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Reserva De Biósfera Yabotí And Saltos Del Moconá - Other Activity El Soberbio - Argentina

At El Soberbio's Plaza San Martín, the intersection of Avenida Rivadavia with Avenida San Martín is marked by a tall pole topped with an Argentine flag. Turning left onto San Martín Avenue is the way to Moconá (75 km / 45 mi; mostly paved, last 20 km / 12 mi rough dirt). After crossing Arroyo Soberbio, the road becomes Ruta Provincial 2.

About four kilometers (2.4 mi) on is Mirador Sergio Fenochio. Mirador Juan Queirel is past the turn-off for Monteagudo. Both these viewpoints give commanding views of the Río Uruguay. Twelve kilometers (7.2 mi) from El Soberbio a dirt road splits to the left and arrives at the Guaraní settlement Alde Yeyi.

Ruta 2 continues north, crossing over Arroyo Paraíso. Near this creek are two small waterfalls, Saltos Yerba and Paraíso. There are many nature lodges in the area. Puerto Paraíso is the starting point for boat excursions to Saltos del Moconá.

The south boundary of Reserva de Biósfera Yabotí is near Arroyo Paraíso. This 252,773-hectare (624,615-ac) reserve has been part of UNESCO's Men and Biosphere program since 1995. It contains 15% of the remaining Paranaense forest in Misiones Province. There are several provincial parks within Yabotí, including Moconá, Esmeralda (31,569 ha / 78, 008 ac) and Caá Yarí (10,397 ha / 25,591 ac), as well as Área Experimental Guaraní (5,343 ha / 13,202 ac), a research area closed to the general public. Yabotí Biosphere is transnational, becoming Parque Estadual Tuvo in Brazil, within the Mata Atlántica Biosphere Reserve. Flora within Yabotí include Parana pine, kin to the Patagonia's monkey puzzle tree, and valuable hardwoods like guatambú blanco, ironwood, white marmelero, maría preta, cancharana, loro blanco and many others.

Endangered fauna species find refuge here, such as jaguar, tapir, ocelot, tufted capuchin monkey and southern river otter. Among the diverse birdlife are Bare-throated bellbird, Black-fronted Piping-guan, Solitary Tinamou, Vinaceous-breasted Parrot, King Vulture, Black-throated Trogon, Saffron Toucanet, Helmeted Woodpecker and Blue-throated Piping-guan. Another 25 kilometers (15 mi) after Arroyo Paraíso is the crossroads of Ruta Provincial 21 to San Pedro and RP 2 to Moconá (18 km / 10.8 mi; unpaved, check conditions with the Gendarmería Nacional in El Soberbio).

The Parque Provincial Moconá ranger station is four kilometers (2.4 mi) after Arroyo Yabotí. This 999-hectare (2,468-ac) provincial reserve contains unique species of Dickya flowers, as well as yaguareté, puma and wild boar. Birdwatching is excellent. A difficult trail leads to the Saltos del Moconá. Dress appropriately for wet conditions, and protect cameras and cell phones in waterproof bags. Children under 10 and senior citizens should not undertake this hike.

The Saltos del Moconá constitute Monumento Natural Nacional Saltos del Moconá, a 50-hectare reserve. The falls, composed of 24 separate cascades up to 15 meters (49 feet) high, are formed by a three-kilometer (1.8 mi) long fissure in Río Uruguay's basalt-rock bed which runs parallel to the banks. Atop the falls forms a lagoon. At the base is the river's channel up which boats tour. A low rock shelf abuts the Brazilian shore. When the river's levels rise, that shelf covers with water. If rains have been exceptionally heavy, the río grows deeper, covering the falls. At its maximum width the river stretches across the lagoon on the Argentine side to Brazil.

Parque Provincial Moconá has a Centro de Interpretación (Interpretation Center), scientific research station, camping and hot showers. There is no electricity or shops. Entry and camping are free. The park is open for day visits until 6 p.m. in summer and 4:30 p.m. in winter. No public transportation arrives to Parque Provincial Moconá.

El Soberbio , Argentina

Other Activity Types:
Wildlife refuge, Natural park, National park (flora)

Relative price: Free

Travel Skills: beginner/easy.

Currencies accepted
Argentine Peso

By Lorraine Caputo

Upon re-declaring her independence at age 29, Lorraine Caputo packed her trusty Rocinante (so her knapsack's called) and began...

08 Dec 2010

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