Argentina´s largest National Park: where rewilding is more than just a mission – is a fact.
Located in the geographical heart of Corrientes Province, Ibera National Park is one of the most impressive, but yet not popularly known, areas to see Argentina’s national flora and fauna. Located in a smart territory which contributes to sustainable progress and economic growth in the province. With an area of about 1 million and 300 thousand acres, Iberá Territory is the largest reservoir of nature and biodiversity of Argentina.
This territory combines a National Park, a Provincial Park and Private Protected Areas.
What is The Conservation Land Trust?
Conservation Land Trust is a foundation created in 1992 by Kris and Douglas Tompkins, a couple from the United States, wich mission is to conserve complete and functioning ecosystems and to foster a new local economy for the benefit of all human and nonhuman communities.
For more than two decades, they have been fostering the creation of national parks to ensure permanent conservation of vast landscapes; working to restore ecosystems with active management of landscapes and species; and partnering with local communities to promote public policies and build a new regional economy around ecotourism, one that strengthens their sense of identification and protects their natural and cultural values.
They work with 17 National Parks of Chilean Patagonia, where they’ve developed the Rout of the national parks of Patagonia and with 9 parks in Argentina, some projects are still ongoing.
What makes Ibera National Park so impressive?
Ibera National Park represents a unique site for wildlife in Argentina. Its large extensions of wild environments, such as lakes, rivers, wetlands, marshlands, grasslands, savannahs, forests, gallery forests, palm groves and submerged meadows, alternate in different proportions and surprise with amazing different landscapes. The area is a meeting point of different ecosystems which enables the development of a wide variety of flora and fauna with more than 4.000 species.
The best thing about Ibera National Park is that seeing the fauna on its natural habitat is ensured. This Park works in the reintroduction of endangered indigenous species. All the conservation and reintroduction policies paid off. They brought back the Anteater, the Pampa deer is only growing in numbers and they are getting ready for the reintroduction of the Yaguareté, America´s tiger. The conservation programs made other species grow in number, such is the case of the swamp deer, the Carpincho or Capybara, and Americas Caiman, the Yacarés. All these beautiful animals and more than 350 species of birds make Ibera Park compete with Africa and the Great Swamp, Brasil.
How to get there and where to stay the night.
There are different ways to visit Ibera Park and many ways to get there. The area is a combination of national, provincial and private reserves with areas that are open to visitors, and areas that are colsed. There are 8 gates to the national park, all of them with different services. Just to spend the day, Portal Cambyretá and Portal Nacional Mburucuya have a recreational area, with tables to have lunch and toilets. Another basic area is Portal San Nicolas has a camping area. More prepared areas, with more variety of places to spend the night, are Portales Carambola, Galarza, Uguay and Rio Corrientes.
We recommend two areas to stay and enjoy the park: Colonia Carlos Pellegrini and Puerto Valle.
Colonia Carlos Pellegrini is a town of about 1200 habitants, near Portal Laguna Ibera. It is well prepared for tourism and it has quality and quantity of accommodations. Also, they have a great diversity of excursions and tours to enjoy the park. The town began to grow after the private and public lands of the area became reservation areas. People in Carlos Pellegrini is warm and well prepared, almost 90% of their economy depends, directly or indirectly, on ecotourism. You can go to Colonia Carlos Pellegrini by private car, by bus or by light aircraft.
In colonia Carlos Pellegrini, we recomend staying in Rincon del Socorro Lodge, owned by The Conservation Land Trust. Having originated from a main ranch building originally built in 1896, the Socorro lodge was later restored and expanded personally by Douglas Tompkins
There are many activities that can be done in Rincon del Socorro. The agenda of activities of the day is programmed according to the opportunities of the time and of the climate. Hiking, horseback riding and boat trips are just some examples. In my opinion the best activitie is getting to know about the rewilding project. Socorro is the main operational center of the project. Through videos and talks with biologists and technicians of the CLT team, it is possible to experience the history of the reintroduction in Ibera National Park.
Another option is Puerto Valle, a luxurious all-inclusive hotel on a remodeled traditional manor house of 1868, filled with history and nature. The estancia is surrounded by more than 14 hectares of park, landscaped by prestigious firm Carlos Thays. With both native and exotic species, it invites guests to relax, and enjoy the peaceful ambiance and the encounter with nature. Puerto Valle is located in the northeast end of the National Park. It is a privileged site, with private access to Laguna Valle and direct entry to Cambyretá Portal, the spot selected for the reintroduction of the red macaw.
Combine Ibera National Park with other destinations of Argentina and Chile.
Ecotourism in Ibera National Park is only one of Argentina’s beautiful experiences. A trip to Ibera can be combined with other litoral amazing places and experiences like visiting one of the world’s wonders, Cataratas del Iguazú, the Jesutic Missions, Mate Rout and Sport Fishing.
If you are interested in wildlife tours there are many specific places in Argentina and Chile where you can see Whales, Penguins, Pumas, lots of birds species and more. Also, you can enjoy Argentina’s Highlights, a circuit which includes, besides Patagonia, tasting the best Malbecs in beautiful Vineyards in Mendoza, visiting Northwest Argentina and its amazing color mountains, the magnificent Iguazú Falls and Buenos Aires City.
By Morena Domsch – Beyond BA LATAM team
We invite you to discover the best tours in Ibera Wetlands and Iguazu Falls. Click here to see some examples.
Beyond BA LATAM offers tours and experiences for all these alternatives, where we stand out in tailor-made vacations, designed around your interests and travel style. Contact us, learn about more things to do in Argentina, and let’s plan your next beautiful journey together!