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Colonia Pellegrini

From Mercedes, Ruta Provincial 40 heads north toward the Esteros del Iberá. The barely graveled road is dusty when dry, mucky when wet. The countryside is spotted with lagoons and waterways, the perfect habitat for yacaré caimans and capybara. A multitude of birds dart over fields and fly en masse from the road as vehicles near. Motorists may find their journeys temporarily delayed to allow a yellow anaconda (curiyú) to slither across the road.

Another 90 kilometers (56 mi) up Ruta Provincial 40 is Estancia Rincón del Socorro, a luxury eco-inn on a 12,000-hectare (29,700-acre) former cattle ranch (Tel: 03782-49-7172, E-mail:, URL: This ranch and lands in other parts of the Esteros were bought by US environmentalist and co-founder of The Conservation Land Trust, Douglas Tompkins to conserve them and with plans to donate it to Argentina if a national park is created (URL:

After another 30 km (19 mi) is Laguna Iberá, one of the largest lagoons in the Iberá Estuaries. On the south shore is a ranger station and visitors center. On the other side of the 1.6 kilometer (1 mi) long stone causeway and Bailey bridge is Colonia Carlos Pellegrini. Pellegrini is the most convenient access point for visiting the Esteros del Iberá. This sandy village lies on a small peninsula jutting into the lagoon. It’s a world away from the rest of the country. No daily newspapers make it here and few people have television. It is a place to get away from the rat race and immerse yourself in nature dominated by howler monkeys, caimans, capybara and a whole rainbow of birds. Most journeyers come for only two days, though a longer stay is recommended. Not only can you take a boat tour of Laguna Iberá, but you can also explore the area on horseback and foot.Pellegrini is a young village. Established in 1906, it served primarily as a provisions post for mariscador inhabitants of the inner estuary. With the arrival of the first ferry in 1914, the population grew. Many of the residents hunted or worked on cattle ranches. Because of the near-extinction of yacaré, capybara and other species, Corrientes Province declared the area a provincial reserve in 1983. Hunting was banned and Pellegrineros began working for the park or on the rice plantations that had come. In 1976 the first tourist lodges opened in Pellegrini. Since the pullout of rice producers in the latter part of the 21st century’s first decade—due to concerns of pesticide pollution and higher fuel costs—the town has become more dependent on tourism. An estimated 80% of Pellegrineros now work in that field. Colonia Carlos Pellegrini is now an eco-village. Further constructions may only be one-story and of traditional architecture. Other regulations apply to hotels and guides.

(Altitude: 190 meters / 623 ft, Population: 298, Phone Code: 03773)

Other neighborhoods in Esteros Del Iberá: Mercedes and Reserva Natural Provincial Del Iberá.

By Lorraine Caputo

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

28 Jul 2010

Things to do in Colonia Pellegrini


139954Another popular way to explore the Estero del Iberá is by hiking. Near the Reserva Provincial Iberá’s Centro de Visitantes Agua Brillante are three trails. Behind it are the Sendero del Cerrito, ...
Colonia Pellegrini, Esteros Del Iberá, Argentina

Boat Tours

139953The hottest ticket in town is the boat tour of Laguna Iberá. Most trips leave 6-11 a.m. or 4-6 p.m., avoiding the heat of day. Night excursions are also available. Outings are usually canceled if ...
Colonia Pellegrini, Esteros Del Iberá, Argentina

Museo Regional Y Jará

139949A half-block from the pastoral Plaza San Martín is Museo Regional y Jará, whose name in Guaraní means “spirit protector of the water.” This simple museum has four rooms. The first explains the ...
Colonia Pellegrini, Esteros Del Iberá, Argentina

Horseback Riding

Another way to explore the Esteros del Iberá near Colonia Carlos Pellegrini is on horseback. Two-hour cabalgatas traverse the marshy shores of Laguna Iberá, where you can catch the lagoon’s ...
Horseback Riding
Colonia Pellegrini, Esteros Del Iberá, Argentina

Estancia San Antonio

Estancia San Antonio invites travelers to come experience the payé del Iberá, the charm of Iberá. This private wildlife reserve is located between Esteros del Miriñay and Esteros de la Cañada ...
Other Activity
Colonia Pellegrini, Esteros Del Iberá, Argentina
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