Esteros de Ibera
Esteros de Ibera
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klinky10
7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2016 • Solo
Firstly, the wetlands are amazing. But I'll focus on the practical information as that is more useful. I did this trip as a solo backpacker so if you have more money this may not be that useful. I got an overnight bus from Buenos Aeries to Mercedes (Corrientes province... There are three Mercedes in Argentina so be careful). I think there were about four or five to choose from ... Mostly leaving during the evening (if not all) so they are night buses. I think my bus was Flecha and we had a decent meal and amazingly I slept the whole time (never do this normally!) as it was a comfortable bus. The cost was about 550 pesos ( they give you 20% discount paying in cash otherwise it is more). I arrived at about 7.30 am having left at 9.30 pm. Once in Mercedes I was surprised to find an additional mini bus leaving at 8.30 am (perfect!) for 250 pesos... However none of the three banks would give me money so i missed the bus!! Eventually I was able to ... Not understanding Spanish... I think the issue was you can only take out 1500 pesos each time in contrast to the 2500 limit that seems to exist in Buenos aeries! Anyway, I had to wait while there was TORRENTIAL rain until 12 or 12.30 which is the daily bus I had read about anyway. I was the only non local on the bus (April on a Thursday) and whereas I paid 300 pesos for the three hour journey, the rest paid 120. I had read that if it rains a lot the bus doesn't go and you need to wait for the next day... This definitely didn't happen in my case as it was ridiculous rain with thunder and lightning all morning before the bus left. There are no hostels in this city, only hotels so I was a bit scared about the bus being cancelled. The minibus will drop you at your posada in Carlos Colonia pellegrini. I gave the guy a tip as he seemed to be expecting one and then I realised what he was actually wanting was my ticket to show I had paid (which is more understandable as the bus is expensive enough). My posada (posada el yacare) was the only one with a dormitory that showed on booking.com. The rest were all much more expensive posadas. I paid about 160 pesos a night. I was in a 6 bed dorm and was the only guest apart from an Argentinian couple in a private double. I was expecting it to be full as booking.com said only 1 bed left... Guess that is a sales trick. I went to the little tourist booth which was a little pointless as she didn't speak English and then on to the campsite where I heard the tours were from. I approached a guy who was strimming the grass. He offered a 2 hour boat ride starting at 5pm... 450 pesos for one person, 225 for 2 people or 150 for 3+ people. This Argentinian man was waiting for a second person so we shared the boat and had an incredible experience! Definitely recommend the 5pm sunset time. A couple of Germans and two Argentinians (literally the only other tourists in the whole town given it was April) got a boat 3-5 but I think you can get one whenever you want. I saw lots of birds, capybaras, caimans and a marsh deer. I was offered a walking night safari for 8-10 pm 150 pesos but the man didn't show up unfortunately. I woke up at 6 and rushed to the bridge to see an amazing sunrise on one side, with lightning and thunder the other! I also did horse riding the next day... Incredible! 2 hour solo trek for just 180 pesos- could not believe it! Saw kingfishers, owls, woodpeckers and many more. Also during my stay there was torrential rain... So be prepared. When it rains you can't do anything. It's exciting being in the posada during the storm but I was worried that the horse riding would be cancelled etc. I didn't get to do the two free walking trails because of the rain but I think they show you similar sights to the boat trip anyway. On Saturday morning I got the daily mini bus at 4 am... They pick you up so it came at 4.20. I think there is another bus ( the same 250 pesos one that leaves Mercedes at 8.30 am) at 2pm or similar but I didn't know how to get it and the woman at my posada only wanted to call the 4 am ha. Not speaking Spanish is rather difficult sometimes! Be warned... No buses go on Sunday. From Mercedes I got a bus at 10 am to Colon. So it was a great, surprisingly cheap and doable experience. My only surprise was just how dead the town Carlos Colonia pellegrini was for April. There really were about 7 tourists the whole time. There was still a couple of shops open, and luckily my posada did food ...90 pesos for dinner for example. Mercedes itself has nothing of interest. Coming from the north as a backpacker, you can get a bus to corrientes and then a bus to Mercedes although I think the bus times will leave you arriving in Mercedes very early in the morning (3 am maybe) or arriving the night before and having to stay in a hotel. I had no luck with couch surfing. The bus time from corrientes to Mercedes is only 3 hours I believe.
Written April 13, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

lillywr
London, UK47 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2018 • Solo
I read up about Parquet Iberà when I was in Brasil last month, and considering taking a trip to the Pantanal. I had heard that this was Argentina's version. Given I didn't visit the Pantanal, I don't have much to compare it to, but from what I heard about it Iberà appears to be much less on the tourist / backpacking trail, and certainly seems a lot more unspoilt. It didn't disappoint, and for mid April I must have been one of about a dozen European tourists there. The park - based out of Carlos Pellegrini - is simply incredible. A paradise.

However, it is quite difficult to work out how to get there cheaply (given I am backpacking around South America). I will summarise my journey and the options, as it is likely to be of great help for most! I started in Encarnacion, Paraguay. Crossed the border at Posadas (I understand that you can take private 4x4 transfers from here), bused it to Corrientes (beautiful city - worth taking some time to explore the riverside) and stayed overnight there in Catedral Hostel. I got the 6am bus from the terminal to Mercedes, Corrientes Province. Worth looking bus times up on the platforma10 website in advance, as I am sure times and bus companies change regularly. The bus arrived in to Mercedes at circa 9am.

For travel from Mercedes to Pellegrini, you have a fair few options as at the time of writing:
1. Private 4x4 transfer, generally organised through your Posada
2. ‎The "unofficial" mini bus. Operated by a man called Daniel (you need to ask for him at the bus station), which leaves at 8.30am. I understand the cost is ARG$300.
3. ‎Another mini bus service that leaves at 9am from Juan Pujol Street, near Alvear Street. I understand the cost is ARG$300.
4. ‎The general bus service (photo attached of bus) leaving at 12.30 from the bus station (I had heard it was between 12 and 12.30), Monday-Saturday. Operated by Crucero Del Norte. I took this option, and the cost was ARG$190. The journey takes circa 2.5 hours, and if you tell the driver the name of your Posada they will drop you there.

The journey was good, and not as bumpy as I had expected. They are currently surfacing the first circa 50km of road, so it will get much better. The scenery outside of the window is very nice. When we got to the little bridge in to the town, my jaw hit the floor at how beautiful the lake is. I was the only tourist on the bus, with lots of locals and goods to be delivered to the town.

I stayed at Posada del Jacare, which was really really good. I would definitely recommend it for those on a budget. I booked it through booking.com, but I understand that they might also list on airbnb. There was also a really decent looking campsite by the lake, if you are visiting with your tent or van. I stayed for 3 nights, and managed to get in a boat tour at sunset (ARG$350 - organised through the posada), horseriding (ARG$250), kayaking (ARG$250) and some walks close to the lake. Alongside some relaxation, reading and swimming in the Posada garden. The wildlife and scenery is amazing, but lots of other reviews have covered this. I was very very lucky to have such good weather whilst I visited, especially for April.

Unfortunately, as good as it was I had to leave in the end. To return to Mercedes, you have two options as far as I am aware (outside of a private 4x4 transfer through your Posada).
1. The Crucero Del Norte bus. Leaves Pellegrini at 4am, Monday-Saturday. I understand that this is because it ferries people in to Mercedes for work. I assume the cost is the same as the outward journey.
2. ‎Organising a return trip through the "unofficial" minibus described at number 2 above. I messaged Daniel via WhatsApp. Photo with number in attached images. I was picked up at 14.30 from my Posada. Cost ARG$300.

After arriving in to Mercedes, I travelled on to Rosario on the bus at 19.15, through Rapido Tata. This bus was not listed on Platforma10.

Despite taking over 24 hours to get there from my starting point, I expect this part of the trip to be one of the residing memories of my travels around South America. It really is that amazing. I couldn't get over how unspoilt and non-commercial the place was, right in the heart of Argentina's gaucho territory. I would definitely recommend staying at least 2 nights, given the effort required to get there.
Written April 11, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

N_Bennett747
Brighton, UK14 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2016
I visited Esteros deal Iberá from Colonia Carlos Pellegrini after reading about this relatively undiscovered corner of Argentina. It's their equivalent of the Pantanal in Brazil and the wildlife is similar.

Capybaras graze next to the enormous Iberá lake and black caiman laze in the sun. There are deer, foxes, monkeys and countless birds making the area suburb for wildlife spotting.

The sleepy town easily lulls you into a slower pace of life. The sandy roads allow a gentle stroll around the village with few cars. Horses graze on the verges and dogs happily greet you on each corner.

It's not easy to get to but here's my experience arriving from Puerto Iguazu.

1. Night bus from P. Iguazu to Corrientes - 9 hours
2. Bus from Corrientes to Mercedes (Corrientes) same day - 3.5 hours. Note: There is a Mercedes in the Buenos Aires district so don't confuse them.
3. Overnight in Mercedes. I stayed in El Gauchito hotel. Basic but cheap at 300 pesos for a private room. No food.
4. Minibus to Carlos Pellegrini leaving at 08:30 from outside the bus station. Ask at the bus station tourist office for Daniel. He's very friendly and totally reliable. 300 pesos each way. 3 hours.

Although it's out of the way, it's well worth a trip to get away from the crowds (I went in early August) and feels like you're discovering one of Argentina's best kept secrets.
Written August 13, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kristina K
Киев, Украина11 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2014 • Couples
If you're a budget traveler, think twice before going there. Esteros del Ibera has a beautiful nature and wildlife, but Colonia Carlos Pellegrini, starting point for the visit, is a VERY remote village. Basically you have two options of getting there. First is a regular bus from Mercedes, which goes daily from the bus terminal about noon, but only if it wasn't raining before, and costs approximately 5 USD. Good option, if you are not scared of old dirty buses and have enough time to hang in Mercedes in case it's raining (even 2-3 days). Second one is a private transfer, which I strongly recommend to book in advance at your hotel/hospedaje in Cna. Carlos Pellegrini. It will cost you about 80-100 USD. You can go by transfer either from Mercedes or Gobernador Virasoro. I'd advise to go from Mercedes since the road goes along the national park border and you will enjoy diverse scenaries. Hitchhiking is unlikely, you have to be very lucky to get the car. Our trip was kind of fail. We came from Pto. Iguazu by bus to Gdor. Virasoro via Posadas, since it seemed closer and faster. We tried to find someone going to Pellegrini there or some kind of regular bus not mentioned on the internet. There are none. We hired local taxi for 70 USD, but just 40 km away from Pellegrini they stuck in the mud; only 4x4 SUV can pass there. There are no mobile network signal on the way, so we had to go to the nearest gaucho farm (there are not many along the way, it's pretty much an inhabitant area). Luckily they had a phone, and we called a transfer from the village, for which we paid 80 USD. Thus, we paid for the same transfer twice. Make sure to take enough Argentine pesos in cash, there are no ATMs in Pellegrini, nor they accept credit cards (except for the only one decent hotel, which is very expensive). Also be aware that nobody speaks English there, so you will need at least very basic Spanish knowledge. And there are not so many restaurants/cafeterias/grocery stores. As for the national park itself, it's really nice and wild, though you'll be able to see only a small part of it. But if you have ever seen Ukrainian river Dnipro, you won't be stunned by the scenery)) I'd say those sceneries along the Mercedes road are more interesting. The place is good for nature lovers and biologists; you'll see kaimans, capibaras, deers, monkeys and a lot of birds. The is no entrance fee to the park, and you can take a small boat tour from locals for about 15 USD. As for me it wasn't worth all this money and effort, because I'm not such a fan of wildlife. The best part for me was to see how remote villages in Argentina live and experience this feeling of being in the middle of nowhere.
Written May 12, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

saggem
Sydney,Australia72 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2012 • Couples
We discovered Esteros Del Ibera while in Buenos Aires, sorting out our trip north. We aprroached Ibera from the south having spent the night in Mercedes. A very well informed lady occupying a small shop at the rear of the Mercedes bus terminal directed and arranged the whole thing. We found that althiough there is a bus service from Mercedes to Carlos Pelligrini the little town in the Esteros, we found the bus did not run on Sundays. So we hired the services of a local who had a 4x4 ute for about $25 per person who came to our Hostal right on time loaded up our bags and off we set. Trip was a little rough , although the road was under repair. We would have liked to have seen a bus get through especially after rain. Afterabout 2.5 hours we crossed the bridge which separates the 2 lakes and entered Carlos Pelligrini. We had booked our next few nights thanks to the kind lady at the bus terminal with a local tour boat operator and Cabana owner. We arrived arround lunchtime and after looking around the operator called on us and we all piled into the back of a 1967 Ford F100 and off we went to his boat. By this time is was almost on dusk , so the wildlife was just starting to appear. Capybaras, Caymans and birdlife, too many to list. It was a fantastic intro to the area.
Our second day was spent on the lake again arriving back in Pelligrini for lunch at one of the local little restaruants located in the backyard of one of the houses. That night we ran out of time to shop so the tour operator was able to get the local general store to open, just for us, where we bought local produce and meat for a wonderful BBQ. Needless to say we were still going strong well into the small hours of the following day.
We left Pelligrini having decided we would continue further north to Posadas. The trip was again in a 4x4 wagon as there is no bus service from Pelligrini to Posadas. Road conditions were about the same but would hate to think what happens in the wet season! Our driver was a font of information aboutthe area. We arrived in Posadas after a 3 hour journey. He directed us to a lovely little Petit Hotel in Posadas, but that is another story. All in all a fantastic journey wtih very friendly and helpful locals. If you can spare the time to get off the tourist route, Esteros Del Ibera it well worth it.
Written June 2, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mireille H
Fjenneslev, Denmark125 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2011 • Friends
On the way to Iguazu we spent 3 days at Estancia San Lorenzo near by the "Luna lagoon"
If nature has your interrest it's a place to visit. Calm and beautiful with plenty of birds,caiman,
monkey,deer, You can be lucky and meet a ant-eater and be sure to se many capybaras.
It's possible to ride througt this wetland. We took a night bus from Buenos-Aires and were picked-up at Virasoro by our host. A very delightful place for us, I wish it would be a next time !
Written May 16, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gerardoargentina
Buenos Aires, Argentina135 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
When we talk about Iberá, we are naming a great area which comprises several lagoons (among which the most important is Iberá Lagoon). linked by marshes. The "Esteros del Iberá" cover an area of about 20.000 sq km; (9.000 sq miles).
But the town from which you can visit the Esteros, and where are the Posadas and Logdes are, is Colonia Carlos Pellegrini. It is a very small and quiet town, may be 20 blocks with about 5 homes in each. To get there you must pass by the nearest city: Mercedes, of about 30.000 habitants.
You can arrive to Colonia Carlos Pellegrini taking a bus from Buenos Aires (excellent services, about 9 hs of night travel in buses with individual beds, like first class). And there you´ll be waited by personel of the Lodge you had booked. From Mercedes, it is a sandy road of about 100 km (70 miles), two hours.
Or you can go with your own or rented car, the road is very easy except if severe rains occured lately.
I went in my car (not a SUV, a sedan Peugeot 307), and I had no problem. And, just in case it rained hard before our arrival, our Posada offered to keep our car in safe place in Mercedes and get us in their trucks to the Posada.
The relax in the Posadas is absollute, it is a very nice experience. The Colonia itself is just in a sort of pennisula into the laggon and marshes. Actually, the town is almost sourrounded by water, and you get there crossing the lagoon on a large old bridge.
Written December 18, 2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

odedfos
Herzliya, Israel47 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Very interesting and beautiful place.
Trails near the visitors center are easy and very rewarding. Best to do them before sunset when the light in the forest becomes magical!
Boat ride through the swamp is recommended.
2 busses a day from Mercedes to carlos pelligrini. 12:30 and 13:30 (40 peso). a tough 3 hour ride...
the bus back leaves at 4:00 am. there are also private rides which are more pricy.
good option for a group of 4 is to take a 3 hour 4x4 taxi to/from Posadas (1000 peso) which will save you a whole day of traveling for the same price of the busses. ask about it in town.
good place to stay is Hospedaje Ibera not far from the entrance. doubles go for about 150. rather clean and one of the cheapest in town.
Written March 18, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dean P
Ljubljana, Slovenia161 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2012 • Couples
After more than 100 kilometers of poor dirt road from the town of Mercedes (road to Posadas is almost impassable to regular car - even for 4x4 after rain), you find yourself in paradise.
Beautifully arranged and maintained municipal campsite, friendly locals and amazing wildlife in unspoiled nature.
Morning Boat trip on the lagoon,took us to a real show of the animal world:
birds of all colors and shapes, capibarras, caimans, otters, etc.. We observed a rare wetland deer in the pasture. Only problem is lack of food service in the village.

Warning! Prior to departure from any side (from north or south) is necessary to obtain information on the state of roads from locals.
Written February 26, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Brian C
Gorey, Ireland465 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2018 • Couples
Pellegrini is a bit difficult to reach. About three hours by bus to Mercedes. We came from San Ignacio and it took almost five hours. Very small town but there are a lot of posadas and a few places to eat.
We came on a sort of package which included a wildlife walk, a boat trip and a night walk.
Our guide for all of these was Raoul. He was excellent. Very pleasant and helpful and good at finding wildlife. Like most people here, he didn’t have much English. The walk was in the National Park and really pleasant. There were Howler Monkeys in the woods. There is a boardwalk over the water with great views of caiman and capybara which are plentiful. We also saw a deer and lots of birds. This is a walk you can take yourself at any time if you walk over the causeway from Pellegrini (about 20 minutes).
Our boat trip was at 7 in the morning and was really magical. The light was beautiful. We floated around so peacefully and glided in really close to lots of the wildlife who didn’t seem bothered by our presence.
Equally the night walk was fabulous. I had been prepared for fireflies and the odd capybara but it went way beyond that. We met raccoons and armadillos. We even met an anteater but I think we were lucky to catch that.
I was on an expensive trip to the Pantanal a few weeks ago. There were some outstanding things there, notably jaguars, but the variety here would give it competition and at a far cheaper price.
I also went horse riding here. I have no experience to talk of, but the horse was very calm. We had a two hour trek through fields which was beautiful. It was one of the highlights of my trip at a cost of ten euro.
Ibera is a little difficult to get to and from. However it is a fantastic place to see wildlife. Do at least go on a boat trip (preferably early morning) and on a night walk in the National Park.
Written November 12, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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