Lonely Planet Writer

Argentina has just got an incredible new national park

A new national park in Argentina that will help protect the country’s incredible wetlands, forests and grasslands well into the future, as well as putting a new part of the country on travellers’ maps has been given the green light by the Argentinian government.

Inside the incredible new national park in Argentina. Image by Matias Rebak

This week, the country’s congress passed new legislation that created Iberá National Park, located in northeastern Argentina. The national parks adds 395,000 acres to the neighbouring 1.3-million-acre Iberá Provincial Park, making their combined land the largest nature park in the country.

The park is centred on the marshlands of Corrientes Province, which is one of the largest freshwater wetlands in South America. Within the park, visitors will find water, grassland, and forest habitats that are home to about 4,000 species of flora and fauna. It is estimated that in 10 years, Iberá Park will receive more than 100,000 visitors each year, who can travel to the incredible region for activities like birding and wildlife watching. If you need any more reason to visit, Lonely Planet also named it one of the best value destinations for 2019.

The new park will help protect incredible wildlife. Image by Juan Ramón Díaz Colodraro

The land was donated through two foundations, the Conservation Land Trust (CLT) and Flora and Fauna Argentina, which were established by Douglas and Kristine Tompkins. Tompkins Conservation has also been behind efforts that have created 10 million acres of new national parkland in Chile. According to the organisation, the Argentinian park is also home to the most ambitious “rewilding” – restoring ecosystems that have been impacted by human pressures – project in South American.

The park is made up of wetlands, grasslands and forests. Image by Juan Ramón Díaz Colodraro

“Today is a day to celebrate,” said Kristine Tompkins, president of Tompkins Conservation, in a statement. “For the wildlife at home here, for the people of Argentina, and for future generations who will experience this amazing landscape’s beauty and biodiversity, the new park’s designation is a great victory.”

The park is part of a massive conservation effort. Image by Juan Ramón Díaz Colodraro

With the creation of this park, South America has seen a host of new wild spaces preserved for travellers to explore. Following the donation of 10 million acres in Chile from the Tompkins Foundation, it now boasts the incredible Route of Parks – or Ruta de los Parques – a 2800 km route that connects 17 national parks across the country.