strong smells and sounds like breaking branches, indicating their escape. In order to recognize the trails, the path has signs that will help you identifying the species. To recognize flora and birds, the path also has signs with indications.
• If you are interested in observing fowls, ask the guide for the systematic list of fowls (contribution of the La Pampa National University - College of Natural and Exact Sciences)
• If your like to deepen your experiences through observation (fowls, deers, other species), there are programs conducted by the interpretation center’s operators. You must make reservations in advance.
• Contact: Marcelo Dolsan
• Telephone: +54 (02954) 1567-7347
From the Interpretation Center to the Castle and other historical attractions: the classic building of Estancia San Huberto farm, called by native people The Castle, is today a National Historical Monument. As you walk through its rooms and areas, you can distinguish two stages in the life of The Castle. The central area and the ground floor are the most ancient constructions built by Luro, whereas the two lateral wings reflect the functional changes introduced by Antonio Maura when he bought the premises in 1939.
The setting recalls the history of San Huberto and stresses the good taste, sobriety, comfort and customs of that time. The guide tour starts at the principal room, relating the surroundings and the furniture with the story of the family and the reason why it is called San Huberto. It goes on with the Library, where the cultural atmosphere increases, and then you will find the dinning room, where Luro offered the historic lunch that started up the provincial autonomy. Afterward you will see the bedroom of Luro, Maura and the guests’, all of this coupled with stories and references of historical, social and cultural interest.
• Make reservations at the Interpretation Center.
• Maximum number of persons per group: 15.
• First tour: 9 a.m.; last: at 5 and 6 p.m., in winter and summer, respectively.
Other places to visit: The million tank: it can contain 2 million liters of water. The greatest work of Luro, still in use. • The chapel of Virgen de Luján: a panoramic place. • The carriage room: a collection of ancient carriages bought by Maura (scheduled visits). • Stables: a building refurbished by Maura for breeding polo ponies. • Diary: construction erected by Luro for farming purposes.
Visits to the Reserve: from Tuesdays through Sundays and holidays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. during winter, and until 8 p.m. in summer.
Information: Telephone (02954) 42-4404/5060. Fax: 42-1817.
Web: www.turismolapampa.gov.ar

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Editor’s note:
The Reserve: a minimum-value ticket is asked to adults. This includes a guided tour to The Castle and the use of all premises. You cannot stay overnight in the Reserve, except in March or April, when you can see “Deers Bellowing”, a program that should be reserved in advance. We strongly recommend the guided tours to “The Castle”, which take place every hour; therefore it is advisable to go early in the morning so as to enjoy this really beautiful place for a longer time. The camping area is very well equipped: fire places, grills, shadow, games for children, swimming pool, restaurant, storehouse and well conditioned rest rooms. Public telephone in the area. The nearest health center is located at Ataliva Roca (Tel. (02954) 49-6021). However, Santa Rosa is located 35 km from the reserve and the telephone of the hospital is (02954) 45-5000.

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Casino Club Santa Rosa

Located on National highway Nº 5 km 605 (Tel: +54 2954 - 43-1055), the " Casino Club" is considered the widest and modern in the country. Besides the habitual games of casino, it has many slot machines, restaurant, snack bar, Bingo and they are carried out musical shows every weekend.



 

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