Estancia Rincón del Socorro
Estancia Rincón del Socorro is a 30,000 acre former cattle ranch on the edge of the Iberá wetlands in North-eastern Argentina which has been transformed into a nature reserve by its Anglo-Argentine owners, Valerie and Leslie Cook.
The reasoning behind this was to provide visitors with an understanding of the local ecosystem and an appreciation for the importance of wetlands and savannah landscapes.
The main house has a large living room, a games room and a dining room where excellent food is served; most of the produce is grown locally on the organic farm. Each bedroom has been designed and decorated uniquely according to its shape and location - there are no two alike.
The estancia and its surroundings are a haven for nature lovers and the adventure orientated. The extensive gardens contain the swimming pool and barbecue area, and further afield there is an abundance of activities to enjoy from horse riding, boat and canoe trips through the expansive wetlands, cattle roundups and fly fishing, as well as sampling a typical Argentine barbecue known as an asado.
Why We Love It
The bedroom walls are hung with artefacts such as ancient maps, old stuffed alligators, and rare wildlife prints.
The Melia Iguazu Resort and Spa is ideally located on the Argentine side of the Iguazu Falls in the heart of the Iguazu National Park.
At the point where the Iguazu River joins the Parana River in the north-east of Argentina, the Iguazu Falls (Big Water in the local Guaraní language) plunges over hard granite into a wide gorge in a series of gigantic waterfalls two miles in length and more than 240 feet deep. The thunderous roar of crashing water and the multicoloured mist which rises above the falls is natural beauty and grandeur at its best.
The rooms of the hotel boast stunning views of either the falls themselves or the forest behind, all of them are bright and airy and lead out onto a balcony.
Garganta del Diablo, the hotel's restaurant offers a variety of dining options combining international cuisine with traditional methods of cooking and local produce; here guests can enjoy views of the stunning surroundings whilst eating.
The new SEDA spa features a variety of therapeutic treatments which guests can indulge in, these range from a spacious Zen relaxing room to a large hot water whirlpool. There are two swimming pools as well as a floodlit tennis court, and beyond the hotel there is lots on offer such as trekking, walking, rafting, horse riding, bird watching and more.
Why We Love It
The beautiful Iguazu Falls (Iguassu in Brazil), lies at the meeting point of Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil - so you can see the delights of not one country but three.
Estancia Santa Cecilia
Get a taste of traditional Argentinean life at the working Estancia Santa Cecilia in the south of the Misiones province.
This historic homestead, built in 1908, is a peaceful retreat with original high ceilings, large galleries and antique trees. Just four en suite rooms are spread over two floors, with a lounge area (with large open fireplace) and dining room for guest use. Meals are typically Argentinean, utilising local produce and the farm's own beef, with barbeque lunches and torta frita in the afternoon.
The surrounding landscape is dominated by low hills and subtropical flora, which this estancia is determined to protect. With sustainable management of their cattle farm and forestry projects, they take social responsibility and environmental concerns seriously. Within this rich region, the Iguazu falls and Jesuit ruins are favourites with tourists, although there are many other activities to keep guests busy. See the local gauchos working and ride out with them, visit the Tacuru 18 hole country golf club, or take a leisurely walk along the Parana river at sunset. There is also a pool, solarium and board games at the estancia.
Why We Love It
Visit the local Garupa polo club to watch the experts play, and if you're brave enough, join in the fun.
Hotel Puerto Valle
With its somewhat convenient location providing private access to the Wetlands, Hotel Puerto Valle offers the best wildlife fix in Argentina, combined with a good dose of luxury.
Perched on the banks of the Parana River, as of November 2014 this renovated estancia now boasts 13 lovely guest rooms - the original five that open out onto a veranda offering beautiful views across to Paraguay; and eight new freestanding casitas separate from the main estancia.
Thanks to its exclusive access to the Ibera Wetlands, Puerto Valle is the perfect base for anyone looking to combine outdoor activities with the comfort of a boutique hotel. The service is excellent and the staff are charming, making this feel more like a home than a hotel. The on-site restaurant serves delicious regional dishes, with many of the ingredients grown on their organic farm.
The focus here is on wildlife and activities, which include walks, bird watching, fishing, horse riding and visits to the Wetlands. That said, you may prefer to spend the day relaxing by the lovely pool with a caipirinha in hand!
Its proximity to the state of Misiones makes Puerto Valle a great place to combine with the Iguazu Falls.
Why We Love It
A boat trip at sunset is simply wonderful here, where you can spot caimans, capybaras and all sorts of wonderful birds settling down for the night.