Esteros del Ibera Wetlands in Pictures: A Highlight of Argentina

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(Southern Spectacled Caiman feeding)

Many visitors to Argentina fail to reach Esteros del Ibera wetlands. But those that do are rewarded with tranquillity, endless photographic opportunities and close encounters with wildlife, on a land that has been transformed from hunting ground to protected area. 

There are some destinations in the world I feel an instant connection with as soon as I arrive. Within minutes I feel comfortable with my surroundings and within my own skin. I balance the anticipation of waiting adventures with a content feeling of unexplained familiarity. The outside world becomes irrelevant, I have no desire to check my phone or the Internet and time feels like it is standing still.

It’s a rare, unique and exhilarating experience and one that reminds me why I continue to travel beyond my own backyard.

(Sunset in Ibera Wetlands)

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The first time I really felt this was in Antarctica two years ago and this was the driving force behind my return visit last month.

And I experienced it again a few days ago when I arrived at Aguape Lodge in Esteros del Ibera wetlands.

(Giant Wood-Rail)

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Ibera wetlands was my last stop in a two-month travel stint and excluding Antarctica (a destination that can never realistically be compared to) I certainly saved the best for last.

This particular trip has always been about my return to the Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica. The month of travel that followed felt like a bonus: an opportunity to explore some of Argentina and Patagonia Chile before returning to London to replenish the bank account for the next adventure.

(Milky Way outside my room at the Aguape Lodge)

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I can’t quite remember how I came across the Ibera wetlands as a possible destination when planning my trip. Often overshadowed by more accessible attractions in the country and by Brazil’s well-known Pantanal, it’s not the first travel destination in Argentina that comes to mind.

(Sunrise from the Aguape Lodge pier)

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But shortly after arriving on the badly maintained road from Posadas, I knew it offered everything I was looking for in both a travel and photography destination.

Ibera Wetlands is a birders paradise with more than 350 species calling it home. It is a wildlife photographer’s playground with close encounters possible of the world’s largest rodent, the continent’s largest deer and the relatively harmless but intimidating caiman. And it is a landscape photographer’s dream with colourful sunrises, fiery sunsets, star studded skies  and occasional lightening from tropical thunderstorms.

(Rufous Honero resting on a Capybara)

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It’s a natural highlight without the tourist crowds. It’s tranquillity without boredom. It’s provides an energising simplicity.

Its nature at it’s best – and it’s been the perfect end to an incredible two months of travelling.

 

(Masked Gnatcatcher)

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(Marsh Deer – the largest deer in South America)Esteros del Ibera_Kellie Netherwood-8

(Guachos in Esteros del Ibera)Esteros del Ibera_Kellie Netherwood-9

(Southern Screamer at Sunset)Esteros del Ibera_Kellie Netherwood-11

(Navigating through the wetlands at sunset)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

(Rufus-collared Sparrow)Esteros del Ibera_Kellie Netherwood-13

(A frog visits the swimming pool at Aguape Lodge)Esteros del Ibera_Kellie Netherwood-14

(Tropical thunderstorm approaches Aguape Lodge)Esteros del Ibera_Kellie Netherwood-15

(Capybara, the largest rodent in the world)Esteros del Ibera_Kellie Netherwood-1

 (I’ll be sharing more photographs, stories and information about Esteros del Ibera Wetlands in the coming months.)

 

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Kellie is a traveller and photographer who is most at home when exploring the world beyond it. Through the intersection of her travel, writing and photography passions, she shares her experiences to inspire others to create there own. The desire to live life instead of existing through it has introduced Kellie to inspirational locations throughout seven continents and from this a passion for landscape and wildlife photography has evolved. She feels a particular connection to the polar regions and Africa. You can see more of her photography at www.kellienetherwoodphotography.com

Comments

  1. Thanks Kellie – Esteros del Ibera wetlands are now added to my bucket list.

  2. What a nice set of photos! Thank you so much for sharing. The 4th photo is incredible!

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