Your journey at a glance
Your journey begins in the second largest wetlands of the world. The Iberá Wetlands are a very important freshwater reservoir of lagoons, stagnant lakes and swamps with a fascinating gaucho and Guaraní culture that permeates the land. This captivating region boasts a staggering 4 000 plant and animal species, which can be discovered on a range of exceptional guided tours. You will also be able to experience first-hand some of the region’s all-important conservation initiatives.
Next, head to the awe-inspiring spectacle of the Iguazu Falls and stand spellbound by the 275 separate cascades that make up this powerful phenomenon. View the Falls on a guided walking excursion. Encounter the region’s spectacular jungle flora and flora on a 4×4 adventure. Get your pulse racing on a thrilling boat cruise that will take you right up to the various cascades, and view the falls from a different perspective on the Brazilian side.
What to expect …
Transfer to Hotel Day 1
Upon arrival in Buenos Aires, you will be welcomed by an &Beyond representative who will escort you to a private vehicle for your transfer to the hotel. Check in and time to relax after your long flight.
Overnight in Buenos Aires Day 1
Welcome to Buenos Aires! The capital city of Buenos Aires offers a pulsating and eclectic atmosphere of sophistication. It is here that local customs are infused by the proud traditions of football and the sultry tango. Buenos Aires is dotted with many fine eateries, a thriving arts and culture scene, packed nightclubs and world-class accommodation. The city is flanked by the Rio de la Plata, the world’s largest estuary, and the lowlands of the Pampas.
Spend one night at Legado Mítico Hotel.
Flight to the Litoral area, in Corriente Day 2
This morning, private transfer to the airport to take your flight to the Litoral area, in Corrientes state. Upon arrival in Posadas, you will be greeted by an &Beyond representative and driven to the Rincón del Socorro, in the magical Iberá Wetlands.
Overnight in the Ibera Wetlands Day 2 - 5
The second largest wetlands in the world, the Iberá Wetlands are a very important freshwater reservoir of lagoons, stagnant lakes and swamps with fascinating gaucho and Guaraní culture. This captivating region boasts a staggering 4 000 plant and animal species, which make up 30% of Argentina’s biodiversity. Wildlife include giant otters, howler monkeys, marsh deer, wolves, alligators, capybaras and around 350 species of birds, to name but a few. Whether kayaking among families of capybaras, fishing for dorado from a boat, or galloping on horseback through the shallows among flocks of exotic bird species, the Iberá Wetlands offer endless wonder.
Set on a sprawling 12 000 hectare estate, Rincón del Socorro is a former cattle ranch, which has been transformed into a stylish eco-hotel and protected nature reserve. The main house on the estancia, “El Casco”, was built in 1896 by the original founder of the ranch and still retains its classic Spanish estancia style. Today the six rooms on the house, along with three nearby bungalows, offer guests the authentic comfort of individually decorated rooms with private ensuite bathrooms. Guests can also relax by the lovely outdoor swimming pool or in the cosy library area, enjoy delicious meals made from succulent free-range meat and organic vegetables in the dining area, or experience a traditional South American asados at the outdoor barbeque area. However, the highlight of Rincón del Socorro is exploring the magnificence of the surrounding flora and fauna with an expert guide.
Spend three-nights at Rincón del Socorro.
Trek through lush wetlands to encounter feathered residents Day 3
Iberá is a veritable paradise for animal lovers, boasting over 4 000 animal and plant species on more than 1.3 million hectares (3.2 million acres). It is a complex ecosystem that features four distinct habitats that perfectly coexist. The region is ideal for ornithologists and budding birdwatchers alike, with a host of endangered species that have taken refuge in the open wetlands and surroundings. Travellers ordinarily accompany a guide on tours but solo treks may be enjoyed with the aid of maps and various natural references. Guided nature tours and excursions offer great insight into the avian residents of Iberá, including critical information about their mannerisms, migratory routes, preferred habitats and the real threat upon them as a result of the destruction of the ecosystem.
The best times to savour the surrounds are either in the early mornings or at dusk, when birds can be encountered near their nesting sites. Track animal prints along the open paths and make use of specialised equipment typically used by professional biologists in the field to detect and register recently introduced animals. Revel in the pristine photographic opportunities presented by the colourful landscape and winged residents. Highlights of the tour include opportunities to spot the near extinct yellow cardinal, a dedicated songbird and illuminated beauty, the enigmatic and well hidden black masked finch, the pocket size streamer-tailed tyrants and the ochre-breasted pipit.
Conservation and sustainable practices are actively encouraged in partnership with The Douglas Thompkins Conservation Project. The ambitious venture recovers imperilled wildlife, implements ecological agriculture, supports leading-edge activism and promotes healthy local communities. The experience of walking along the wetlands is both awe-inspiring and humbling, bringing you closer to nature and allowing you to appreciate the critical role these species play in the ecosystem play, as well as the natural responsibility people have to safeguard this natural haven.
Spot wildlife under start-studded skies Day 4
The Iberá Natural Reserve is one of the largest freshwater reservoirs on the South American continent, ideally located in the province of Corrientes. It is the largest protected area in Argentina, with 1.3 million (3.2 million acres) hectares of pristine wilderness. Also referred to as Esteros del Iberá, the Iberá Wetlands stays true to its name with a spectacular combination of streams, marshes, lagoons and swamps that cover approximately 14% of the Corrientes Province. The wetlands are home to a staggering 4 000 plant and animal species, which make up 30% of Argentina’s biodiversity. For decades, the region was under threat due to commercial hunting and illegal animal trading, however, in 1983, the wetlands were officially protected by the Natural Provincial reserve as part of the Ramsar Convention and by various non-profit organisations.
Night safaris in the wetlands of Iberá can be enjoyed in a 4×4 vehicle or on foot. The experience offers fantastic insight into the magical attractions of the pristine wetlands. Travel along established pathways, in the company of expert guides, to encounter wonderfully diverse nocturnal wildlife. Revel in spotting the shimmering eyes of a gray fox, the silhouetted form of a dainty brocket deer, the inquisitive scuttle of the enchanting vizcachas (chinchilla) and the wily bandit-like, crab-eating racoon.
Scenic drive to the Iguazu Falls Day 5
Today, after a wholesome breakfast, you will leave the Ibera Wetlands, for a full-day’s scenic drive to the Iguazu Falls, visiting various attractions along the way, including the fascinating San Ignacio Mini Jesuit archaeological ruins.
Overnight in Puerto Iguazu Day 5
Upon arrival in Puerto Iguazu, your &Beyond representative will drive you to the Loi Suites Iguazu Hotel.
The Iguazu (also called Iguassu) Falls are composed of 275 separate cascades, which make it the largest broken waterfall in the world. Made up of a chain of waterfalls that are fed by the Iguazu River, this powerful phenomenon sits on the border of Argentina and Brazil. Set amongst lush forests, which are home to small mammals and hundreds of different species of birds, this is a truly breath-taking spectacle as thousands of litres of water tumble down the steps of the Parana Plateau. A highlight of any visit to the Iguazu Falls is a stop at Devil’s Throat, a narrow u-shaped chasm that offers excellent photographic opportunities.
Just a twenty-minute walk from the centre of town, the Loi Suites Iguazu Hotel is surrounded on all sides by jungle and set right on the river’s edge. It is hard to believe you are in an ‘in town’ property, thanks mainly to the excellent design of the retreat. As you enter the main atrium, you are immediately struck with a sense of space and of understated elegance. The rooms are modern and well-appointed, and the cuisine is excellent.
Spend three-nights at the Loi Suites Iguazu Hotel.
embark on an interpretive tour of the Iguazu Falls Day 6
Even by Argentinian standards – a country full of natural wonders – the Iguazu Falls, are an extraordinary sight. It is said that Eleanor Roosevelt exclaimed ‘Poor Niagara!’ when she saw the broad, tranquil river tumbling into the immense chasm of the Devil’s Gorge (Garganta del Diablo), surrounded by the emerald colors of the subtropical rain forest below, where butterflies dance and birds flit and dive.
Accompanied by your private English-speaking guide, you will walk along trails and elevated walkways that will take you directly to the Falls, and within direct contact of the lush vegetation that surrounds them. The upper trails surrounding the Falls will give you a glimpse of the river above them and offer spectacular panoramic views.
After a leisurely lunch, the adventure will continue as you embark on a 4×4 tour through the tropical and dense jungles surrounding the Falls. Here, you will be introduced to the region’s rich flora and fauna, before swapping your vehicle for a boat for what is known as the Great Adventure – a thrilling cruise upriver of the lower Iguazu, towards the waterfalls, tackling river rapids along the way. This activity also allows you to view the Falls of both the Argentinean and Brazilian side without actually crossing the border. The most exciting point of the excursion, and the wettest, will be when you face the San Martin waterfall, the second largest fall in the area.
Afterwards, head back to your hotel to dry-off, freshen up and unwind with a good glass of champagne, or better yet, a Malbec!
Be whisked away for a series of tours in a pristine area called Andresito Day 7
It’s an early start, which requires that you top up your energy levels for an active day. Tuck into a picnic breakfast in the Iguazú National Park. Afterwards, hop onto a mountain bike and, in the company of a guide, ride between Puerto Iguazú and Comandante Andresito. This is a 70kilometre, scenic dirt-road journey, which is a relatively easy to tackle. It is used by local farmers to transport their products. After pedalling for approximately 3 hours, your legs will be given a break as you relax in a 4×4 vehicle, which will take you to the Iguazú River.
After reaching the river, you will jump into a kayak, where you will have the opportunity to discover the riverine habitat surrounding this pristine stretch of water. After a 3 hour journey, stop for a scrumptious lunch before being driven back to your hotel.
Transfer Day 8
Today, after another wholesome breakfast, you will be collected for your tour of the Brazilian side of the Iguazu Falls. The vast majority of the falls lie on the Argentinian side, with the Brazilian side being more of a jungle experience. To truly take in the majesty of the Falls, a trip to both sides is highly recommended; with an up-close-and personal (and soaked) interaction from the Argentinian side combined with the opportunity to stand back and admire the Iguazu Falls from the Brazilian side.
Flight back home Day 8
Following your tour, wave goodbye to Argentina, as you are collected for your homeward flight