Birds and Wildlife of Northeastern Argentina
11 Days / 10 Nights
11 Days / 10 Nights
The massive territory of Argentina spans four, thousand kilometers from north to south, covering biomes that vary from lowland rainforests to Andean deserts. This phenomenal trip includes an extraordinary diversity of sites and habitats.
We will also explore the last remaining areas of native Araucaria forest, in search of Vinaceous-breasted Amazon, Araucaria Tit-Spinetail, and Canebrake Groundcreeper, to finally finish in the mighty, rainforest cloaked Iguazú Falls, the place we expect to find Black-fronted Piping-Guan, Toco Toucan, Blue Manakin, Green-headed Tanager, and Blue-naped Chlorophonia to mention just some.
- Highlights: Otamendi – Ceibas – El Palmar National Park – Iberá Marshes – Ituzaingó – San Pedro – Iguazú National Park
- Activities: Bird watching – Nature and Wildlife
- Difficulty: Moderate-High
- Holiday Type: Tailor-made
- You will visit: Argentina
- Trip Style: Independent birders – Couples – Small Groups
- Comfort level: Standard – Luxury
- Transportation: Minibus – SUV
- Physical demand: Trip may include activities like walks, hikes and boat rides
- Group size: Minimum 2
- Pick up / Drop off locations: Ezeiza Airport, Buenos Aires
- Day 1: Morning arrival at Ezeiza Airport, Buenos Aires
- Day 2: Otamendi & Ceibas
- Day 3: El Palmar National Park
- Day 4: El Palmar to Iberá Marshes
- Day 5: Iberá Marshes
- Day 6: Iberá Marshes to Ituzaingó
- Day 7: Ituzaingó to San Pedro
- Day 8: San Pedro to Puerto Iguazú
- Day 9: Iguazú National Park
- Day 10: Iguazú National Park
- Day 11: Iguazú – Tour Conclusion
Birds and Wildlife of Northeastern Argentina Tour Itinerary
Morning arrival at Ezeiza Airport, Buenos Aires
Here you are going to meet your Tour Leader. From here we will travel to an excellent hotel in the city and check-in. Welcome lunch in a local restaurant and then a trip to Costanera Sur, among South America’s most diverse metropolitan nature reserves, in which a lot more than 300 bird species are registered.
Night in Buenos Aires.
Otamendi & Ceibas
We are going to make an early begin for birding Otamendi National Park. This 3,000-hectare (7,400-acre) park is found on the shores of the Paraná River, just north of Buenos Aires, and it has been integrated within the international listing of Important Bird Areas. It takes-in three of Argentina’s most important bird habitats: The Pampas Grasslands, the Thorny Woodland and also the Paraná River Delta. Our targets for today in Otamendi involve both Straight-billed and Curve-billed reedhaunters and also Diademed Tanager.
We will also search for other, more wide-spread species, like Southern Screamer, White-tufted Grebe, Giant Woodrail, Long-winged Harrier, White-tipped Dove, Checkered Woodpecker, Warbling Doradito, Chotoy Spinetail, and Great Pampa-Finch. We will depart Otamendi about mid-morning and travel to Ceibas, a natural spot within the Province of Entre Ríos, right across the Paraná River.
This birding area stands out because of its dense thorny woods and marshlands, the place to find a fantastic variety of bird species – an authentic birders’ paradise! Birds like Greater Rhea, Red-winged Tinamou, Savanna Hawk, White-fronted and White woodpeckers, Scimitar-billed Woodcreeper, Brown Cacholote, Lark-like Brushrunner, Short-billed Canastero, and Tufted Tit-Spinetail are possible viewings. We are going to return to our hotel in the early evening — night in Ceibas.
El Palmar National Park
We are going to abandon Ceibas early this morning and travel northwards. Our program during the day would be to explore El Palmar National Park. This area is a small but a diverse reserve, designed primarily to protect an area of Argentina’s Mesopotamia Savannah, with the last pure stocks of Yatay -a palm that used to cover vast regions of the lowlands within the country’s northeast. Apart from the savannah, there are several small lagoons and beautiful gallery forests on the banks of the Uruguay River.
We look forward to finding some fantastic birds, like Ringed Teal, South American Snipe, Burrowing Owl, Yellow-billed Tern, Spot-winged Pigeon, Blue-crowned Parakeet, White-spotted Woodpecker, Grey Monjita, Chicli Spinetail, Tawny-headed Swallow, Green-winged Saltator and White-rimmed Warbler to mention just some. We are going to spend the night in a hotel near El Palmar.
El Palmar to Iberá Marshes
Day four is time to abandon the Pampas and plains-savannahs and continue traveling north to Iberá Marshes. Today will be a prolonged drive, however with exceptional birding possibilities en-route, mainly in the final 100 kilometers, in which several species of seedeaters arrive in springtime for nesting within these substantial wet-grasslands. Chestnut, Rufous-rumped, Tawny-bellied and Dark-throated Seedeaters are possible viewings here. We’ll spend the following two nights in a lodge at Colonia Pellegrini, a village placed in the center of Esteros del Iberá Reserve.
Iberá Marshes are probably the most extensive wetlands in Argentina, covering roughly 1 / 4 of the country’s Mesopotamian Region (Northeastern Argentina). Some parts in Iberá are practically inaccessible and lacking right roads causes it to be challenging to get through, thus making a naturally protected stronghold for wildlife.
The region is home to a variety of waterfowl and its swamps, open water lagoons and woodlands are undoubted birding heaven -one that we’ll thoroughly explore, looking for its diverse and colorful avifauna. We are going to spend the day birding in the section of Iberá Lagoon and Colonia Pellegrini. In the morning we’ll have a boat trip to go exploring the lagoon, looking for such fantastic birds as Stripe-backed Bittern, Rufous-sided Crake, Black-capped Donacobius, Long-tailed Reed-Finch, Yellow-rumped Marshbird, Yellow-headed Caracara and eight types of herons.
This can be an excellent opportunity to search for mammals, such as Capybara, Marsh Deer, and Southern River Otter. Reptiles like Spectacled Caiman and Yellow Anaconda are typical viewings here as well. The local grasslands are home to other magnificent birds like Lesser Grass-Finch, Strange-tailed Tyrant, and Marsh Seedeater.
A walk through the forest in the afternoon will provide us probabilities for Striped Cuckoo, Narrow-billed Woodcreeper, Rufous-browed Peppershrike and Purple-throated Euphonia as well as others. Mammals will also be probable within the forest, with Black-and-gold Howler Monkey and Grey Brocket Deer being quite ordinary. We are going to finish our birding day exploring the thorny forest called Espinal, in which our target is to look for one of Argentina’s most rare birds: The Yellow Cardinal.
Iberá Marshes to Ituzaingó
We will depart Iberá Marshes for Ituzaingó, in the northern section of the Province of Corrientes. Birding along this road is quite rewarding since we will be fundamentally crossing a substantial area of the marshlands, some grasslands, and lagoons, so we will have more probabilities to find out most of the usual local specialties as well as some new ones. We expect to reach in Ituzaingó in the afternoon, check into our hotel and take a short break just before setting off this evening to go birding Rincón de Santa María Reserve. This small 300-hectare (740-acre) reserve is privately owned. It was made to protect part of the native environment and lots of species of birds as well as other wildlife, after the building of one of the biggest hydroelectrical stations within the Paraná River.
This evening we are going to look for birds like Lesser and Wedge-tailed grass-finches, Blue-billed Black-Tyrant, Striped Owl, Least Nighthawk and also a very localized resident in this spot: Sickle-winged Nightjar. We’ll stay in a hotel in Ituzaingó.
Ituzaingó to San Pedro
We will begin our birding day visiting Rincón de Santa María again early this morning. Our goals consist of such unique birds as Ochre-breasted Pipit, Sharp-tailed Tyrant and also the very rare Black-masked Finch. We will then proceed traveling towards the Province of Misiones, where we will go birding the surroundings of Posadas, it’s the capital city, and even spend some time looking for birds in the wet grasslands of Profundidad.
There are many target species that we’ll search for here, which includes Saffron-cowled Blackbird, Streamer-tailed Tyrant, and Plumbeous Seedeater. We plan to arrive in San Pedro in the late afternoon, after traveling through the wet grasslands of Misiones. This evening we will go visiting La Araucaria Provincial Park, a reserve created to safeguard a significant area of the Paraná Rainforest, with a healthy population of Araucaria angustifolia, a local species of monkey-puzzle tree.
We will also put a special effort here to try for the very rare and localized Vinaceous-breasted Amazon. A small population of this parrot roosts within the park, so our probabilities of locating it are excellent. We are going to finish our birding day waiting for the sun to go down, to try out for two species of owls: Stygian and Striped at dusk. We’ll stay at a local hotel in San Pedro.
San Pedro to Puerto Iguazú
We are going to spend a second visit to La Araucaria early today and concentrate on finding some very localized specialties, like Canebrake Groundcreeper and Araucaria Tit-Spinetail. Following birding San Pedro, we will set off for Puerto Iguazú, the place we will spend the final part of our Northeastern Argentina birding experience.
Before getting there, we will spend time birding Urugua-í Provincial Park. This reserve was designed to protect an 84,000-hectare (207,000-acre) patch of Misiones Montane Forest; a highly restricted ecosystem seated 600 meters (1,970 ft.) above sea level -higher than every other forest in Misiones. This specific forest includes a very dense bamboo understorey, preferred by several bird species not usually found in Iguazú or many of the other local lowland forests.
The riverine forest along Uruzú River is fantastic for birds like Sharp-tailed Streamcreeper, Black-fronted Piping Guan, and Streamside Warbler. The bamboo stocks host Spotted Bamboo-Wren, Planalto Tapaculo, Dusky-tailed Antbird, Bertoni Antbird, and Speckle-breasted Antpitta, among others. Green-chinned Euphonia is also achievable here, in addition to Black Hawk-Eagle.
The very rare Greenish Tyrannulet is a resident in Urugua-í, and probabilities of finding out it are quite high. We are going to arrive at Iguazú late in the evening and check into our hotel for the next three nights.
Iguazú National Park
One of the most outstanding natural wonders in Argentina’s northeast is, by far, Iguazú National Park, with its remarkable falls. Iguazú National Park protects the majority of one of the essential forests south of the Amazon: The Interior Atlantic Forest. This natural enviroment host dozens of unique species of orchids, small primates, bats of rare habits and endemic birds.
Here, the Iguazú River falls 70 meters (230 ft.) down, developing a fan of cascades exceeding 250 individual waterfalls. Today we are going to enjoy Iguazú Falls at their maximum! We will walk some of the park’s pathways, stopping at their many lookouts to look at the most magnificent views.
These trails are built on different levels, and visitors have the opportunity to see the falls from above and below. A narrow-gauge train usually takes visitors from the park’s entrance to the access of the walkways, and on to the most stunning waterfall of all of them: Devil’s Throat, which we will visit late in the afternoon.
A large number of colorful birds reside in Iguazú such as Blue Manakin, Red-ruffed Fruitcrow, Surucua Trogon, five species of euphonias and may species of tanagers are all typically found inside the park.
Thousands of Great Dusky swifts and many species of forest raptors master the skies here as well. The forest canopy houses noisy flocks of parrots, parakeets, antwrens and five species of toucans. A perceptible background chorus of distinctive birdcalls, like those of Solitary Tinamou, Spot-winged Wood-Quail, Tufted Antshrike, and Southern Antpipit deliver the perfect frame for a birding walk-through this captivated rainforest.
We are going to return to our hotel in the nearby city of Puerto Iguazú late later in the day, and get an excellent night’s sleep to recuperate energies, in preparation for the second entire day at the park the next day.
Iguazú National Park
We will spend the day exploring Iguazú National Park, which includes Macuco Trail. This forest path goes through a patch of forest far from the falls, making it less frequented by standard tourists thereby really rewarding birding-wise. Probabilities for mammals like Black-capped Capuchin Monkey are high here, and butterflies are diverse and abundant.
A small patch of bromeliads within the entrance of the trail hosts a resident population of White-bearded Manakin. Blue Manakin can also be widespread and very common along this trail. The forest ground hosts Short-tailed Antpitta and Spot-winged Wood-Quail. Southern Antpipit and Rufous Gnateater are usually found skulking around the understorey. Higher on the trees, spectacular birds like Robust Woodpecker, and Black-throated Trogon are frequently spotted.
Iguazú – Tour Conclusion
We are going to spend the final morning birding around Puerto Iguazú. This morning’s highlight will undoubtedly be a trip to Jardín de Los Picaflores (The Hummingbirds Garden), a private home garden in which installed up bird feeders that usually attract a minimum of seven types of these flying jewels.
Black Jacobin, Planalto Hermit, Violet-capped Woodnymph, and Black-throated Mango are typical visitors to the feeders supplying excellent photography opportunities. Other birds like Epaulet Oriole, Bananaquit, and Blue-naped Chlorophonia are regular visitors to the feeders as well.
We are going to transport to Cataratas del Iguazú International Airport in the early afternoon, where the tour finishes.