wildlife in argentina

Wildlife in Argentina: 5 Best Destinations for Photography

If you’re wondering what are the best destinations for photographing wildlife in Argentina, you’ve landed on the right article!

Covering 2.78 million km2, Argentina is characterized by diverse climatic and geographical conditions. Unique ecosystems with lush flora and fauna: from luxuriant rainforests to grasslands, mountains, swamps and the Patagonian desert, a desolate place out of time.

In this article we will focus on 5 must-visit destinations for a Wildlife Photographer. The possibilities are many: from penguins, to whales, pumas, jaguars, vicuñas, guanacos, flamingos, etc.

In Argentina you will find some of the most spectacular species on our planet.

wildlife photography argentina
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1. The Iberá Wetlands

The Iberá Wetlands, in the province of Corrientes, are a paradise for wildlife in Argentina. An immense nature reserve, which in the world, by extension (about 12,000 km2), is second only to the Pantanal (Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay). The Iberá National Park, established in 2018, occupies a protected area of about 1400 km2.

The Iberá ecosystem is formed by a set of swamps, ponds, lagoons, marshes, grasslands, savannas, forests, palm groves and waterways. 

Home to a great number of animal species live, including the largest population of Marsh Deer in the country, two species of caiman (Broad-snouted caiman and Caiman yacaré), 350 different species of birds (herons, storks, ducks, kingfishers and flamingos), in addition to the Yellow Anaconda, Capybara, Howler Monkey, Maned Wolf, Neotropical otter, Giant Anteater, Jaguar, Tapir, etc..

yacare en ibera
A caiman in the Iberá Wetlands - © Nicholas Tinelli

Wildlife sightings in the Iberá Nature Reserve are very frequent, either by sailing through its waters or walking along the trails that penetrate the ecosystem.

2. Valdés Peninsula

About 1400 km south of Buenos Aires, along the coast flanking the Atlantic Ocean, is Península Valdés, in the province of Chubut. The natural reserve has been declared a UNESCO heritage site and is one of the most important destinations for photographing marine wildlife in South America.

An opportunity to meet, from May to December, the giants of the ocean, in one of the areas with the highest density of whales in the world. As well as orcas, Commerson’s dolphins, Magellanic penguins, sea lions, seals, guanacos, grey foxes, etc..

A dream destination for a Wildlife Photographer!

lobos marinos en peninsula valdes
Sea lions at sunset in the Península Valdés - © Darío Podestá

3. Iguazú

Iguazú Falls, in the northeast of the country, in the province of Misiones, is one of the most beautiful and grandiose natural spectacles on the planet. A true demonstration of the power of nature.

Declared patrimony of UNESCO in 1984, the protected areas of Iguazú between Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, constitute an important conservation area for many animal species belonging to the ecosystem of the Atlantic rainforest, including: the jaguar, nasua, ocelot, tapir, toucan, caiman, tufted capuchin monkey, tegu, turtles and many species of birds and butterflies.

lagarto overo en Iguazu
Black and White Tegu inside the Iguazú National Park - © Nicholas Tinelli

4. Mar Chiquita Lake

Laguna Mar Chiquita (or Mar de Ansenuza) is a protected area in the province of Córdoba. A huge wetland, consisting of salt water and the presence of numerous species of birds. It is considered one of the most important conservation areas for avifauna in the country.

Great protagonist of the fauna of the lagoon is the flamingo. According to a census of 2018 realized by the GCFA (Grupo de conservación del flamenco andino), it is estimated to have more than 200 thousand specimens.

In fact, the salinity of the waters of the lagoon creates an ideal environment for flamingos, which feed on mollusks, aquatic insects and small crustaceans and choose it as their nesting habitat.

Flamingos in flight at Mar Chiquita - © Nicholas Tinelli

In addition to the three species of flamingos typical of South America (Chilean flamingo, Andean flamingo, and James’s flamingo), there are also many other birds and some endangered species such as the Chaco tortoise, the Neotropical otter and the Maned wolf.

A unique place to spot wildlife in Argentina, declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1995.

At the time of writing this article, a national park has not yet been established, which would help to further protect this ecosystem from pollution by local industry and unregulated tourism.

5. Calilegua National Park

Calilegua, in northern Argentina (Jujuy province), is a national park constituted by a great biodiversity. The park was established in 1979 in order to preserve the Yungas (mountain forests) ecosystem and was recognized in 2002 as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

An adventurous destination to photograph wildlife, with more than 250 species of birds, and many mammals, including the jaguar, jaguarundi, ocelot, colocolo, puma, tapir, monkeys, crab-eating raccoon, taruca, peccary, red brocket, crab-eating fox, capybara, tayra, nasua, Neotropical otter, etc..

A total immersion in the green and wild forest of Jujuy!

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