Hotel de Esteros, Puerto ValleIbera Wetlands, Argentina
Set on the banks of the Parana River, Hotel de Esteros Puerto Valle is a former cattle ranch that has been tastefully converted into a delightful boutique hotel offering direct access into the Esteros del Iberá Natural Reserve – one of the largest fresh water reserves on the continent.
All of the 13 rooms have views of the river. Five are within the original 1868 adobe house and have been decorated in keeping with the colonial heritage of the estancia, while eight newly built deluxe rooms nearby offer bright and spacious accommodation with private terraces overlooking the river. The property is set in a delightful 14-hectare park surrounded by trees, offering a peaceful and comfortable base from which to discover the fauna and flora of the Ibera wetlands and the Parana river.
The hotel features a swimming pool and ‘palapa’ area for lounging in the sun during warmer weather, while the manor house has a cosy library with a lovely open fire for reading on chilly evenings. The dining room serves dishes using fresh local produce, such as river fish, tropical fruits and vegetables grown in the estancia’s own organic vegetable and herb gardens.
Excursions include visiting the wetlands by boat to spot families of capybaras, sunbathing caimans and flying herons; a horseback or mountain bike ride around the estancia; and a boat tour on the Parana river to search for different birds and the elusive howler monkey.
In our view, the great advantage of staying at Puerto Valle is that it is conveniently located just 55 kilometres along a paved road from Posadas Airport. This allows guests to have all the experiences of the Ibera wetlands without the need for a long journey into the national park along dirt roads, which can become very muddy when wet.