If the budget permits, the best place to stay in Esteros de Ibera is in one of its many estancias, traditional countryside ranches that provide visitors with a true insight into Argentina’s fascinating gaucho culture. The following offerings, most of which are situated in the wetlands themselves, provide all the necessary modern comforts in an unrivaled natural setting.
For a real gaucho experience, check in to this working cattle farm situated on the northern edge of the reserve towards the city of Posadas. Originally founded by the Jesuits in the 17th century, this ancient estancia is steeped in regional history which makes it a fascinating place to stay. The friendly host family has even set up a small antique museum.
A fine upmarket option to the southwest of Carlos Pellegrini, this well-appointed estancia manages to simultaneously pull off both rustic and chic. During the day, the friendly owners lead personalized tours to spot surrounding wildlife. Come nighttime, they serve delicious dishes made from organic vegetables from the garden which are accompanied by fine Argentine wine. Best of all, they run a successful conservation program that reintroduces endangered species back into the wild.
Fishermen rejoice, for Rincon del Diablo is the ideal spot for anglers yearning to cast a line. Although other activities such as wildlife spotting are available, it’s hunting for the coveted Dorado fish that takes precedence at this charming stone brick ranch. The owner is a true fishing aficionado, while his wife is a mean cook who whips up the catch of the day into a mouthwatering dinner.
Anglers on a budget might prefer Estancia El Dorado, a basic ranch situated on an open plain not far from the city of Mercedes. Plenty of curious livestock surrounds the complex, although it’s the native El Dorado game fish that consistently pulls in the punters. Considered to be among the best sight fishing catches in South America, getting a bite from this dominant river predator is an exciting experience indeed.
Among the most exclusive estancias in the wetlands, the modern and luxurious Ibera Lodge comes complete with a jacuzzi, a well-equipped gym, and an outdoor parrillada to grill succulent Argentine meat under the stars. It doesn’t come cheap, but for travelers looking for contemporary extravagance in the middle of the marshland, this upscale lodging is impossible to beat.
Another excellent budget option, the Ibera Estero Salvaje Hotel boasts plenty of rustic charm in a traditional Argentine guacho style. An absence of WiFi and TV means guests must actually talk to each other or, better yet, just sit back and soak up the serenity of this tranquil natural setting.
Travelers looking for an estancia a little closer to civilization might opt for Irupe Lodge, an endearing estate on the edge of Carlos Pellegrini. Just minutes from the wetlands as well as the center of town, Irupe offers elegant accommodation in an easy to reach location.