Wildlife spotting in the Iberá wetlands, Argentina.

by on 14th December, 2018


Black caiman, capybara, howler monkeys and rheas are just some of the species you might come across in the Iberá wetlands, the second largest wetland in the world.  Covering an area of over 6,500 square miles in north-east Argentina, the wetlands are a collection of lakes, bogs, swamps and rivers and are an important site for wildlife conservation.

Capybara, Laguna Valle, Hotel Puerto Valle, Ibera, Argentina (2)


In 2009 the Iberá Provincial Park was created on Public land in the wetlands covering an area of 482,000 hectares with well established boundaries and park rangers. In addition  there are 750,00 hectares of private land know as the Iberá Provincial Reserve dedicated to minimising the environmental impact of their activities. There are plans to convert the area into a National Park in the area.



There is a wide range of wildlife which can be spotted. these include black caiman, capybara, marsh deer, rhea, howler monkeys, foxes, armadillos and giant lizards.

For bird watchers, as well as herons, cormorants, king fishers and Ibis the lucky ones might spot a Jabiru stork, a black-and-white monjita, a southern screamer or even a strange-tailed tyrant.


Black Caiman, Laguna Valle, Hotel Puerto Valle, Ibera, Argentina

Black caiman

The Ibera project is also aiming to reintroduce species that have been eliminated form the area such as the jaguar, the giant otter, the giant anteater, the collared peccary and the south american tapir.



Jabiru taking flight



Visiting the Wetlands

 The airport at Posadas in Argentina, a 2 hour flight from Buenos Aires,  is the gateway to the wetlands.

The Irupe Lodge is a 4 hour drive from Posadas Airport  and is located the small town of Carlos Pellegrini on the edge of the central wetlands. The drive can be a little bumpy towards the end but the rewards are great, particularly with the quantity of wildlife.

Programmes are usually 4 days and 3 nights and include transfers, a jungle hike in search of howler monkeys as well a boat excursions in the wetlands spotting black caiman, cabybaras and more. All meals and non alcoholic drinks are also included.



Irupe Lodge

Tom Shearman after his visit to the Irupe Lodge said “Ibera is a hard place to get to, and a hard place to leave, yet its laidback lodge and people, and even the wildlife, lend it a magical attraction.

You can sit on the lodge terrace, eating nice food and sipping lovely wine, while a caiman fishes in front of you, or capybara pose for the camera.”


Out wildlife spotting on the lakes


Only a 40 minute drive is Hotel Puerto Valle located on the shore of the Parana River and on the north-east border of the wetlands. The hotel has a total of 13 very comfortable rooms, 8 of which are deluxe rooms divided in 4 bungalows and ideal for families.  Activities here also include a howler monkey trail, boat excursions on the wetlands and Parana river as well as Kayaking, horse riding and the use of mountain bikes.


Mate time, Hotel Puerto Valle, Ibera, Argentina

View from deluxe room, Puerto Valle

There is also the option to visit the nearby town of Ituzaingó and its museum detailing the local history and Guarani culture or a visit to the mate tea plantation at Las Marias. Programmes go from 3 days/2 nights which include transfers, excursions and all meals. Drinks are extra. Special programmes can be put together for families.

Alan Lyall has just returned from a visit to Puerto Valle. He said “What a wonderful place! The setting is beautiful with the outlook over the Parana River. Near to the property are trails where you can look for howler monkeys, paddle on the river and ride a horse around the grounds. This property is on the edge of the wetlands and so is an easy 40 minute drive from Posadas airport. There may not be the abundance of wildlife that you will find further into the wetlands but I certainly got my fill with many black caiman, capybaras, marsh deer – rare sighting! – rheas, giant lizards and more. This is also a great destination for families with children over eight years old.”

ayak, Parana River, Hotel Puerto Valle, Ibera, Argentina

Kayaks and the Parana River


When is the best time to visit Argentina’s Ibera Wetlands?

The Ibera Wetlands are a year-round destination but there are seasonal variations.

The best times to visit are the autumn months of April and May and spring from September until November.


Ibera Wetland Seasons

April and May bring pleasant conditions, with daytime temperatures dropping down to the low 20s (70-77 degrees Fahrenheit) and little rain.

June to August is winter with cooler temperatures in the high teens (Celsius) and plenty of rainfall. There is still a lot wildlife to see but be aware it’s the low season. The bonus means fewer people around.

September to November are fairly dry but a little warmer than April and May. The spring weather kickstarts the breeding season, making it an excellent time for wildlife watching. The flora is also at its most colourful in this period.

December through to March is summer and temperatures often touch the low 30s (80-95 degrees Fahrenheit). There is little rain, albeit exhilarating storms may develop.

Bird migrations happen between September and April. Any of those months are good for bird watching, seeing colourful birds migrate over the beautiful waters.


Tie in with Iguazu Falls

Ibera can be combined with visits to the Iguazu falls, a five-hour drive from Puerto Valle including a stop to visit the Jesuit ruins of San Ignacio.

Contact us if you are interested in going to visit the Iberá wetlands or would like more information.



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