From the air, Argentina’s northeast appears as a mass of knotted rivers, grassy plains, wetlands and sub-tropical rainforest. Known locally as El Litoral, it is home to abundant yerba mate plantations (the nation’s much-beloved green tea), a staggering variety of fauna and flora and, of course, the mighty Iguazu Falls, which straddle the border between Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay.
Moving south from Iguazu Falls and along the Paraná River, the Esteros del Iberá are the second largest wetlands on the planet, after Brazil’s mega diverse Pantanal. Visitors can paddle across lagoons populated by caiman, capybara, anteaters and otters and ride through the wetlands amidst a carnival of bird life before returning to the lodge for cocktails around the swimming pool.
At another of our favourite estancias, guests are invited to join the gauchos in the daily duties of the estancia, rounding, grading branding 1500 head of cattle across 2500-hectares of open country. For a change of pace, there are polo lessons, dorado fishing and shady hammocks for afternoon lazing.