Cereus stenogonus is found in Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay.
It grows in the Xerophytic and meso-xerophytic forests of the Dry Chaco. The forests of the Dry Chaco are very dense, spiny and not easily penetrable.
The overall forest structure consists of an 8–12 metre tree layer (up to 15–17 meters depending on species composition), a 3–8 metre shrub layer and a scarce understory, with dominant xerophytic species (Aspidosperma, Astronium, Schinopsis, Ceiba, Bulnesia).
Thorny microphylls or leafless plants (Prosopis, Acacia), and cacti (Cereus, Stetsonia) are common, as well as species that develop tubercles for water accumulation (Jacaratia).