Written by Robert Raymond Ingledew on 04 Sep, 2007
I have been dozens of times in Rosario, and had never crossed the river to Victoria. I had no idea of the beautiful sceneries it has. True, it is not Switzerland, nor Iguazu, but the country landscape is really charming. It is only 2 hours…Read More
I have been dozens of times in Rosario, and had never crossed the river to Victoria. I had no idea of the beautiful sceneries it has. True, it is not Switzerland, nor Iguazu, but the country landscape is really charming. It is only 2 hours south of Parana by bus (3 dollars) and 1 hour to the east of Rosario (3.30 dollars on the bus). So whenever you go either to Parana or to Rosario, cross the river and enjoy this small but charming city.www.welcomeargentina.com/victoria/index_i.html, here you will find more information on this charming city.The city is only two centuries old, but seems older than that. It was originally the land of the Minuanes Indians, that lived here until century 18. The original name of the city was La Matanza (The Slaughter) remembering the massive extermination of the Indians by the Spanish conquerors.Victoria is known as the "City of the Seven Hills" and the whole landscape is beautiful. The Parana Delta starts here, and goes all the way down to Buenos Aires (200 miles further south).You will find many colonial constructions, a charming abbey or monastery, the central square with illuminated buildings, a very quiet and friendly population. Although it does not have much night life, there are a couple of discos and one of the most important casinos in Argentina (Sol) that has the only five-star hotel in southern Entre Rios.Although fishing in the Parana river is not what it used to be, you can still fish dorados in this area. My nephew Robin, who lives in Rosario, has fished 15-pound dorados in the islands facing Victoria.A walk along the Coastal Avenue that borders the river is really enjoyable. A green belt about nearly half a mile wide, gives the whole area and charming and quiet atmosphere. I saw hundreds of people either sunbathing on the grass or enjoying the shade of the trees, This avenue is probably 2 to 3 miles long and ends near a country club with very nice residences. I was so attracted by the scenery that I walked over two hours up and down hills, until I arrived at the hotel at 5 p.m. for a short nap...There is an excellent restaurant in the downtown (El Jockey) for which I have written a separate report. Food is rather expensive by local standards, but well worth its price. In any case, by international standards its prices are moderate. You can have an excellent meal for some 15 dollars per person. My lunch cost 8 dollars.Here is a list of hotels where you can stay. I stayed at an hotel just in front of the bus station, where a single room (air-conditioned with private bathroom but with no TV) cost me 15 dollars per night.Where you stay here overnight or not, take a trip on the bus to discover this charming city and walk up and down the hills and along the riverside. I know you will enjoy it.The Sol Victoria casino of Victoria is one of the largest in Argentina, and competes in size with the Mar del Plata casino. There are local buses from the casino to Rosario at 4.45 a.m. Sorry, I did not visit it (I am not a gambler) but took some beautiful panoramic photos of the Casino (now in expansion) from one of the nearby hills. This is their web page: www.hotelsolvictoria.com.ar.Welcome to Victoria, Entre Ríos. Close
Written by Robert Raymond Ingledew on 28 Apr, 2007
I have been only once to the Ibera Marshes, but really enjoyed it. Weather was unusually cold, something rare in Corrientes, but just in case always take a spare sweater, I did not...
To reach the Iberá Marshes you must travel on an earth road…Read More
I have been only once to the Ibera Marshes, but really enjoyed it. Weather was unusually cold, something rare in Corrientes, but just in case always take a spare sweater, I did not...
To reach the Iberá Marshes you must travel on an earth road fifty miles beyond Mercedes, and if it has rained recently you can get stuck. The only way of getting there (or getting back) in those cases is on a 4 x 4, and this could cost you a lot of money, maybe one hundred dollars. So if you are a budget-minded traveler, check the weather forecast and go when it is dry. It was raining softly during our trip to the Ibera Marshes, and the road had got really muddy. Any normal car would have got stuck, just have a look at the photo. If your bus to Mercedes does not match the timetable of the local bus to Ibera (that runs once on the day) or the timetable of the traffic vans, you might have to stay overnight in Mercedes, a 60,000-inhabitant city. The Delicias del Iberá hostel offers economy lodging and is OK for my taste. I did not stay there (I had little time, and went on a 4 x 4 to the marshes) but was inside the hostel, saw what it was like and shared the 4 x 4 with people that had stayed here, so my appraisal is based not only on my traveler’s instinct, but on the opinion of other people.
I bought an all-inclusive package at the Delicias del Iberá, sharing the 4 x 4 with a Mexican and a UK tourist. I paid 60 dollars for one night at the Posada Iberá Pora, sharing the room with the Mexican tourist, a very basic dinner, breakfast, a tour in the afternoon under a soft drizzle to monkey’s trail, where we also saw capibaras (there are many in this area), and a two-hour motorboat tour in the lagoon, where we saw quite a few yacares (South American caiman), one marsh deer, and some more wildlife. If weather had been warmer, we would have seen much more. I also watched a yacaré next to the bridge that crosses the marshes. 3 or 4-star hotels charge100 dollars per day and per passenger for their all-inclusive package, that does not include transportation from Mercedes to Iberá, but that includes all meals and both tours (the monkey trail walking tour and the 2-hour motorboat tour). Posada Ibera Pora did not have TV, but otherwise was cozy and comfortable. The only problem is that when it is raining you have nowhere to go, and it can be boring. In a 4-star hotel you would certainly have TV and probably Internet, God knows at what prices. In any case, even at Mercedes, Internet was very slow.
There are many types of birds in the Ibera reserve, but I am no expert in bird-watching. You certainly will need a good pair of binoculars for this. Fishing is not allowed inside the reserve, but there are some good (and expensive) fishing lodges in the area, where you can fish beautiful dorados. I prefer to go to the normal fishing places on the Paraná river, where I do not have to pay hundreds of dollars for a treat, and where I also stand a good chance of fishing a twenty pound dorado, or even larger. At Goya, the Guarapo fishing lodge offers you the same chance for a fraction of the cost. Check out their page. www.guarapo.com.ar.
Now have a look at their photos: www.guarapo.com.ar/photogallery.htm. Sorry, no rates are published just now, it is slightly more expensive than taking a conventional fishing tour, but far cheaper than staying at a fishing lodge in the Ibera area. But if you are a budget traveler, you can also try your luck as a fisherman at Bella Vista or Empedrado. There are nice hotels at affordable prices, and both are good fishing areas. However, my top choice would be Isla del Cerrito (Cerrito Island) where you can fish 20 pound dorados from the coast, without requiring a motorboat.
There is a 3-star hotel there, reasonably priced -Hosteria del Sol, with swimming pool, air-conditioned rooms- (Sorry, the page is in Spanish, but you can still see the photos) www.isla-delcerrito.com.ar/donde_alojarse_isla_del_ce.html
There are also rooms of the Tourist Board of the Province at very low rates. As you see, a trip to the Ibera Marshes can be completed with a visit to the city of Corrientes, to Paso de La Patria, Cerrito Island, Empedrado, Bella Vista, Goya... There are buses to Mercedes from Buenos Aires, Rosario, Santa Fe (connections from Córdoba at Santa Fe or Parana), Corrientes, Concordia... A trip from Santa Fe to Mercedes will take some six hours, 3 hours from Goya, 2 hours from Concordia, 6 hours from the city of Corrientes... Now you have the picture.
Most of these cities are served by Nuevo Expreso San José, a fairly nice bus company, but do not expect any meals on board, except maybe from Buenos Aires. Flecha bus has three services every day from Mercedes to Corrientes, but all leave very early in the morning. You might have to stay overnight at Mercedes (Delicias del Ibera hostel, or at some other hotel). The bus from Mercedes to the Ibera Marshes will cost some 5 dollars each way. www.flechabus.com.ar www.empresasanjose.com. Enjoy your stay in Argentine Mesopotamia.
I have visited the city of Paraná many times and have enjoyed every trip. People are very friendly, live relaxed and are ready to help. A taxi driver told me that girls are very friendly to foreigners (maybe they are looking for a good husband...)…Read More
I have visited the city of Paraná many times and have enjoyed every trip. People are very friendly, live relaxed and are ready to help. A taxi driver told me that girls are very friendly to foreigners (maybe they are looking for a good husband...) but I cannot assure you if this is true or not… Parana is a very attractive city, specially thanks to its beautiful Urquiza park on the banks of the river. The city of Parana has 236,000 inhabitants and is a good place for shopping. You will enjoy going along the main pedestrian street. There are also a number of bathing resorts along the river, of which Balneario Thompson is supposed to be the best, and a nice coastal avenue that runs between the park and the river. North of Parana there are some fishing resorts, where you can fish dorados weighing up to 11 pounds. These main villages are Santa Elena (in Entre Ríos), the Guayquiraró river, that divides the provinces of Entre Ríos and Corrientes, and Esquina and Goya, in Corrientes. Paraná is not very far away from the Iberá marshes. The bus to Mercedes takes some 6 hours (Nuevo Expreso San José) and from there you travel another hour and a half on a 4 x 4 or traffic van. In Goya there is a leading fishing lodge that you will enjoy: www.guarapo.com.ar . Travel to Goya takes nearly five hours, and the bus ticket costs 16 dollars each way (semi-bed service of Flecha Bus). www.flechabus.com.ar and the fishing lodge picks you up at the bus station, or at the airport.The downtown of Paraná is very nice, and there are many old-fashioned buildings in front of the main square (the city is 300 years old). Of course, Santa Fe is older (some 450 years). You will enjoy both cities. Both cities have a pretty warm climate, so I would recommend visiting these cities out of the Summer season (at least avoid going in January or February).HOT TO GET AROUND: There are buses from Santa Fe to Paraná about every half hour, that cross under the Parana river through the Hernandarias tunnel. During the trip you will see the old "Puente colgante" (hanging bridge) that was a tourist attraction and that was damaged by a flood of the Parana river. This trip costs only one dollar, unlike the river crossing from Rosario to Victoria that costs three dollars and a half for a similar distance. Buses from Parana to Concordia, Concepción del Uruguay or Gualeguaychu take some 5 to 6 hours. Bus services are good. Taxis are inexpensive. Last Saturday I toured the main attractions to take photos on a taxi for over half an hour, and the trip cost me five dollars.Buses from Parana to Rosario take nearly 3 hours and buses from Parana to Victoria, another very attractive destination, take 2 hours travel at a cost of 3 dollars (Tata Rapido, Flecha Bus and other companies). From the Santa Fe bus station you will find buses to practically all Argentina: www.bus-america.com/ARemp_lin/SantaFe/linSFEprov.htmWHERE TO STAY: There are very good hotels, of which I prefer the Mayorazgo hotel (5 stars). This hotel is being refurbished now (I saw the construction work this weekend), in the meantime the casino was moved elsewhere, but will come back to the Mayorazgo once the remodeling of the hotel is completed. But you will find all sorts of prices in Parana. The Plaza Jardin (3 stars) is costing anything between 37 and 50 dollars for a single room, but this weekend I found a very nice hotel (Centro) with VERY affordable prices (15 dollars per night for a single room; it is really an hostel, but has an elegant reception area, cable TV, and private bathrooms in all rooms).Here is a list of the main hotels in Paraná. All are reasonably priced. Of course, don’t expect to find a five-star hotel for fifty dollars... These are the most important ones: Maran S Close
Written by Robert Raymond Ingledew on 03 Sep, 2007
The nicest places in Rosario are near the Paraná river: boating clubs with their marinas, a number of lovely parks, the nicest beaches in Rosario for bathing at La Florida...many fashionable restaurants overlooking the river, the Rosario - Victoria bridge (3 miles long), the islands…Read More
The nicest places in Rosario are near the Paraná river: boating clubs with their marinas, a number of lovely parks, the nicest beaches in Rosario for bathing at La Florida...many fashionable restaurants overlooking the river, the Rosario - Victoria bridge (3 miles long), the islands in the Delta (yes, the same Delta that starts in Buenos Aires, two hundred miles further up the river). There are a number of fashionable resorts on the river, although their beaches may not be outstanding, many people enjoy going over there on their canoes, motorboats, or on the public transportation services that navigate the river during the Summer season.However, the most complete experience is the Ciudad de Rosario vessel (that accommodates 350 seated passengers and that costs only three dollars and a half for a two-hour cruise up and down the river), which departs from inside of the Monumento a la Bandera (National Monument to the National Flag) and goes up as far as the Rosario-Victoria bridge, to then return. You will see many beautiful places along the way, and the skyline of Rosario City that is probably more than five miles long. The ship has a low-price cafeteria, where you will pay one dollar for a plain hamburger, and the same price for a Coca Cola.A taxi from the Rosario bus station to La Florida, to enjoy its beautiful beaches, will cost you some six US dollars. Keep an eye on your valuables, because Rosario is not one hundred percent safe. Avoid solitary areas at night and overcrowded areas during the day. Inside the resort you should not have any problem, but do not leave your valuables unattended, and put away your photo camera and/or camcorder in your bag when you are not using them.La Florida was going to be a one-mile wide artificial beach on the Parana river. Unfortunately, the contractor presented bankruptcy and the beach is maybe 500 feet wide, but still really enjoyable. There are some cafeterias inside the beach (it is a private beach, photos are not allowed, but I saw the notice AFTER I took the photos. Since you do not understand Spanish, you did not understand the notice, and if you answer in English they will not know how to tell you that you cannot take photos...)There are many fashionable restaurants on the banks of the river like Escauriza, (Bajada Escauriza y Paseo Ribereño, just in front of the entrance to La Florida beach) where I had lunch yesterday. I got away with caneloni and a Coca Cola for five dollars, but most main dishes (grilled pacu, dorado, or boga are delicious) cost as much as ten dollars or more. You can even enjoy fish ravioli.A trip on a taxi along the Coastal avenue is really enjoyable. There are beautiful residences, banks overlooking the river, and many clubs. I would avoid the Parque Alem that does not have the same surveillance as Parque Independencia or La Florida. However, you will find it very difficult to find a taxi at La Florida, but there are nearby safe bus services (205, 210 and others) that take you to the Rosario Bus station and to the downtown.In the downtown, Village Cinemas, in most shopping centers, offer half a dozen or more of options if you want to enjoy some movies.The Independence park is a beautiful park worthwhile visiting. And taxis are not expensive in Rosario. Last night I paid some 3 dollars for a taxi drive from the Port to the Rosario bus station.There are dozens of bus companies that connect Rosario with all Argentina. Buses from Rosario to Buenos Aires run about every hour or so. Here are some of the companies:www.mercobus.com.ar www.generalurquiza.com.ar Try their premium bed service, it is delightful. They call it Dorado Plus.These same companies run from Rosario to Cordoba and Tucumán. Many others, like La Veloz del Norte, Panamericano, Balut, etc. go all the way to Salta.
Written by Robert Raymond Ingledew on 01 Sep, 2007
Victoria is just across the river from Rosario (one hour or 3 dollars in the bus) and is a delightful city with a beautiful view of the Parana Delta in a very nice panoramic area. I will be writing about this beautiful city soon, and…Read More
Victoria is just across the river from Rosario (one hour or 3 dollars in the bus) and is a delightful city with a beautiful view of the Parana Delta in a very nice panoramic area. I will be writing about this beautiful city soon, and have taken beautiful photos.
When I arrived today at noon, I asked for recommendations for lunch time. El Jockey was one of them. I was warned that it was expensive, but I decided to go and see.When I saw the prices I nearly ran away. I am not prepared to pay ten dollars for a prime beef steak in a country where I can eat an all-you-can-eat barbecue for five to seven dollars, including the dessert. There were many gourmet delicacies, but they were too expensive for my taste, costing anything between 10 and 15 dollars.However, I decided to stay. I could have eaten chicken breast for four dollars, but decided to go for something more substantial, so I requested a Maryland Supreme (chicken supreme with ham, small fried potatoes, green peas, corn, fried banana, and a huge chicken supreme, more than enough for two persons) plus a Coca Cola (I did not dare to ask for a bottle of wine, because I did not want to file for my own bankruptcy...). Most desserts were priced at four dollars.Food was delicious and abundant. It required a "supreme" effort to be able to eat everything. Food was enough for two (or maybe three) persons. Everything cost eight dollars and a half, so my pocket was not badly injured...The restaurant is large and elegant, finely decorated, and with live music at dinner time (I do not know how often, but everything was there set up for a music show). Every table was beautifully decorated, and there was a large assortment of different types of bread and crackers plus a delicious mild cheese butter to spread on the bread... I was nearly through with my lunch before the chicken supreme arrived...The Jockey Club Restaurant is the first place where I would go back any time I visit Victoria again (and I know that I will). You will spend anything between 8 and 20 dollars per person, but it is well worthwhile the price.I you are broke, you can eat a small hamburger (sorry, no french fries included) for a dollar and a half or an 8-slice pizza for 4 dollars at the cafeteria inside the Victoria city bus station. A glass of wine or a Coca Cola there costs one dollar.I spent two hours walking up and down the rolling area and up and down the river and taking photos. I arrived back at the hotel at 5.30pm for a nap, and just woke up at 9pm. Victoria is a delightful area and some parts of this city of 42,000 inhabitants that rests on seven hills (like Rome...) have a beautiful colonial style, plus what is probably the most important casino in all Argentina. I took the photos of the casino from the surrounding hills half a mile away, I wanted to be sure that I would have money left over for travelling back home...Buses from Rosario to Victoria run about every hour, take one hour to get you there, you cross over one of the largest bridges in Argentina over the Parana Delta (the bridge, divided in sections, is 3 miles long), and the bus ride from Rosario costs slightly over 3 dollars. The bus ride takes one hour.Enjoy your stay in Rosario, or in Victoria. Welcome to the Lower Mesopotamian tourist circuit (Rosario, Santa Fe, Parana and Victoria).
Written by Robert Raymond Ingledew on 26 May, 2007
I have visited the Provinces of Corrientes and Chaco many times, especially for dorado-fishing purposes. The first time I went to that area was in 1970, when I went fishing to the Paraná river at Empedrado, 30 miles south of Corrientes. A…Read More
I have visited the Provinces of Corrientes and Chaco many times, especially for dorado-fishing purposes. The first time I went to that area was in 1970, when I went fishing to the Paraná river at Empedrado, 30 miles south of Corrientes. A fishing guide took me on a boat just across the river to an island. There was an impressive amount of dogfish in the river. These fish may not be good for eating, but are really sportive and strong fighters. In one hour and a half I fished three, but also had my 30-pound nylon line cut six times.
The next time I went out with him, about a year later, I fished an 18-pound dorado, after having had my line cut by a far larger dorado. The run was so violent that it cut the finger with which I was holding the nylon line. The mark remained for nearly one year.
Just south of Empedrado there is a very nice fishing spot called Bella Vista. Have a look at the photos in this link:
If you are accustomed to "machine translations" click on the English version.
I also went fishing to Paso de la Patria (15 miles to the east of the city of Corrientes), but that day had no luck. I noticed that the fishing guide took me fishing just in front of Paso de la Patria, at Cerrito Island, so I came to the conclusion that I could fish from the coast in Cerrito Island without having to pay for trolling on a motorboat.
I went many times to Isla del Cerrito, that now has a nice 3-star hotel with swimming pool, but that then had the lodge of the Chaco Tourist Board, where you could stay for pennies in a comfortable room with shared bathroom and shared kitchen. I fished 18-pound dorados three different times from the shore, and in other occasions where the dorados did not appear, I fished large bogas (a type of small mouth bass) weighing some five pounds. There are regular bus services from Resistencia to Cerrito Island twice in the day. There are also regular motorboat services from Paso de la Patria to Cerrito Island twice a day. The bus leaves you nearer the hotel; if you cross on the boat you will have to walk nearly a mile. There are no taxis on the island.
I also went fishing to Puerto Yahapé, to the west of Yacyretá, the largest hydroelectric project in Argentina,where I did not succeed with the dorados, but where I fished very nice bogas. In the evening, a group of tourists appeared with a large surubi (of the catfish family) weighing some 50 pounds. You can also do fly-fishing for dorados, but the flies must be about six inches long; black and red flies give the best results. These photos are from the Goya area, further south of Empedrado, also on the Paraná river:
Or click on this page and read the note on Itá Ibaté (click on this link):
The city of Corrientes is beautiful, and deserves a visit. It is nearly surrounded to the west and to the north by the Parana river, that makes a turn just beyond the city. The view from the General Belgrano bridge that connects the cities of Corrientes and Resistencia, is really impressive. This is the highest bridge over the Parana river in all Argentina. The bridge is over one mile long and has an elevation of 120 feet above the flood level of the river. The project was prepared by Italian engineers and inaugurated 30 years ago. At that time, it was a very ambitious project.
Some 20 miles to the east of the city of Corrientes, also to the east of Paso de la Patria, is Itatí. a pilgrimage center of the Roman Catholic church with a huge basilica with the Virgin of Itati, visited by thousands of people every year.
Some other places you can visit in the area are the San Francisco Convent of the 16th century, although it was refurbished during the past century, and the San Juan Bautista (St. John the Baptist) Convent, that was constructed in the 17th century, but was also refurbished by the Franciscans a century and a half ago. The Coastal Avenue, a mile and a half long, is a beautiful area for walking along the Parana river. There are many "lapachos" a tropical tree, in this area. The traditional artisan center occupies a house constructed in 1806. Here you can buy handcrafts.
Here are some hotels for the city of Corrientes. I have not stayed at any, but have heard that the "Hotel de Turismo" (three-star) has low prices and is comfortable:
THE CITY OF RESISTENCIA AND CERRITO ISLAND
Cerrito Island is one of the best dorado fishing places in all Argentina. The Paraguay river runs into the Paraná in a 90-degree angle, forming a huge whirlpool at the Punta Norte. You will find many dorados there, but you will also "fish" submerged tree branches. Fish without any lead, with a floating line, and take plenty of nylon and many hooks, because you will lose many. Steel leaders are a must, since dorados have sharp teeth. There is a nice hotel where, surprisingly, a double room only costs $20 dollars per night and has a nice swimming pool. You will find the price (in pesos) in this list, look for Hostería del Sol or Isla del Cerrito:
Prices supposedly were updated a year ago, so they could have increased since then.
This list of hotels does NOT include the city of Resistencia (see the other list below)
The Cerrito Island is an historical monument, since is was the base of the triple alliance war (Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina) in their war against Paraguay that started in 1864. This war lasted six years, and represented a real disaster for Paraguay. There is a museum in the island, although the main attraction if this area is the National Dorado Fishing Festival that is held every year. I prefer to go when there are less people. It is a charming fishing area. One word of caution: there are many "carachais", an insect far smaller than a fly, but that stings stronger than horseflies. If you use insect repellent you will fish nothing. The repellent will keep the fish away from the bait. So you just have to put up with the stings. Avoid fishing in the evening when they are more active, use a jacket even if the weather is warm, and avoid going to the island if you are allergic to insect stings. Some of the local people solve this problem using lemon juice on their exposed parts of the body.
It is mission impossible to find live bait on the island, and if you do find it you will pay very high prices. I have solved this problem fishing bogas with salami and then cutting up the boga in pieces and using it as bait. There are a couple of very small food stores in the island, where you can buy these. Of course, the best bait for dorados is live "morenas", that can be bought at lower prices in the city of Resistencia, some 40 miles away. And if you go fly-fishing, take many, because you will have to cut your line frequently when you hook a submerged tree.
Do use insect repellent if you go out sightseeing in the island. There are some paths in the forest I have never visited, because my priority was fishing... Both dorados and bogas are delicious for eating if you grill them with lemon juice. I prefer them to trout, and that is a real compliment for the meat of these fish.
There is a Toba Indian reservation in the city of Resistencia, where some 2,000 Indians relocated by the government live and manufacture their handcrafts. You will enjoy a visit to this reservation.
Both cities (Corrientes and Resistencia) have very good hotels. In Resistencia there is an Amerian (five-star), I have stayed at the Covadonga (3-star) and there are many other cheaper hotels. Here is a list of hotels for Resistencia:
Popularly known as "The city of the Sculptures" due to the fact that there are more than a hundred of them in the open air giving Resistencia a modern design together with its squares, woods and excursions where mural paintings of well known Argentinian artists can be enjoyed.
This city combines the excellent architecture of the beginning of the 20th century with the exuberant nature which is unique in the region.
To the south of Resistencia, crossing the provincial border of Santa Fe, some two hours away on the bus, you have the only two sugar mills in the Littoral, at Villa Ocampo and Las Toscas. You might want to visit to these sugar mills.
Welcome to the provinces of Corrientes and Chaco. Close
Written by Robert Raymond Ingledew on 15 May, 2007
In the first place, let me define what we call Mesopotamia in Argentina: the area between the Parana and Uruguay rivers that covers the provinces of Entre Ríos, Corrientes, and Misiones. There are five connections over the Parana River to the rest of Argentina: Zárate…Read More
In the first place, let me define what we call Mesopotamia in Argentina: the area between the Parana and Uruguay rivers that covers the provinces of Entre Ríos, Corrientes, and Misiones. There are five connections over the Parana River to the rest of Argentina: Zárate – Brazo Largo: the bridge that connects the Province of Buenos Aires with Gualeguaychú, Concepción del Uruguay, Concordia, and Paso de los Libres, continuing along Highway 12 to the Province of Misiones (Posadas and Iguazú falls). Rosario – Victoria: the bridge that connects the city of Rosario with Victoria and from there to the rest of the Province of Entre Rios. It is the largest bridge over the Paraná River (3 miles, divided in sections) Santa Fe – Paraná: the 2-mile tunnel under the Paraná River. Resistencia-Corrientes: the bridge that connects the provinces of Chaco and Corrientes, continuing along Yacyretá to Posadas, and from there to the Iguazú Falls.
There are also a series of bridges that connect the Mesopotamia with other countries: Gualeguaychu – Fray Bentos (Uruguay): the shortest way by road from Buenos Aires through Colonia to Montevideo. Colón – Paysandú (Uruguay): the bridge that connects the province of Entre Ríos with the second city in importance of Uruguay. Concordia – Salto (Uruguay): the bridge that connects these two cities over the Salto Grande dam. Paso de los Libres – Uruguayana (Brazil). Uruguayana is a very important Brazilian city from where you can take buses and planes to the rest of Brazil. Puerto Iguazú – Foz de Iguazú: The international bridge that connects Argentina with Brazil, and from there to Paraguay (Ciudad del Este). Posadas – Encarnación: the bridge over the Parana river that connects Argentina with Paraguay. Clorinda – Asunción: the bridge over which most buses run from Buenos Aires to the Paraguayan capital. You might want to have a look at the map to see what I am talking about. This map has the advantage that it shows you bus route maps of one of the many companies that cover this area. You will not see Iguazú marked here, because this company does not go there, but it is on the NE angle of the green colored portion. I also notice that there are direct bus services from Corrientes to Salta, something I was not aware of. www.empresasanjose.com/rapido/mapa-rutas.htm
The Mesopotamia in Argentina is nearly one thousand miles long from north to south. Within it, you have bus services in nearly all directions. International bus services from Córdoba to Montevideo go either through the Gualaguaychu-Fray Bentos bridge (Empresa General Artigas) or through Concordia (ENCON). International bus services from Buenos Aires to Brazil (Río, San Pablo, Florianápolis, Camboriu, Torres and other beaches) go mostly through Paso de los Libres – Uruguayana (Pluma and Crucero del Norte). International bus services from Iguazu Falls to Río, San Pablo and other cities cross the international bridge to Foz de Iguazú and from there continue towards the northeast (Crucero del Norte and Pluma). Buses from Iguazú (Brazilian side) to Asunción (Paraguay) leave from the Foz de Iguazú bus station (6 hours travel). Buses from Posadas (Argentina) to Asunción through Encarnación del Paraguay also take some 6 hours. I have traveled on that route but do not remember the name of the bus company. All these services offer excellent comfort.
Having said this, let me give you the general picture on bus services from the rest of Argentina to this area: From Buenos Aires to Gualeguaychu, Concepción, Colón, Concordia, Paso de los Libres, and Iguazú Falls: Vía Bariloche and Crucero del Norte have the best service but will probably not take you between the intermediate cities, but yes from any of them to Posadas and Iguazu Falls. Río Uruguay, Tigre-Iguazú and in some cases Flecha Bus cover this gap. All five companies have an excellent service. From Córdoba to Paraná and Concordia: FlechaBus and El Serrano, both very comfortable. From Rosario to Paraná: Rápido TATA From Buenos Aires, Rosario, Santa Fé, Paraná and Goya to Mercedes (gateway to the Iberá Marshes): Nuevo Rápido San José From Corrientes and Goya and Mercedes: Flecha Bus From Concordia to Mercedes: Flecha Bus. There are also buses to Mercedes from Paso de los Libres. From Mercedes to the Iberá Marshes: Traffic vans El Rayo (2 hours travel) From Concordia to Iguazú Falls the best deal is Tigre-Iguazú: very comfortable buses and low rates. Buses from Resistencia and Corrientes to Iguazú (you may have to change buses in Posadas): Crucero del Norte. From Córdoba to Iguazu Falls: Expreso Singer (I do not recommend their standard coach service, but their luxury service is excellent), Crucero del Norte (the best) and Mercobus (very good, but no meals on board). From Tucumán to Iguazú Falls: Andesmar From Mendoza to Iguazú Falls: Andesmar The luxury services, generally called suite class, feature seats that lie back completely flat as a bed, with hot meals on board, MP3 and DVD; all drinks, including wine and whisky, are complimentary. Other companies call this service cama total (Singer), primera clase (Andesmar), and Tutto Leto (Vía Bariloche). The bed and semi-bed services feature seats that lie back 140 degrees. I have tried to give you only the general picture. There are many other options. Here are the web pages of some of these bus companies, so that you can check their timetables, options and prices, and in some cases even buy your tickets over the internet: www.viabariloche.com.ar www.flechabus.com.ar www.empresasanjose.com/rapido/mapa-rutas.htm www.crucerodelnorte.com.ar www.mercobus.com.ar www.andesmar.com.ar. Ita Ibaté is half way between Corrientes and Posadas. Although the river has been overfished, mostly by Paraguayan commercial fishers, have a look at what you can still fish over there: www.pescanet.com/informacion_de_pesca/relevamientos/2007/21_05_07_ita_ibate/index.htm.
Please forgive them for the machine translation. Where they put fishing boat, they should have put fishing area. Ita Ibaté is some three hours away from Posadas and some two hours from the city of Corrientes, the local service of Crucero del Norte takes you there. www.crucerodelnorte.com.ar I trust that you will find this information very useful. Welcome to Argentina.
Written by Robert Raymond Ingledew on 12 May, 2007
I have already said that the Iguazú Falls steal the show, and have also said a lot about Iguazú in other notes. The Iguazú Falls are charming. They are a mile and a half wide and sometimes carry fourteen thousand cubic meters (tons) of water…Read More
I have already said that the Iguazú Falls steal the show, and have also said a lot about Iguazú in other notes. The Iguazú Falls are charming. They are a mile and a half wide and sometimes carry fourteen thousand cubic meters (tons) of water per second. The Argentine side is the most beautiful, but Brazil offers the best panoramic view: you see all the falls at a glance. Sidewalks on both sides lead you to the Garganta del Diablo (Devil's throat). While the Brazilian side can be walked through in an hour and a half (the only sidewalk is 4,200 feet long) on the Argentine side you need one hour for the upper circuit, two hours for the lower circuit, another two hours if you add San Martin Island, and another two hours to take the train and visit the Garganta del Diablo on the Argentine side (you have to walk one mile each way). If you also want to walk along the Macuco trail, one full day will not be enough, even if you have lunch inside the National Park... In this case, have your admission ticket stamped at the National Park before you leave, and the next day you will have a 50% discount on the admission fee. Let me add that there are other attractions in this area, like the Mocona Falls, and the San Ignacio Jesuit ruins. I have not been to the Mocona Falls (most of the time you need a 4x4 to get there) but I have been to the San Ignacio Jesuit Ruins. I will do some research on the Mocona Falls to give you the complete picture.
The Mocona Falls can carry far more water than the Iguazu Falls, or far less. These Falls are on the Uruguay river, that has a very variable flow of water (anything between 38,000 m3/s (tons of water per second) and as low as one hundred m3/s) since, as far as I know, there is no dam in the upper part of the river (the only important dam is Salto Grande, near to Concordia). So, if you want to go to the Mocona Falls, check out first how much water the river is carrying. (Water at the Iguazu falls is just now 1500 m3/s, and maximum flow is 14000, so eventually the Uruguay river can carry twice as much water as the Iguazú river, or five times less… And since the trip is expensive, you will not want to go to see a trickle of water. If the river is swollen, the view will be impressive, but the falls will practically disappear. While Iguazu Falls are a mile and a half wide, in the form of a semicircle or horseshoe, Mocona Falls are three miles wide, but here they are diagonal to the river course. The difference is significant: Iguazú falls are in the jungle in a beautiful environment. Mocona falls may be impressive if the river is high. By what I see, there is also jungle at the Mocona Falls, but the falls are a straight line. Here you will find some photos of the falls on the Internet: www.saltos-del-mocona.com.ar/fotos.php www.guiafe.com.ar/fotos-argentina/details.php?image_id=473. The road to the Mocona falls is an earth road the last 50 miles, and by what I have read in Spanish, it is possible to get lost, so don’t try to get there driving a rented car, go with a taxi driver, and if it has rained, in a 4x4. This is the main reason why I have never gone there: 160 miles of paved road, through Jardin América and Arisbóbulo del Valle, then Highway 14 to San Vicente, then another provincial highway to El Soberbio, then highway 2 to the border with Brazil ("on the widest and most transited road") then… then… then…
The last point of reference is Colonia Paraíso, that is 11 miles away from the falls. Iguazú is far more beautiful, all roads to the falls are paved, you have direct buses to both sides, and you can even stay in an hotel facing the falls (Tropical Das Cataratas in Brazil, or Sheraton in Argentina), it is up to you if you go to Mocona Falls or not. If you have a spirit of adventure, you might want to give it a try. The San Ignacio Jesuit ruins deserve a visit, but it is easier to visit them from the city of Posadas, although there are also good hotels at San Ignacio itself. San Ignacio is located 154 miles south of Iguazu and only 35 miles north from Posadas. Local buses to San Ignacio run about every hour, and there should be local tours from Posadas to San Ignacio. In any case, a taxi from Posadas to San Ignacio should not cost more than $50, including waiting time to visit the ruins and back. Check out the prices before or they might want to charge you the whole round trip. There is also a small museum next to the ruins, the visit is included in the admission fee, that is about one or two dollars.
Iguazu Falls: I prefer staying at Puerto Iguazu. Although hotel prices could be similar on the Brazilian side, Puerto Iguazu is a small city (50,000 inhabitants) while Foz de Iguazu is ten times larger, and more risky. You need far more time to see the Argentine falls (8 hours, at least), while there is only one sidewalk on the Brazililan side that is less than a mile long, and that you can walk, even stopping for many photos, in one hour and a half. To see my full report on the Iguazú Falls, please click here: http://community.iexplore.com/gtools/editJournal.asp?journalID=65084. The road from Posadas to Iguazu is beautiful. You can either do it on the bus, or take a tour from Posadas to Iguazu and just drop off the tour bus at Puerto Iguazu after you have seen the falls. The advantage of doing this is that you will visit the San Ignacio Jesuit ruins, the Tabay fall (a small but beautiful waterfall in the jungle), the Wanda semi-precious stone mines, and will have a guided tour (in Spanish) going through Jardín América, Puerto Rico, Eldorado, and other points of attraction, like the Uruguai River and lake (the name is similar to Uruguay but it is a completely different river) and the Argentine side of the falls. There is a cruise up the Parana and Iguazu rivers from the city of Posadas all the way up to the Iguazú Falls. Check this link: www.welcomeargentina.com/paseos/hacia_las_aguas_grandes/index_i.html
Where to stay at Puerto Iguazu: Sheraton Hotel (5 stars, expensive) facing the falls, some 300 dollars for a double room. Hotel Cataratas at Puerto Iguazú (five-star, 15 miles away), $120 for a double room. Hotel Libertador, three-star, beautiful swimming pool, is costing now $41 for a double room, including breakfast. www.ellibertador-hotel.com.ar. I do not recommend staying at cheaper hotels, but if you are short of money, stay at the Hotel Parana, two-star, with cable TV, private bathroom, air-conditioning, and a small swimming pool, A still cheaper option is the Pensión Paquita, that has comfortable rooms, but no air-conditioning. From Puerto Iguazu, you have direct buses to both the Argentine and the Brazilian falls. That is a plus for Puerto Iguazú. The ticket costs less than one dollar, but you will have to pay $10 as admission fee to the National Park (cost is similar in Argentina and in Brazil). Remember that American citizens are required a Brazilian visa to visit the Brazilian falls. How to get to Iguazu and to Posadas: The four best bus companies are: www.viabariloche.com.ar, www.crucerodelnorte.com.ar, www.tigre-iguazu.com.ar, and Río Uruguay (that does not seem to have a Web page).
Where to stay at San Ignacio: Here is a link that gives you over a dozen of different options of hotels at San Ignacio, where the Jesuit Ruins are: www.argentinatotal.com.ar/info_turis/provincias/misiones/ciudades/san_ignacio/alojamiento/hoteles.htm. I am surprised to see a five-star hotel in San Ignacio; obviously, it is new. In any case, I have always stayed in the city of Posadas.
Where to stay in Posadas: Hotel Posadas (4 stars) is a very good option. Bolivar 1949, in front of the main square. A single room here should be costing some 50 dollars per night. The last time I stayed there, two years ago, my experience was good. So these are my choices: Hotel Posadas (4 stars) www.hotelposadas.com.ar. Hotel Continental (3 stars) is my second option for Posadas. A single room there costs 33 dollars per night. A double room some 43 dollars. I have also stayed at this hotel some years ago. www.hoteleramisiones.com.ar. There is a very cheap hotel in Posadas just in front of the bus station, where a standard room costs some ten dollars per night. There are cheap restaurants nearby. Where to stay at Mocona Falls: As I said, I have never been there. Here are some options: www.ripioturismo.com.ar/eigrdonenriquelodge.htm www.posadalabonita.com.ar (This last link has an English version) Enjoy your stay in Argentina.
Santa Fe and Parana cities face each other over the Parana River, and are connected through the Hernandarias tunnel which runs under the river, and is over two miles long. Parana is capital of the Province of Entre Ríos, while Santa Fe is the…Read More
Santa Fe and Parana cities face each other over the Parana River, and are connected through the Hernandarias tunnel which runs under the river, and is over two miles long. Parana is capital of the Province of Entre Ríos, while Santa Fe is the capital of the Province of Santa Fe. Both cities have their attractions, although I prefer the city of Parana.
Santa Fe was one of the first cities founded by the Spaniard conquerors in what today is Argentina. Its original name was Santa Fe de la Veracruz, and it was founded in 1573 by Juan de Garay. It has interesting places to visit like the Basilic de Guadalupe. There are many hotels near the bus station at affordable rates. I stayed downtown at hotel Amancay (25 de Mayo 2692) at a very low rate, $7 per night. This is a budget hotel, nearly in front of the nicest hotel in town, El Conquistador (four-star). There are other four-star hotels (Holiday Inn and Santa Fe). The three-star Intersur hotel, a trade union hotel, should have fairly low rates. For a complete list of hotels in Santa Fe, click here:
The residential area of Santa Fe runs along the Colastiné river and ends at the Guadalupe residential area and beach. The beach is not very large. On the other side of the coastal avenue there are a number of fashionable restaurants, where people go to eat, especially grilled dorados and surubis, a sort of pike, and to spend some hours looking at the river.
The famous suspension bridge over the Colastine river, which is really a branch of the Paraná River, was later replaced by another bridge when it was in danger of collapsing, and continues to be an attraction for tourists; we pass near this bridge when traveling on the bus to the city of Paraná. We will continue traveling nearly surrounded by water until we finally enter into the Hernandarias tunnel, under the Paraná river.
The first time I came here in 1967, the tunnel did not exist, and the crossover to Paraná was on a ferry, or on motorboats, and was a fascinating experience in a Delta-type environment. I imagine that these motorboats continue delivering their service to the tourists.
Travel on the bus from Santa Fe to Paraná costs about one dollar, so you might want to repeat the experience.
The most beautiful spot in Paraná is the Urquiza park, set up on the banks next to the river. It is really beautiful, and the only five-star hotels that Paraná has—Mayorazgo and Maran Suites and Towers—are in this area. I stayed at the Mayorazgo hotel years ago, it has a fantastic panoramic view towards the park and the river. The other five-star hotel is new, I have seen it from the outside, but have not stayed there. The last time I went a few years ago, I stayed at the Parana Hotel Plaza Jardin, a nice three-star hotel in the downtown, where most rooms are noise-proof, since they do not face the street. There are also some hotels near the highway to Santa Fé, but Paraná is a nice city, and I prefer to stay in the downtown. For a complete list of hotels, click here:
The main square of Parana is surrounded by picturesque historical buildings (Parana was founded three centuries ago) and is really enjoyable. There are some historical monuments, like the ones to General Urquiza (on the coastal avenue) and to San Martin. Very near the main square, there is an excellent budget restaurant where you can taste delicious plates, including grilled dorado or boga, for affordable prices. The name of the restaurant is Giovani (Urquiza 1047) and it is only half a block away from the main square. There is also a pedestrian street with some nice shops. Probably because it is near to Santa Fé, a larger city, where people might go shopping, this pedestrian street only has a few blocks.
There are two nice bathing resorts on the Paraná river, the Municipal bathing resort and Thompson. The first one has abundant shade, while the second one has nicer beaches.
If you travel towards the south to Victoria, about one hour away by bus, you can cross the longest bridges over the Paraná River (Rosario-Victoria) that is over three miles long.
How to get to Paraná:
FROM BUENOS AIRES AND ROSARIO: Flechabus Tata-Rapido, Nuevo Expreso San José and other companies.
FROM MERCEDES (NEAR THE IBERÁ MARSHES): Nuevo Expreso San José
FROM CÓRDOBA: Flechabus and El Serrano
From the nearby city of Santa Fé you can take buses to practically all Argentina.
There are also buses from Parana to Gualeguaychu, Concepción del Uruguay, and Concordia (Flechabus and other companies)
Enjoy your stay in Santa Fé and Paraná. Close
THE CITY OF CONCORDIA AND ITS SURROUNDING AREA
I have gone many times to this beautiful city which has many attractions: The El Palmar National Park (50 miles to the south), where you will see a beautiful palm tree forest, unusual at these latitudes. Probably…Read More
THE CITY OF CONCORDIA AND ITS SURROUNDING AREA
I have gone many times to this beautiful city which has many attractions: The El Palmar National Park (50 miles to the south), where you will see a beautiful palm tree forest, unusual at these latitudes. Probably the seeds were brought down by the Uruguay river; otherwise it is difficult to explain. There is some fauna inside the park, like wild cats, but you will usually only see the vegetation, that is beautiful.
This National Park is next to the Uruguay river that is quite wide here, about a mile and a half, and where fishing dorados is possible; it all depends on your luck. You will have a better chance of fishing these game fish nearer the Salto Grande dam, some 10 miles north of the city of Concordia. Catch and release modality applies here, and fishing tours to this area are not expensive. Check this page, where you will find many options for fishermen, they sometimes feature very economic tours for dorado fishing in this area:
Prices are stated in pesos, so to have the equivalent in other currencies, divide by 3 for US dollars or by 4 for Euros. Now, where they say U$S, they mean that the price is already in dollars.
Concordia is a citrus farming area, and there are also pine tree and eucalyptus forests that provide raw material to the wood industry. People in the province of Entre Ríos are very friendly, and Concordia is not an exception. However, due to high unemployment rates, the city is not completely safe, so avoid solitary or overcrowded areas and keep an eye on your valuables. I have never had any problems in Concordia, just play it safe.
I have stayed at three different hotels and all were good: San Carlos Inn and Resort, Salto Grande, and Embajador. The first two are four-star hotels. The San Carlos Inn is beautifully located inside the San Carlos park, with a panoramic view of the park, of the Uruguay river and of the Uruguayan city of Salto. Obviously, it is more expensive, but it has a very nice swimming pool, paddle- and volleyball courts, and its restaurant is not bad, and its prices are moderate.
Here is the web page of the nicest hotel:
The Salto Grande hotel is in the downtown, rooms are very small, and do not justify paying the same price as for the San Carlos Inn, but keep it in mind if you cannot find a room elsewhere.
A standard room costs $70 to $75, single or double occupancy.
The Embajador Hotel is one block away from the bus station, near the downtown, very cheap, and all rooms have private bathroom and cable TV. The last time I was there, two years ago, I spent less than $10 per night for the room, so now it could cost around $15.
Finally, the Ayui Resort and spa facing the Salto Grande lake is another very nice option, although it is some 15 miles away from the downtown, but the buses that go from Concordia to Salto pass in front of the hotel:
WHERE TO GO: The El Palmar National park is very nice, but you would have to walk three or four miles off the highway. I have not heard of any organized tours, and buses leave you on the crossroad, so I took a taxi. At that time, I paid 50 pesos ($17) for the round trip, but it is 50 miles each way and could cost anything between $30 and $35 by now. You need to ask prices from different taxi drivers, request their phone number, compare prices, and then decide. If they ask you for $30, don’t hesitate: it is a very good price for 50 miles in each direction; I would accept paying up to $40 today.
There are local buses to the Federación thermal baths, but only two or three times a day. Check the timetables at the bus station. You can find reasonably priced hotels in Federación, if you wish to stay there. I stayed at hotel San Jose, an average two-star hotel with private bathroom and cable TV, and it was OK. Federación is a medium village, maybe it has 6,000 inhabitants. The original village was covered by the Salto Grande lake, and therefore it is new. Thermal baths are good, but you are supposed to not stay more than 15 minutes in the swimming pool, or it could weaken you.
Near to Concordia you have the Tortuga Alegre (Happy Tortoise) campground, from where most fishing expeditions leave. However, you have to make previous arrangements over the phone. Trolling is not cheap, maybe a motorboat with fishing guide will cost you $150 per day. It seems that buying the all-inclusive fishing tour from Buenos Aires (hotel, meals and fishing) is more convenient. I have already given you the e-mail address above. Some two miles upstream (but about five miles away on the road) you will find the Salto Grande dam, the second-largest hydroelectric project in Argentina. Downstream from the dam fishing is excellent. There is a prohibited zone; you cannot fish the first mile and a half downstream from the dam. Dorados here are large and catches of 40-pound dorados have been reported. Have a look at this page:
Walking through the San Carlos park (during daytime) is very nice. You will find in the park the ruins of a French-style castle constructed by a Count. Concordia also has a port and before the Salto Grande dam was constructed I used to cross on a motorboat to the Uruguayan city of Salto. Hopefully this service still exists. Otherwise, there are local bus services from Concordia to Salto. Remember it is another country, so you may have to go through Immigration and Customs.
From Salto (just across the river) you have direct bus services to Montevideo (Uruguay), it is a six-hour bus travel. From Concordia, you have direct bus services to Iguazu (some 12 to 14 hours travel). If you want a bargain, travel on the Tigre Iguazu bus. It is very comfortable and quite cheaper than Via Bariloche or Crucero del Norte, because they have a local special fare from Concordia to Iguazu. You can also take the bus to Posadas, and change buses there, if timetables are not suitable.
The Palacio San José, a century and a half-old residence of General Urquiza, a former president of Argentina, is another interesting place to visit, but is out of the way. You would have to travel first to Concepción del Uruguay and, from there, take another bus.
Finally, at Colón (between Concordia and Concepción del Uruguay) there is a five-star spa, hotel Quirinale, where people go to diet under the supervision of Dr. Cormillot, one of the leading weight-loss MDs in Argentina. I imagine it is not cheap, but give you the information in case you are interested.
For your convenience, here are some of the bus services you might want to use:
Sorry, but Río Uruguay, another excellent bus company, does not seem to have a web page.
NEARLY ALL BUSES TO BRAZIL (Porto Alegre, Torres, Florianapolis, San Pablo, and Río) go through Concordia. Crucero del Norte and Pluma are the best companies in this direction.
FROM SALTO THERE ARE DIRECT BUSES TO MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY (6 hours travel)
Enjoy your stay in Concordia.