The ideal starting point for excursions into the Iberá marshlands is the village of Colonia Carlos Pellegrini. At the entrance of the village that counts 500 inhabitants you can easily find Irupé Lodge – named after a rare aquatic plant of the wetlands.
The panoramic view of our park and the lake right out front, crowded with colourful birds , invites you to explore Argentina 's nature.
The Lodge construction on poles ensures a natural and cosy atmosphere for unforgettably relaxing days. Moreover, the country-style designed and original rooms will help to make your holidays peaceful and exclusive.
At Irupé Lodge, we offer 8 rooms and a family suite. All the rooms provide a unique view to the Iberá Lake and surprise with large spaces and combination of modern and rustic architecture.
More: 4 Superior rooms with panoramic windows, integrated living-room, private bathroom with bathtub, individual balcony with view to the lake Iberá . The superior rooms are located in separate cabins and hidden in the naturally dense vegetation of our park. Warmly but modern designed spaces, comfort and especially privacy are the basis to make our guests feel like at home.
4 Standard rooms with panoramic windows towards lake Iberá and private bathroom. The standard rooms are located in the main building and have direct access to a large living area, library and open-air veranda – all of it with an impressive view to the lake.
Our family suite in the main building is the perfect solution for families with up to three children. One bedroom with balcony and an enormous bedroom living room combination with a private bathroom is the ideal place to make you and your children feel at home.
Our swimming pool is nicely fitted into nature at 15 m from the lake shore.
More: Having the siesta time in the water or in the shade under the mango tree, you will be able to watch numerous birds also enjoying water, fruits and flowers of our park of 15.000 square meters . 20 m of wooden bridge bring you from the main house directly to the lake Iberá where the capybara families play around and the alligators have their sunbaths. This is also the place where – day and night – the boat safaris start.
A park intern creek, small islands, beautiful exotic plants, wooden bridges and paths, banks to rest and hammocks in the shade make up a perfect paradise especially reserved for wildlife and for you as its visitor.
While enjoying delicious local cuisine in our open-air restaurant you can observe wildlife and listen to the sounds of the marsh .
More: In winter time, a cosy corner with the chimney invites to taste a glass of famous Argentine wine or simply enjoy the peaceful atmosphere with a good book. Chimney corner, veranda and the shady benches under the trees of the park are also the favourite spots to take the traditional afternoon tea with local tea brands – grown and processed only 150 km from Irupé Lodge. An experience for all of your senses!
Iguazú and Misiones
Knowing the European and Argentine culture very well, we have extended the services of our lodge and are now specialised in organising and accompanying tailor-made journeys for our guests. Our special itineraries on the way to or from Irupé Lodge offer personalised experiences. Starting at the world famous Iguazú Falls , the provinces of Misiones and Corrientes have a wide range of highlights for every taste: Let's discover the N orth East : By small aircraft, 4x4 or boat, on foot, horseback or mountain bike .
Iguazú Falls: At your feet, the water falls seventy meters down into the “Devil's Throat”. The shiver down your back isn't only the spray in the air. The 275 falls leave a great impression on every visitor as a unique demonstration of nature 's beauty and force. Once you're there, you know why the UNESCO declared it to become a world heritage. The surrounding Iguazú National Park consists of still untouched jungle and awaits adventurers.
Moconá Fall: Uruguay River awaits you with a spectacular surprise: After crossing the hip deep water on foot, you will get right to the edge of one of the largest waterfalls on earth. Due to tectonic movement, the water falls over a three kilometre long step. Adrenaline won't be missing either when you take the boat ride on Uruguay River exploring the immense biosphere reserve of Yabotí and getting to the falls from the other side.
Cattle farms: Corrientes and Misiones provinces are dominated by big rivers and fertile pastures. It's the area of horse and cattle breeding estancias , as the large farms are called. When you see the huge herds and watch the gauchos (Argentine cowboys) work, you notice that reality is much better than any Wild West movie. Now it's up to you to have a go at riding one of the powerful horses. Relax program: Enjoy a stroll through the generous estancia parks, practise your fishing skills in the Uruguay or Paraná River or canoeing along the estancia intern creeks.
Mate Tea Plantations: The true Argentino needs two things to survive: Beef and Mate. Jesuits and later the European settlers adopted the Mate tea from the natives and industrialised its production. You can follow the process of how a simple plant becomes the national drink. After having tried the hot (Mate) or the cold (Tereré) drink, there's hardly ever a tourist leaving the country without Mate in his luggage.
San Ignacio Miní and Santa Maria La Mayor: Here you can experience a part of the settler's history and learn where the Province's name “Misiones” comes from. In 30 large villages the natives were taught Spanish language, agriculture and Christian religion. On the other hand, the missionary took over certain aboriginal customs such as Mate tea and working with medicinal plants. Today the rebuilt ruins of San Ignacio and Santa Maria have been declared world heritage by the UNESCO.
Wanda: In the north of Misiones we can show you several mines where semi-precious stones are found. The mines are still active and you will see how the raw amethysts are brought to daylight and turned into fantastic jewellery – all by hand.
Alto Paraná River: In majestic calm, the Paraná River forms the Argentine – Paraguayan border. Its banks were and are a fertile home to the aboriginals as much as to the European settlers, which allows for a special mixture of cultures. Romantic islands and beaches complement the endless green of the jungle .
Corrientes , Uruguay and Aguapey River: The south western end of Iberá leads into Corrientes River , the only outlet of the marshlands. It is well known for its wealth of fish so that even less talented fishermen will end up with a heavy fishing rod, too. Fishing on the Uruguay River is a special experience as there is hardly any boating movement on the pretty shallow river. We recommend combining fly-fishing with a stay on an estancia (farm).
By boat: On the lake Iberá you can take morning, afternoon and sunset safaris . Swamp deer, capybaras, caimans, giant otters and birds can be observed all year round.
We head off from the footbridge of Irupé Lodge by boat and accompanied by a local wildlife expert who shows us the changing landscapes that surprise us with swimming capybaras, grazing swamp deer in this wide range of different green. While observing the majestic caimans we can hear their rhythmic breathing. A few steps on the floating green mattress bring us close to a colourful bird picking insects from the back of a chewing capybara. When the sun is about to dive into the endless horizon, water and sky are gleaming in intensive red and gold. This perfect demonstration of Mother Nature overwhelms our senses and finds an eternal place in our memory. Safaris by canoe grant an extraordinary intense feeling of nature and are suitable for sportsmen.
Night Safaris: To see the swampland 's other face, you start off with a specialized guide around sunset.
Either on the boat or on foot you will get a demonstration of the variety of the swamp 's strange sounds while observing the night active animals . One of the most fascinating things are the gleaming eyes of the caimans in the dark, you might even see them hunting.
- Bird watching:
Thanks to Iberá's being the home to over 350 species of birds, Colonia Carlos Pellegrini is a must for any professional ornithologist or hobby birder.
The ecological hunt with binoculars and camera begins right in our 15,000 square-meter large garden along the lakeshore. The birdwatchers will find aquatic birds as well as birds that prefer the subtropical forests and the humid pampas . Several species are endemic or endangered.
- Horseback riding and horse-drawn carriage trips:
Sitting astride a horse , you're sure to get a different view of the marshland and its surroundings. In the company of your guide you will find trails through palm tree forests and past the sparkling water of the lake.
You get to know the village of Pellegrini , its adobe houses, sandy roads and friendly people. Horseback riding and horse-drawn carriages are still the traditional way of getting around, even in the 21 st century. We have horses suitable for beginners and aspiring gauchos for either a relaxing or an exciting ride . And the horse-drawn carriages are especially suitable for visitors who prefer not to sit on top of a horse…
- Hikes, treks and walks:
The best way to discover the tiny details of the intact nature of Iberá is on foot.
Have a look at endangered plants, colourful butterflies and, with a bit of luck, the howling monkeys will show you their babies. On a stroll through the village's unpaved streets you will get an idea of Argentina 's rural life and you might exchange a few words with Pellegrini's friendly people. We offer hikes of 2 hours up to 2 days. On private territory of one of the neighbour's estancia (farm), we will bring you to look for the most impressive mammal of the Iberá: The maned wolf (Aguará Guazú) has the size of a calf, fur and colour of a fox and the elegance of a deer. It's in danger of extinction. The best hour to observe the shy animal is at dusk or dawn and the best way to do so is on horseback or foot.
- Canoe challenge:
We offer canoe trips on the Aguapey River , a virgin river along the Iberá marshlands .
300 k of untouched nature and no human being except you! The trips can be adjusted between 1 and 4 camp nights; we camp on the sandy beaches of the river. In the mornings, the noisy howler monkeys wake us up. During the day you can watch otters, capybaras, caimans, toucans, kingfishers and many other species of birds .
- Farm visits and agricultural tourism:
Early in the morning we drive you to a place in the middle of nowhere. Our local guide Chachito and his horses will take you on a unique and adventurous trip to several little farmhouses ; places you only get to on horseback or on foot.
The hospitable families will give you an idea of how they live and they will cook a tasty dish in the pot on the fire. Watch their daily work with the animals and give them a hand. You'll see that the traditional handicrafts are still practised. Here you will get to know the secrets of the looms from times past while grandmother is weaving her grandson's woollen poncho. On the way back, vizcachas, wild ñandúes (ostriches), burrowing owls and other pampas birds accompany you. This day- trip is also very nice for hike rs or by horse-drawn carriage or as a two day trip with camp night at the Iberá swamp shore. After the first exciting day in gaucho manner, you will camp at the swamp shore – there is no way to feel closer to nature than waking up with the animals early in the morning. Then, preparing some of the typical specialties of the region such as Caburé, for example (manioc-bread on wooden sticks), you will find time to relax, enjoy the fire and the mystic atmosphere of the swamp at night.
- Visita a estancias:
The area of Colonia Carlos Pellegrini is mainly pasture land with large horse and cattle breeding farms . A visit brings you close to the life and habits of the farmers.
More: Have you ever dreamt of observing the gauchos (Argentine cowboys) lassoing a cow at full speed, preparing a juicy barbecue and telling you stories from another world? A day in the life of a gaucho ! On the back of a Criollo horse you can glide between the powerful backs of the cattle or gallop through splashing water – observing the flock of ibis on the horizon. These are the kind of adventures that are certainly worth living at least once in your life.
.: Other Irupe Lodge Offers:
- Fly Fishing: Fly fishermen are accommodated at our associated Estancia at the Corrientes River . As it is the drain of the Iberá wetlands it is known for its wealth of fish and attracts fly fishermen from all over the world.
Fly-fishing excursions are organized privately (a maximum of two passengers per boat) and with a professional guide. The ideal months for fly-fishing are from January to March. For amateur fishermen and kids we offer fishing on the Iberá Lake all year round. You'll have the opportunity of catching a piranha and having a look into the armed mouth of this famous fish. Respecting the environment , all the fishing excursions are based on the “ catch and release ” system without exception.
- Snorkelling: Visitors who prefer to watch the fish in their natural environment can go for a swim with the snorkelling gear.
Surrounded by curious piranhas, this is a diving excursion for adventurers with steel nerves. The Iberá Lake has a maximum depth of 3.5 meters which is ideal for snorkelling . In wintertime, the under water visibility is better than in summer. If you are interested in snorkelling or diving, please bring along your equipment and our guide will bring you to the hot spots.
- Horse Riding and the authentic Gaucho Feeling: Have you ever had this little-boy or little-girl dream of becoming a Cowboy or Cowgirl or at least of experiencing the Cowboy feeling once in your life? You are not the only one. We have hosted many guests who visited us to fulfil their cowboy dreams – their gaucho dreams in the Argentine way. We know what you are looking for and we know the perfect places to organize your stay and make your dreams become reality. Your former style of horse riding doesn't matter, nor how many years of experience you bring along, we will find the suitable estancia (ranch) and horses for you.
Getting the gaucho feeling means to get up early with your working colleagues and prepare the horses. You will look after one of the cattle in the fields, check-up on their health, lasso an injured calf to treat the wound and look after the newly born or pregnant mother cows. There's also a lot of work to do at the estancia's corrals, such as leading the cows through the tick bath, separating the calves from the mothers, vaccinating, branding, sheep shearing, taming broncos (young horses), etc.
You will get a lot of background information on the horse and cow breeds, animal health, managing large numbers (up to several thousands), the famous Argentine meat business, etc. Most of the work will be done on horseback with the powerful criollos or mestizos (criollo cross breeds).
The rest of the day (usually in the afternoons) you can enjoy a leisure horse ride around the countryside just to enjoy the wide landscapes and the immense skies. Here in Argentina , not even the horizon will limit your extended gallops: There's always a “far beyond”. Maybe you prefer to relax at the estancia's pool with a good book or stroll through the park? Or what about an adventurous swim with your horse in the lake to cool off from the morning activities?
We are also specialized in making your unconventional wishes come true:
•Polo and Pato ( Argentina 's favourite horse games)
•Horse riding and golf
•Horse riding in the Andes and pre Andes (horse trekking)
•Horse riding in the jungle (with bush knives)
•Wildlife watching from the horseback (horse safari)
Feel free to communicate your special dreams to us– as passionate horse riders and amateur gauchos, we will understand you very well.