Considered to be one of the most beautiful areas in Argentina, Bariloche and the Lake District boasts spectacular mountain scenery, featuring glacial lakes, dense forests, and extinct volcanoes. Situated in the foothills of the Andes, this verdant region offers fantastic birdwatching opportunities.
Where: Northern Patagonia
Ideal for viewing: Andean condor, guanaco, puma, rhea, agouti
This small resort on the shore of Lago Argentino is the base for exploring the UNESCO site of Los Glaciares National Park, an area mostly covered by giant icefields. The five kilometre mouth of Perito Moreno Glacier towers 70 metres above the water, creating thunderous noises as blocks of ice break off.
This immense wetland in the north of the country – nicknamed the Argentine Pantanal – is almost twice the size of Florida’s Everglades. Accessed via the town of Mercedes, the maze of islands, lagoons, streams and marshland create a perfect habitat for mammals, reptiles and over 400 species of birds.
Where: Corrientes province
Ideal for viewing: black caiman, black howler monkey, capybara, maned wolf, marsh deer
Excellent for: Birdwatching
This magnificent array of 275 separate waterfalls stretches for over three kilometres along the border with neighbouring Brazil. The abundant flora and fauna of the surrounding tropical forest includes 400 bird species, 500 butterflies and 2,000 plants. A network of paths and walkways affords fine views.
Where: Misiones Province
Ideal for viewing: black-capped capuchin, coati, harpy eagle, ocelot, agouti
This headland, a hundred kilometres south of Trelew, is dedicated to protecting the Patagonian plateau and is also the site of the world’s largest breeding colony of Magellanic penguin. Between September and March, half a million congregate to breed, and by December the area is full of noisy, hungry chicks.
Where: Patagonia Region
Ideal for viewing: black oystercatcher, kelp gull, king cormorant, magellanic penguin, skua
Excellent for: Penguin watching
Ushuaia, capital of Tierra del Fuego, Antarctica and the South Atlantic Islands, lies far south of Buenos Aires in a dramatic position overlooking the Beagle Channel. The world’s most southerly city is surrounded by the wilderness and lakes of Tierra del Fuego, a perfect location for activities and watching wildlife.
Argentina’s foremost wildlife site is a flat peninsula at the northern end of Patagonia, lined with sandy beaches and rocky shelves. The beaches are home to prodigious numbers of marine wildlife, including the only colony of elephant seal on the South American mainland. Birdwatching is good year round.
Where: Chubut Province
Ideal for viewing: elephant seal, lesser rhea, mara, orca, southern right whale
Excellent for: Whale watching
Yacutinga Rainforest is a private reserve whose multi-layered ecosystem is home to countless species of birds, mammals and plants. You’ll explore on walking and boat trips with naturalist guides, watching colourful birds flit through the forest. Yacutinga makes a fantastic, relaxing end to any wildlife trip.
Where: Corrientes Province
Ideal for viewing: crested guan, ocelot, tapir, agouti, puma
Few countries in South America boast such contrast and variety. Diverse habitats such as Patagonia’s bleak steppe, soaring Andean snowcaps, lush rainforest around Iguazu Falls, steamy marshlands of Iberá, and grasslands of the Pampas support an astonishing range of fauna – from penguins, whales and seals to condors, armadillos and guanacos.
3 recommended trips.Our trip ideas are offered to inspire you and can be tailored to suit your requirements.
Visit the long-ignored northeast of Argentina and experience the best of its rich wildlife. This itinerary combines the remote ecosystem of the Iberá wetland, home to abundant and varied wildlife, with the pristine rainforest of Yacutinga, which you can explore on walking and river safaris with expert naturalist guides.
When to go: Sep-Dec, Mar-Apr
Duration inc. flights: 14 days
Price inc. flights: From £3,695 pp
Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
Enjoy the best of Argentina and Chile, with stunning scenery and burgeoning wildlife at Torres del Paine and spectacular glaciers around Calafate. The trip culminates in two days at Valdes Peninsula, home to species such as the northern right whale, magellanic penguin and elephant seal.
When to go: Oct-Apr
Duration inc. flights: 18 days
Price inc. flights: From £3,595 pp
Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
This trip focuses on the windswept shores of Argentina’s Valdes Peninsula, home to many marine mammals such as elephant seals, sealions and Magellanic penguins. Depending on the time of year, you can see orca, northern right whales or southern right whales, before visiting a rockhopper penguin colony.
When to go: Sep-Apr
Duration inc. flights: 13 days
Price inc. flights: From £3,995 pp
Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
When to go
The time to visit Patagonia is during the southern hemisphere summer – from October to April – when the days are long and the weather gets gradually warmer over that period.
Jun to Aug: Cold winds blow over the flat plains of Patagonia, bringing snow
Sep to Nov: Although much shorter in the north, spring brings blossom in October
Dec to Feb: Hot in Buenos Aires, but cooler the further south you go
Mar to May: Mild, but significantly colder in Patagonia, where the winds decrease
Sep to Dec: Southern right whales visit the bays off Valdes Peninsula
Sep to Apr: Elephant seals and sea lions on the Valdes Peninsula
Oct to Nov: Prime season for orcas at Valdes Peninsula
Dec to Jan: Magellanic penguins hatch at Punta Tombo
Feb to Apr: Prime season for orcas at Valdes Peninsula
Where to stay
4 recommended places to stay:
This deluxe estancia-style lodge is located between El Calafate to Perito Moreno glacier, on a 3,000 hectare estate with wonderful views over Lago Argentino. The property has 17 suites, all with different views, and offers activities such as wildlife and bird watching, star gazing, walking and horse riding.
Despite its isolation – or maybe because of it – Estancia Bahia Bustamente is a very special accommodation that attracts only those who are interested in the area’s wildlife. Six comfortable houses overlook the ocean, each with two double bedrooms, bathroom, living room and a terrace overlooking the bay.
Hosteria Rincon del Socorro is a 12,000-hectare former cattle ranch, lying on the edge of the Iberá wetlands. Now a private nature reserve, this classic Spanish colonial property offers characterful accommodation and activities such as boat trips, horse riding and night safaris to see masked vizcachas.
Set in 250,000 hectares of primary sub-tropical rainforest, Yacutinga Rainforest Lodge provides a perfect habitat for over 300 bird species and its environmental principles create a stimulating wildlife eco-experience. The lodge’s 40 idiosyncratic, comfortable rooms have private facilities and great views.