Mburucuyá National Park

Explore the natural and cultural wealth of Mburucuyá National Park (in Spanish: Parque Nacional Mburucuyá) in the province of Corrientes, Argentina, which presents an unparalleled biological diversity, impressive landscapes, and a rich history within an expanse of 17,682 hectares. Follow the guide regarding fauna, flora, and recommended activities for park visits.

National Park Information

Mburucuyá National Park

History of Mburucuyá National Park

Five thousand years ago, groups of hunter-gatherers inhabited this land, utilizing the natural resources offered by the environment. Later on, the Guaraní people settled in the region, forming villages where they cultivated various crops such as corn, squash, cotton, beans, yerba mate, and cassava, which they also traded with other communities.

However, with the arrival of Spanish colonizers, the harmonious relationship between the indigenous peoples and nature was drastically disrupted. Livestock farming, extensive agriculture, and indiscriminate deforestation became common practices in the region.

The current constructions found in the national park date back to the 20th century and mainly consist of posts used by the laborers working on livestock farms, as well as houses where owners and administrators lived.

After World War II, Danish botanist Dr. Troels Myndel Pedersen came to Argentina to take over the estate that his father, Niel Peter Pedersen, had acquired in the 1920s. Troels’ interest in the local flora and his focus on more sustainable livestock practices were crucial in reversing the environmental degradation. His legacy materialized in the donation of these lands for the creation of the national park, with the aim of preserving the environment and fostering reflection on the history of the place.

Establishment of the Park and Designation of the Protected Area

On November 27, 1991, Troels Myndel Pedersen and his wife, Nina Johanne Sinding, signed the deed of donation for 7 fields to establish Mburucuyá National Park. The Administration of National Parks accepted the donation through resolution 002/1992, dated January 15, 1992.

In January 1994, the Administration of National Parks assigned a park ranger, a biologist, and two firefighters to manage the fields intended to become the national park. However, the fields continued to be used as a livestock farm according to the terms of the donation contract. In 1998, an agreement was signed to establish deadlines and procedures for the withdrawal of personnel and existing livestock before June 2000. In 1999, two more park rangers were added.

On June 20, 1995, the Legislature of Corrientes enacted law number 49305, ceding ownership and jurisdiction over an area of 15,060 hectares for the creation of the national park. This law was promulgated by decree 1483/1995, dated June 28, 1995.

Due to the provisions of article 2 of the Corrientes Constitution, a second law was required. The second law (number 5194) was enacted on July 8, 1997.

In the registered deed on January 10, 2000, it was established that the 6 ceded fields had an area of 17,660 hectares, and the hereditary rights of an additional field of 22 hectares were transferred. In total, the area added up to 17,682 hectares and 43 areas and 77 centiares. The area occupied by provincial route 86 is 44 hectares, 24 areas, and 39 centiares. There was a difference of over 2620 hectares compared to the planned area.

On June 27, 2001, Mburucuyá National Park was officially created with an area of 15,060 hectares through law number 25447. This law was promulgated by decree number 129/2002 on January 17, 2002.

Geographical Location

Located in the province of Corrientes, about 150 kilometers from the city and approximately 700 km from Buenos Aires, Mburucuyá is easily accessible by road and offers various accommodation options nearby for visitors. You can determine its geographical location using the coordinates: 26°05′00″S 58°08′00″W or by the address: Belgrano 997 (3427), Mburucuyá, Corrientes.

Geographic Characteristics

Landscape and Geology

The park covers an area of 17,086 hectares and features diverse geology with clay soils, marshes, and wetlands, shaping a mosaic of unique landscapes and ecosystems.

Climate

The climate of the region is humid subtropical, with rainfall throughout the year and an average annual temperature of 20°C, making it an attractive destination in any season. However, during the summer, temperatures can exceed 40°C, while occasional frosts can be experienced in winter.

The annual rainfall in the region is approximately 1,200 mm, with the months of autumn and spring having the highest precipitation. These climatic data influence the recommended season to visit the park, which spans from February to July. During this period, the climate is milder, with pleasant temperatures and less likelihood of heavy rain, providing ideal conditions to enjoy the natural beauty of the park and engage in outdoor activities.

Biodiversity of the Park

Iconic Species

There are two iconic species in Mburucuyá National Park:

  • Black Caiman (Caiman yacare), one of Argentina’s largest reptiles. With its robust body and tough, scaled skin, this impressive predator is an expert swimmer. It primarily feeds on fish, such as piranhas, which it catches with its powerful snout full of sharp teeth. To regulate its body temperature, the black caiman alternates between sunbathing and submerging in the water. When it swims, only its eyes, nostrils, and ears protrude above the surface.
  • Mburucuyá (Passiflora caerulea), a vine that uses tendrils to climb and seek light by supporting itself on other plants. Its green leaves have a shape similar to an open hand. This plant secretes a sugary liquid that attracts ants, which protect it from other insects. The mburucuyá flower is striking, with violet filaments and a yellow base. Its round, orange fruits are sweet and highly sought after by birds, contributing to the dispersal of this plant’s seeds.

Flora

The flora of Mburucuyá National Park is diverse, featuring different types of vegetation that stand out for their beauty and uniqueness.

Characteristic elements include circular lagoons, typical of this region of the country. These lagoons, along with marshes and streams, create a wide variety of aquatic habitats.

Beautiful natural grasslands can be seen throughout the area, where yatay palms (Butia yatay) can be found. These palms are representative of the "espinal" ecosystem, although their original distribution has been significantly reduced due to agricultural expansion.

The park also hosts boscosos mogotes, which are small forested islands surrounded by grasslands. In these forests, you can find species typical of the Paranaense region, such as lapacho, timbó, laurel, and pindó palm.

Likewise, there are characteristic Chaco forests, with the presence of trees like red quebracho, Chaco quebracho, urunday, and viraró.

Wildlife

It is home to a variety of wildlife species, some of which are threatened or endangered, including the broad-snouted caiman, the marsh deer, and the aguará guazú. Birdwatching is a popular activity, with over 200 bird species recorded.

The park is home to abundant wildlife species, offering the possibility to easily observe many of them, even near the road. The species that inhabit the region and the protected area include capybaras, gray foxes, marsh deer, caimans, and crab-eating foxes, which are among the easiest to spot.

Other species such as the aguará guazú or the marsh deer are more challenging to observe in their natural habitat.

Birds are particularly numerous in the park, especially those found in aquatic environments. Endangered birds that inhabit grasslands can also be found, such as the yellow-chinned spinetail or the black-capped warbling finch.

One of the park’s rarities is the presence of the lungfish (Lepidosiren paradoxa), which has an unusual adaptation for a fish: the ability to breathe air, allowing it to survive during periods of drought.

Likewise, the park is home to Pedersen’s tree frog (Argenteohyla siemersi pederseni), a species endemic to the region that inhabits the xerophytic forests (dry environments) of the park.

Recommended Activities and Excursions

Santa Teresa Estate House (Visitor Center)

Free admission. Opening hours: 7:30 AM to 8:00 PM.

Che Roga Hiking Trail

Distance: 4.4 km. Approximate duration: 2.5 hours. Medium difficulty.
Maximum stay time: winter, 6:00 PM; summer, 7:00 PM. Pay attention when crossing provincial route 86.

Yatay Mixed Trail (Hiking and Biking)

Distance: 6.6 km. Approximate duration: 3 hours. Medium difficulty, with high sun exposure.
Maximum stay time: winter, 6:00 PM; summer, 7:00 PM.

Tapé Porá Historical Hiking Trail

Distance: 1 km. Approximate duration: 1 hour. Low difficulty.
Maximum stay time: winter, 6:00 PM; summer, 7:00 PM.

Troels Myndel Pedersen Botanical Trail

Distance: 1 km. Approximate duration: 1 hour. Low difficulty.
Maximum stay time: winter, 6:00 PM; summer, 7:00 PM.

Humedal Cañada Fragosa (Fragosa Stream Wetland)

Trail, viewpoint, and dock for exploration and enjoyment.

Chamamé Museum

Space dedicated to traditional chamamé music.

Eustaquio Miño Amphitheater and Laguna Limpia

Places to enjoy events and panoramic views.

Estero de Santa Lucía (Paso Aguirre) – (Santa Lucía Estuary)

Natural area with beautiful landscapes and wildlife observation opportunities.

City of Corrientes

Visit the city to explore its historical heritage and enjoy the Itatí Basilica, located 60 km away.

National Festival of Authentic Traditional Chamamé

Event held in Mburucuyá in February, showcasing traditional chamamé music.
These are just some of the places to visit and activities available in the Mburucuyá region, offering a variety of options to explore the nature, culture, and historical heritage of the area.

Hiking and Nature Observation

With a network of well-maintained and marked trails, Mburucuyá is a paradise for hiking and nature observation enthusiasts. Here, you can discover a wide diversity of fauna and flora and enjoy breathtaking landscapes.

Local Culture and History

Cultural and Historical Significance of the Park

Beyond its natural value, Mburucuyá holds deep cultural and historical significance. Archaeological remains found here provide evidence of pre-Hispanic cultures, and the area has been a meeting place for different cultures throughout the centuries.

Indigenous Peoples and Their Relationship with Mburucuyá

For centuries, indigenous peoples such as the Guaraní have maintained an intimate connection with the territory of Mburucuyá, and their stories and traditions are an integral part of the park’s identity. These indigenous communities have inhabited the area since ancient times, establishing deep bonds with the land and its natural resources. Their presence and legacy are reflected in their close connection with nature, their ancestral knowledge of plants and animals, and their way of life in harmony with the environment. The Guaraní people, in particular, have left a significant mark on the Mburucuyá region, and their legacy endures in stories passed down from generation to generation. Their relationship with the territory is essential to understanding the park’s history and cultural richness.

Services within the Park

Wilderness Camping

The park offers a wilderness camping area with drinkable water, sinks, fire pits, restrooms, and solar-heated showers.

Supply Store

There is a supply store in the area offering basic items.

Drinkable Water

It’s recommended to bring your own drinking water, as it may not always be available in all areas of the park.

Phone Connectivity

In certain areas of the Santa Teresa Estate House, cellular phone signal is not available.

Nearby Shops

In Palmar Grande, located 15 km away, there’s a general store and a butcher shop where you can get basic supplies.

Mburucuyá

In the town of Mburucuyá, there are accommodations, open camping areas at the beach, restaurants, fast-food establishments, supply stores, internet connectivity, and a gas station.

Saladas

Located 50 km from the park, Saladas offers a broader range of services and shops.

These nearby services and shops provide additional options for stocking up on essentials and accessing necessary services during your visit to Mburucuyá National Park.

Accommodations and Restaurants with Regional Cuisine

There are various accommodation options near the park, ranging from hotels to cabins and campgrounds. You’ll also find restaurants serving delicious regional dishes.

Nearby Accommodations

These accommodations near Mburucuyá National Park offer comfortable stay options:

  • Hotel Mburucuyá: This hotel is located in the town of Mburucuyá, near Mburucuyá National Park. It offers comfortable rooms and additional services such as a pool and breakfast. It’s a convenient choice for those who prefer staying in a hotel establishment.
  • Cabañas El Refugio (Cabins): Situated close to the park, these cabins provide cozy and tranquil lodging amidst nature. They are ideal for those seeking a closer experience to outdoor life, with the convenience of basic services.

Restaurants

These restaurants and lodgings offer the opportunity to savor the region’s typical cuisine:

  • Restaurante El Sesteo: Located in Mburucuyá, this restaurant offers a diverse menu with regional dishes and local specialties. Diners can enjoy authentic and traditional flavors of the area in a cozy ambiance.
  • Restaurante La Casona: Also situated in Mburucuyá, this restaurant stands out for its regional cuisine and homemade dishes. With a rustic and inviting atmosphere, it’s an ideal place to try traditional culinary delights and enjoy local hospitality.

How to Get to Mburucuyá National Park

By Car

From the city of Corrientes, you can reach Mburucuyá National Park by car following the following route: take RN 12 and RN 118 to Saladas, then continue on RP 13 to Mburucuyá, and finally take RP 6 and RP 86 to the Santa Teresa Estate House Visitor Center. The total distance is approximately 175 km.

Bus

The city of Corrientes has buses that connect with various towns across the country, as well as daily flights from Buenos Aires. In Corrientes, you can rent a car, hire a remis (private car service), or use the services of a tourism agency to reach Mburucuyá National Park. There are also buses departing from Corrientes to the town of Mburucuyá, located 25 km from the protected area, where remis services are available.

From Buenos Aires, it’s also possible to take a bus directly to Mburucuyá, either through a local transport company or with a transfer in Saladas.

It’s important to note that there is no regular passenger transportation that goes directly to the protected area, so it’s recommended to have a private vehicle or use remis services from nearby towns. Additionally, the dirt provincial roads are subject to weather conditions, so it’s important to contact the National Park to get updated information about the road conditions before your visit.

Visitor’s Guide and Recommendations

Best Time to Visit

The recommended period to visit the park is from February to July. During these months, the weather is milder with pleasant temperatures for walking the trails, observing the flora and fauna, and the rains are usually less intense, making it an ideal time for outdoor activities.

Visitor Recommendations

We recommend wearing comfortable clothing and footwear, sunscreen, and insect repellent. It’s also advisable to bring binoculars.

Visiting Hours

  • Hours: Monday to Friday from 7:30 AM to 3:30 PM.

Entrance Fees

  • Access to the park is free of charge.

Contact Information

  • Intendencia del Parque Nacional Mburucuyá (Mburucuyá National Park Administration).
  • Address: Belgrano 997 (3427), Mburucuyá, Corrientes.
  • Phone: 03782-498907.
  • Email: mburucuya@apn.gob.ar.

Visitor Regulations and Safety

The park has strict rules to ensure visitor safety and the protection of its biodiversity. Visitors must stay on marked trails, not leave any waste, and respect wildlife at all times.

Photo Gallery