My partner and I spent the Easter week-end at Rancho Inambu in the beautiful area of Esteros de Ibera.
We booked late, only two or three weeks before Easter, and therefore couldn't find any private room in the area. The owner of Rancho Inambu offered us a double bed in a 4 beds room with a private bathroom and a package deal including 3 nights, breakfast and 4 excursions (horse-ride, boat excursion on the laguna, night hike and day hike in the forest). She also asked for a 50 % deposit beforehand...
When we got there, we realised that a fifth bed had been added to the room without being mentioned and that the 'bathroom' we had to share between five of us was a small toilet outside the room with a small kind of 'bucket' attached to the wall as a shower. To get to this 'bathroom', we had to cross the dining-room and the kitchen, and to have a shower, we had to ask the owner to fill the 'bucket' and hit the water for us. The 'bucket' was very small and there was no pressure at all, so everyone gave up on washing for three days...
The breakfast was good but we were told off when we dared asking for some hot chocolate. Lunch and dinner were overpriced, it was hard to guess at what time we were supposed to come to the dinning room (no communication) and guests were told off if they were showing up 'late'. It was also quite hard to get to know the prices of the meals and drinks as there were no menus available and as the owner was giving us really approximate answers.
We got to do only 3 excursions out of 4. The 2 hours boat ride was the best. The times of the excursions were imposed : we had asked not to have any excursions on the Thursday after our 12 hours journey from Buenos Aires but were told when we arrived that we had to go horse-riding a couple of hours after or miss the excursion... No alternative offered.
On the Friday, some nice Argentinian guests advised us to organise our transfer back to Mercedes as soon as possible as they were told that all the transports were getting booked. I asked the owner of Rancho Inambu if she could help us to find a transport. The day after I asked if she had found something and she simply answered no and told me to go to the tourist office... One of the guests offered us to drop us to Mercedes on the Saturday afternoon on his way back to BA. We accepted after realising that otherwise we will be stuck until the Monday. When I told the owner that we had to leave a day before because of the transport issue, she just answered 'ok, but you have to pay the full package'. There was no way to negotiate with her and she just wrote our final bill for 3 nights, 3 breakfasts and 4 excursions while we only spent 2 nights, ate 2 breakfasts, went to 3 excursions and could not shower.
At no point during our stay we felt welcomed at Rancho Inambu and we never had the impression that our host cared about our comfort. She cared only about getting our cash and it was definitely our worst experience in four months of travelling through South America.
Still, the rancho itself is nice, the garden is lovely and the location fantastic. Esteros de Ibera is a fantastic place for nature-lovers, we got to see many black caimans and capybaras, plenty of birds, few dears and foxes, and some beautiful sunsets. Maybe just avoid Easter and book a private room with bathroom and your transfers in advance to enjoy the place without stress.
- Also Known As:
- Rancho Inambu Argentina/Colonia Carlos Pellegrini