Rustic charm and relaxed luxury combine in an estancia that makes the most of its unrivalled location
Activity adventure | Natural world | Wildlife
The Iberá Wetlands – a vast huddle of rain fed lakes, lagoons and swamps – are home to one of South America’s most abundant collections of wildlife. Marsh deer, howler monkeys, otters, wolves and bats are all waiting to be discovered as squat capybaras forage about and caimans sun themselves. The 350 species of birdlife are also not to be missed. And, the Rincón del Socorro is a 12,000 hectares cattle ranch slice of it which the Conservation Land Trust – through a team of biologists and vets – looks after. Explore it on horse rides or walks, boat rides and 4WD expeditions.
Built in classic Spanish style, and completely renovated throughout, this 19th century estancia has just six rooms and three bungalows. Guests can walk through sub-tropical gardens of grand trees that point the way to the laguna, host to capybara, alligators and thirty bird species. Back in the rooms, gable wooden ceilings and whitewashed walls frame chequered tiles and paintings; the effect is at once authentic and inviting. Wildlife paintings and historic maps point towards the area’s best features while original architectural features make for characterful stays.
With a kitchen heavily informed by the estancia’s working gardens, dishes are mostly organic, the orchard’s fruits feature heavily as citrus notes bring out the best in regional flavours. As much of the day is spent in exploring the wetlands, mealtimes are flexible as snacks of leaf teas and homemade biscuits are put on throughout the day. Of course, this being Argentina, the asado fire and its richly flavoured meats are a speciality although vegetarians are equally well catered for with exciting dishes and salads. Dine outside under the shade of the lapacho trees and don’t forget to enjoy the best in Argentine wines.
Set up to make the most of its enviable location, there’s a full range of activities that tour the diverse ecosystems of Iberá and its animal populations. Whatever your skill, slip into the gaucho lifestyle with guided horse rides or watch the professionals round up cattle at a nearby estancia. In all, there’s cycling, swimming and even night safaris to explore every damp corner while fly-fishing offers a spot of relaxation. Or, hit the water on bird-watching trips in canoes and motor launches. Between activities you might just have enough time to relax by the outdoor pool.
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