Argentina may not be the first country to come to mind when thinking of wildlife destinations, but the country’s great diversity of landscapes, climates and ecosystems make it a great destination to observe unique species of fauna.

Following is a list of top recommendations for discovering Argentina’s unique species.

Spotting a tapir in Iguazu National Park.

Iguazú
Home to one of the world’s most famous waterfalls, Iguazú National Park is located in the northeastern province of Misiones and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park is home to over 2,000 species of plants and 400 species of birds as well as a variety of wildlife including tapirs, giant anteaters, howler monkeys, jaguars and caimans.

Esteros del Iberá, Corrientes
One of the most important freshwater reservoirs in South America and the second largest wetland in the world, the Iberá Wetlands are located in the northeastern province of Corrientes and house about 30 percent of Argentina’s biodiversity with 4,000 species of flora and fauna. One of Iberá’s main objectives is to re-introduce valuable species, such as the yaguarete, Pampas deer, anteater, tapir, collared peccary, red-and-green macaw, bare-faced curassow, giant otter, maned wolf and the red-legged seriema. There is also a project reintroducing the jaguar to this natural habitat after an absence of over 70 years.

Wildlife viewing in Patagonia.

Patagonia’s Atlantic Coast
The Valdés Peninsula is the star of Patagonia’s Atlantic coast as far as wildlife viewing is concerned. Visitors flock to the peninsula to view the orca whales and the unique spectacle that happens twice a year when the orcas come to shore to hunt seal pups. The other main whale species that can be seen along the coast of Valdés is the southern right whale, which visitors are almost guaranteed to spot through the months of August to October.

The Valdés Peninsula also houses vast populations of sea lions and elephant seals as well as penguin colonies. But recommend clients head farther south to Punta Tombo to visit one of the largest colonies of Magellanic penguins in the world. Hundreds of penguins are born here each year and your clients can mingle with these friendly birds as they walk through the paths of this nature reserve. September to April is the best time to view the penguins as they are only found here during nesting season.

Tierra del Fuego National Park is home to a variety of mammals and aquatic birds.

Tierra del Fuego
Located on the Beagle Channel just 7.5 miles from Argentina’s southernmost city, Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego National Park is home to a variety of mammals and aquatic birds including guanacos, southern river otters, Andean fox, kelp geese, black-browed albatross, oystercatchers, seagulls, grebes and the Tierra del Fuego steamer duck. Birdwatchers can also regale in the park’s forests with sightings of the Austral parakeet, the Magellanic woodpecker, the Thorn-tailed rayadito and the Austral thrush among other species.

Additional information on Argentina is available at argentina.travel.

For information on Argentina’s best fishing spots, check out Argentina—Keeping it ‘Reel’; want to learn more about Argentina’s culinary prowess? Read A Toast to Argentina’s Cuisine. And for adventures beyond the customary sightseeing, check out Argentina — A Road Less Traveled. For best summertime bets, skip on over to Summertime in Buenos Aires — Can’t-Miss Outdoor Activities. For 2022 Pride Month Bookings, look to Celebrate Pride Month in Argentina. Have clients headed to Argentina for a cruise, check out Argentina — Exploring Options for Pre & Post Cruise Tours. And if your clients want to learn Spanish while exploring Argentina, read through Immersive Travel in Argentina. Argentina is also a top recommendation for outdoor adventure lovers.