If you want to include great wildlife spotting in your Argentina holiday, the Iberá wetlands are one of the best spots in the country, especially if you are an avid bird watcher. The full name is Esteros de Iberá and is located in the sub-tropical north of Argentina in the Corrientes Province. It is the most important and biodiverse wetland area in the country and a sanctuary for wildlife and plants. Here you can see cayman, capybaras, and hundreds of species of birds. The relative remoteness of the location has enabled it to remain another of Argentina´s hidden gems.
Although it can be visited all year round, it is best to avoid the summer months – Jan, Feb and March in Argentina – as it will be very hot making it a bit too uncomfortable to visit. The autumn months of April and May have lower temperatures and it is dry. The spring time – Sept to Nov – has heavier rains but the wetlands are very colourful at this time of year. Winter, June to August, is when the region is much cooler. It is a good time to travel especially if you want less crowds and prices are cheaper, as this is the lowest season. For avid bird watchers, we suggest Sept to April as this is the migratory season.
There are several excellent all-inclusive lodges near Carlos Pellegrini, which can be reached overland or by private plane, or for those looking for luxury we have excellent rates at the wonderful Puerto Valle, just 45 minutes from Posadas airport on the northern edges of the Esteros. We can arrange specialist bird watching packages and also fantastic riding trips through the wetlands.
The massive expanse of Patagonia is also a wonderful place to see wildlife. Chances are that if you are going to Argentina for the first time, you will include either the Lake district, El Calafate or Ushuaia. You can enjoy wildlife encounters here but if you want to maximise your chances we suggest including a specialist tour with a skilled guide.
The Valdes Peninsula in particular, is a haven for marine wildlife. From August to mid-December, it is home to an important breeding population of the endangered southern right whales as well as elephant seals and sea lions. The orcas in this area (from February to March) have developed a unique hunting strategy to adapt to local coastal conditions. A few hours south is Punta Tombo, a 3 kilometre-long peninsula that between September and April is home to a vast number of Magellanic penguins that come to this site to incubate their eggs and prepare their offspring for migration. It is the largest such colony in South America. The area was settled by Welsh colonists in the late 19th Century, and the small town of Gaiman is well worth visiting for the excellent cream teas!
This place deserves a special mention. It is a family owned project aimed at protecting wildlife and sustainable tourism, and it is a lodge in remote Patagonia by the sea.
Historically, Bahia Bustamante was a tiny town established by pioneer Don Lorenzo Soriano to harvest seaweed and his grandson Matias now runs it as a hotel – the old workers’ houses converted into 11 guest cabins – and it’s still simple and austere, with limited electricity and cosy blankets woven from their wool. The focus is entirely on the vast empty surroundings, which you can explore on foot, by 4×4, by bike or on horseback. Bahia Bustamante is also home to a pioneering wine project with experimental vines grown directly on the beach!
Nowadays it simply is a haven of wildlife and a unique ecosystem. A stay here is as far off the beaten track as you can get and we cannot recommend it enough!
Ready to book these off the beaten path destinations?
Give our specialists a call on 0207 112 0019 or email to start planning a perfect wildlife packed holiday to Argentina!