Planning a trip to Esteros del Iberá? If you’d like to learn more about the Wetlands, read the 10 Interesting Facts you need to know to enjoy a unique experience surrounded by nature and the traditions of Corrientes Province.
1- Iberá, a word of Guaraní origin
The word “Iberá” is derived from Y-Bera, which means “shining waters.” The area has ponds of stagnant water, one to three meters in depth, covered with aquatic plants including aguapé, irupé, water lettuce and duckweed
2- Taking care of native species, a priority
The Esteros del Iberá is usually home to numerous threatened species. An awareness-raising effort was implemented in Corrientes province, setting eco-friendly objectives. Guides in the region have received special training eco-tourism, for the purpose of communicating the importance of environmental care and conservation.
Any impact on the water system will have a ripple effect on the landscape; therefore, the construction of roads or canals, the planting of trees or any work in the fields affects the wetlands. Therefore, before any of these activities are carried out, or before the application of herbicides, pesticides, and even nutrients, an Environmental Impact Assessment is required.
3 – Wetlands with an international reputation
The region of the Esteros del Iberá is vast and houses many species in the process of reintroduction, which makes it an ecosystem of major importance and international prestige. Due to the fundamental role that this reserve of native species plays in preserving the regional ecosystem, it has been designated as a Ramsar Site (a distinction granted under the Ramsar Convention to Wetlands of International Importance).
4- Officially declared a Provincial Natural Reserve
The protected territory in Iberá is as large as Nahuel Huapi, Argentina’s oldest and best-known national park, with 710,000 hectares. To preserve the species and the wildlife genetic diversity of this ecoregion, in 1983, it was declared a Provincial Natural Reserve. The provincial decree was enacted into Law 3771 and authorized by the Government of Corrientes Province.
5- A diverse ecosystem
The tropical and subtropical ecosystem is home to a great diversity of animals, plants and flowers. The wetlands include swamps, ravines, marshes, lagoons and large bodies of water, interspersed by pastures on sandy hills, and dotted by small humid forests, gallery forests and dry forests on the southeast islets.
6- International recognition as a luxury destination
Esteros del Iberá has been recognized as the second major wetland in South America. Additionally, this year the region was acclaimed by one of the most influential American newspapers. Esteros del Iberá was selected one of the emerging tourist destinations that the New York Times recommended to visit during 2022. The prestigious paper ranked the Wetlands 6th on the list of the top 10 places to visit.
The region used to be the habitat of native species that unfortunately have become extinct. In 2022, entities engaged in the restoration of the natural ecosystem began a project to reintroduce the jaguar on San Alonso island. This species will be part of a larger group of protected animals.
A few years ago, the reintroduction of the scarlet macaw was also successfully carried out in Portal Cambyreta, one of the entryways in the north of the Iberá National Park.
8- A national jewel, and a prospective world heritage site
Esteros del Iberá was proposed as a world heritage site by the ECOS Foundation at the Wetlands Convention. The Foundation has stated that the process is underway, and the area is likely to achieve that status in the near term.
9 – Sustainable tourism
The Ministry of Tourism of Argentina promotes tourist activities that are friendly for the future of the region. The area of the Reserve and the Wetlands will be declared an attraction for responsible tourism, thus contributing to the promotion of tourism in general.
10 – Puerto Valle and activities in the wetlands
Guests staying at Hotel Puerto Valle are invited to explore Laguna Valle, one of the lagoons in the Wetlands ecosystem.
In our blog and in the Experiences section of our website, you will find the details of this exclusive activity for guests. You’ll live unique moments in the first and only luxury and sustainable lodge in the region, Puerto Valle Hotel de Esteros.