Yacutinga Lodge & Wildlife Nature Reserve is located on the Iguazu River in the northeast of Argentina. Iguazu National Park in the northeastern province of Misiones was created in 1934. It contains one of the greatest natural beauties of Argentina, the Iguazu Falls and is surrounded by subtropical jungle. Across the Iguazu River lies its Brazilian counterpart (Iguaçu National Park). Both sites were declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO, in 1984 and 1986.
The National Park has an area of 550 km2 (212 sq mi) and the name Iguazu itself means ‘large waters’ in Guarani language. The park, located on the Argentine border with Brazil and Paraguay is home to more than 2000 identified plant species and more than 400 species of birds, mammals and reptiles. To reach the Yacatinga Lodge, you first have to travel through the heart of the park. The time of year that you travel will determine your final mode of transport: it is usually by open top truck, but in summer it is along the river by boat.
The lodge itself has been developed using materials salvaged from the forest. The Argentine owners have created a Gaudiesque combination of tranquillity, comfort and style that amounts to five-star rusticity. The main building is an idiosyncratic architectural masterpiece, with a large living room, dining room, and bar. The 20 bedrooms are dispersed throughout the Forest and surround the main building. Hot water is available 24 hours a day, but electricity is only switched on between 18:00 and 23:00, so a torch is very handy afterwards. Mornings can be cold in the Forest between June & August, therefore each room is equipped with a log fire. The food at the lodge is of a high standard and vegetarians are well catered for. All food is either grown or raised on the reserve or purchased locally, with the obvious exception of beverages.
The main building is the starting point of the tours to Yacutinga Wildlife Refuge. Early in the morning or in the afternoon, even in night hours, the expert guides organize floating and sailing services or walks along the different interpretation trails. There are never more than 12 people participating in any tour. All trips are based on respect for the natural environment, its silence and interpretation. Local people also guide the tours, since they provide complementary information on the use of medicinal plants of the Forest, tracking and identification of wild animal footprints and many other topics of interest to the traveller.
Worth mentioning is the richness in flora and fauna present in these 560 hectares. The property has been declared a Private Natural Reserve since species close to extinction can be found there. Yacutinga Lodge is not only a tourist enterprise; it is a Reserve in a natural environment with modern concepts of sustainability, based on an eco-tourist activity. This is the best area to explore the rainforest while in Argentina.