- 1 Introduction to Pre-Delta National Park
- 2 Geography and Climate
- 3 Biodiversity in the National Park
- 4 Recommended Activities and Excursions
- 5 Visitor Information
- 6 Socioeconomic Implications
- 7 Research and Conservation
- 8 References
- 9 Galería de fotos
Argentina is a land of contrasts, and its biodiversity in its National Parks is no exception. Today we invite you to discover the might and hidden beauty of Pre-Delta National Park, a paradise for nature and adventure enthusiasts.
Introduction to Pre-Delta National Park
Location and Access
Pre-Delta National Park (in Spanish: Parque Nacional Pre-Delta) is located in the Entre Ríos province, near the city of Diamante, approximately 7 kilometers away. It is a publicly accessible area, but it is always recommended to visit with expert guides for a safe and enriching experience. It can be geographically located at coordinates: 32°09′00″S 60°38′00″W / -32.15, -60.63333333.
Created on December 19, 1991 (Law No. 24.063/91) with the purpose of preserving a sample of environments from the upper Delta of the Paraná River, Pre-Delta National Park is a testament to the importance of preserving the ecosystems of jungles and gallery forests of the Paraná Delta. Its establishment involves various instances and legislations, and it has also been classified as a Wetland of International Importance by Ramsar since October 3, 2015.
Below are the main milestones in the park’s creation and legislation process:
- On October 16, 1986, the Chamber of Deputies of the Nation approved a declaration presented by Deputy Rodolfo Miguel Parente, requesting the Executive Power to consider the possibility of creating a national park in the Diamante area.
- On May 7, 1987, the deliberative council of the municipality of Diamante enacted Ordinance No. 14/1987, donating 2,458 hectares of islands and wetlands located within its jurisdiction to the National State, with the purpose of creating a park or nature reserve. Mayor Humberto Ré promulgated the ordinance through Municipal Decree No. 242/1987.
- On September 23, 1987, the municipality of Diamante and the Administration of National Parks signed a collaboration and reciprocal advisory agreement to evaluate the possible creation of a national park. The agreement was approved by Ordinance No. 67/1987 and promulgated by Decree No. 713/1987.
- On January 11, 1990, another agreement was signed with the participation of the government of Entre Ríos, creating the Administrative Commission of the Pre-Delta Protected Natural Area.
- On July 23, 1991, Provincial Law No. 8491 was approved, ceding to the National State jurisdiction over the portion of land donated by the municipality of Diamante.
- On December 19, 1991, National Law No. 24063 was enacted, officially establishing Pre-Delta National Park. The law was promulgated on January 13, 1992, and published in the Official Gazette on January 20, 1992. The main objective of creating the park was to preserve a portion of the upper delta environments of the Paraná River.
- On May 19, 1992, the formal inauguration and takeover ceremony took place by the Administration of National Parks.
- In August 1998, the Administration of National Parks approved a List of Special Value Vertebrates of Pre-Delta National Park, which included species of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.
- On October 3, 2015, it was included as a Ramsar site in the category of Wetlands of International Importance.
These legislative and administrative milestones laid the foundation for the protection and conservation of the protected area that belongs to Pre-Delta Park as a valuable natural ecosystem.
Ecological Importance and Conservation
The Park is essential for conserving local biodiversity and serves as a habitat for several endemic species.
Geography and Climate
Overview of the Terrain
It features a geography of islands covered in lush vegetation and wetlands, with watercourses of varying widths including lagoons, streams, and brooks influenced by the mighty Paraná River, covering an area of 2,754 hectares.
The region has a temperate humid climate. During summer, average temperatures hover around 23°C, but they can reach highs exceeding 40°C. In winter, average temperatures drop to around 13°C, and occasional frosts occur. Annual precipitation ranges between 800 and 1,020 mm, with the highest concentration of rainfall between January and May. Southeast winds influence the rise of river and stream levels in the region.
The most recommended season to visit Pre-Delta National Park is during autumn and spring, as the weather is pleasant during the day and nights are cool. These seasons offer ideal conditions to enjoy outdoor activities and explore the natural beauty of the park.
Water Bodies and Flood Zones
The park is traversed by several arms and streams of the Paraná River, giving rise to flood zones and forming islands.
Biodiversity in the National Park
The Park is located within the Delta and Islands of the Paraná River ecoregion, granting it a unique richness and diversity in its ecosystem. The park presents a representative sample of islands, streams, lagoons, and brooks that are in proximity to the Paraná River.
The Paraná River plays a fundamental role in the formation and maintenance of the park’s islands. As it flows westward through the Entre Ríos province, the river carries sediments from the northern lands of Argentina, which are deposited in the region and give rise to the islands.
The Paraná acts as a biodiversity corridor, allowing animals and plants from more northern regions, such as the Paraná Rainforest and the Chaco, to move southward and enrich the biodiversity of the southern region.
Natural dynamics of large rivers, like tides and southeast winds, have a significant impact on the landscape of Pre-Delta National Park. These natural forces constantly shape the terrain and contribute to the ongoing transformation of the park’s physiognomy.
The Ringed Kingfisher (Megaceryle torquata) is considered an icon of Pre-Delta National Park. This beautiful bird has a disproportionately large head compared to its body and a powerful straight and sharp beak used to catch fish, its main source of food. Its plumage is bluish-gray on the head and back. Males are distinguished by a wide white collar and reddish-colored underside. The Ringed Kingfisher usually inhabits near watercourses, perching on branches and patiently waiting to dive and catch its prey.
On the shores of rivers and streams in the Pre-Delta, willow trees (Salix humboldtiana) grow, forming forests along with other trees. Willows are recognized for their drooping branches and light green foliage. Their fruit resembles a light brown capsule, containing numerous cottony seeds inside. These trees are a distinctive part of the park’s landscape and contribute to the natural beauty of the area.
Typical Flora of the Region
Within the park, a rich diversity of flora can be appreciated. In areas near the park’s boundaries, the riparian forest displays its full splendor on the natural slope known as La Azotea. In these areas, the vegetation is lush and abundant.
In the lagoons that form in the central depressed areas of the islands, you can observe "irupés," aquatic plants with enormous floating leaves that stand out among the surrounding vegetation. These irupés add a distinctive and beautiful touch to the park’s aquatic landscapes.
In the higher areas, riparian forests can be found, dominated by species such as native willows, timbó trees, river alders, and "ceibos" (Erythrina crista-galli). These trees provide shade and create a cool and welcoming environment. In transition zones, you can find forests of "espinillos," grasslands, and thickets of "duraznillo," adding even more variety and beauty to the park’s vegetation.
Characteristics of the Fauna
The park is home to an impressive variety of fauna, offering visitors the opportunity to enjoy unique encounters with wildlife. Here are some of the standout species:
In the riparian forest, you can observe beautiful birds such as picazuro pigeons, "celestinos," "brasitas de fuego," and imperial fruiteaters, adding color and music to the landscape with their songs and graceful flights.
In open water areas, it’s common to spot the Ringed Kingfisher flying in search of prey, often accompanied by Southern screamers, ducks, herons, storks, and coots. These birds fill the skies and shores with their presence.
Among the mammals that inhabit the park are capybaras, coypus, red weasels, and pampas cats. These animals add life and movement to the terrestrial landscapes of the park. Beneath the waters, schools of sábalo fish, dorados, catfish, and silversides gather, creating an impressive spectacle for enthusiasts of aquatic life.
Pre-Delta National Park also plays a crucial role in protecting threatened species such as the river otter, "chanchita" (Gymnogeophagus setequedas), and a relic population of the "yacaré overo" (broad-snouted caiman). These species find a safe haven in the park where they can thrive and reproduce.
Additionally, around 185 species of fish have been recorded in the park’s waters, highlighting the richness and diversity of aquatic life found in this protected area.
The Park is a popular destination for birdwatching, with species like the Ringed Kingfisher, Neotropic cormorant, and Black-collared hawk.
Recommended Activities and Excursions
La Jaula Area
In the La Jaula Area, visitors can enjoy camping surrounded by nature, hiking trails for exploration, and exciting boat excursions. It’s the perfect starting point to delve into the wonders it offers.
Las Mangas Area
In the Las Mangas Area, visitors will find a pier to easily access the park’s aquatic areas. Additionally, they can enjoy a hiking trail to walk and explore the surrounding natural beauty. Don’t miss the chance to climb the lookout point to appreciate breathtaking panoramic views.
Panoramic Views from La Azotea Area
In the La Azotea Area, visitors will be rewarded with a spectacular panoramic view of Pre-Delta National Park. From this point, you can admire the beauty and grandeur of the surrounding landscape. It’s a perfect spot to marvel at nature and capture stunning photographs.
Villages of the Volga Germans
Between Diamante and Paraná, along Provincial Route 11, lie the picturesque villages of the Volga Germans. These include Protestant, Valle María, San Francisco, Spatzenkutter, Salto, and Brasilera. These communities preserve the cultural heritage of the Volga Germans and offer visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves in their unique history and traditions.
Victoria: Ciudad de las Rejas (City of Bars)
South of Pre-Delta National Park is Victoria, known as the "city of gates." Here, visitors can explore the impressive Benedictine abbey, enjoy tourist stays for an authentic experience, and embark on exciting nautical excursions in the surroundings. Victoria offers a combination of history, natural beauty, and thrilling activities to enjoy.
How to Get There
If you’re planning to reach Pre-Delta National Park by car, here are some route options and distances from different nearby cities:
- From the city of Diamante: You can take the paved local road from Diamante to La Jaula Area, which is the park’s entry point. This route covers a distance of approximately 4.5 km. Diamante is about 440 km from Buenos Aires.
- From Zárate-Brazo Largo Complex: If you’re at the Zárate-Brazo Largo Complex, you can take National Route 12 and then Provincial Route 11 to reach the national park. This route spans a distance of approximately 146 km from Rosario, 75 km from Santa Fe, and 45 km from Paraná.
- From Rosario: Another option is to take the Rosario-Victoria Viaduct and then Provincial Route 11 to the park. The distance from Rosario to Pre-Delta National Park is approximately 146 km.
- From Santa Fe: If you’re in Santa Fe, you can take the Subfluvial Tunnel and then Provincial Route 11 to reach the park. The distance from Santa Fe to Pre-Delta National Park is approximately 75 km.
- From Paraná: If you’re in Paraná, you can directly take Provincial Route 11, which will lead you to the park in approximately 45 km.
Remember to check the road conditions and plan your trip in advance to ensure a safe and hassle-free journey.
Other Means of Transportation to Reach the Park
In addition to traveling by car, there are other transportation options to reach Pre-Delta National Park:
- Bus: The bus terminal receives services from all over the country, either directly or through connections. You can check the schedules and transportation companies that offer services to this terminal and plan your bus trip.
- Taxi or Remis: Once you arrive at the Pre-Delta National Park bus terminal, you can use taxi or remis services to transfer from the terminal to the protected area. These services will provide you with comfortable and convenient transportation to reach your destination.
It’s important to verify the bus schedules and availability of services, as well as coordinate taxi or remis transportation in advance to ensure you have a reliable and suitable means of transportation for your trip.
The entrance fee to Pre-Delta National Park is free, which means there is no cost to access and enjoy the park’s facilities and natural areas. Visitors can enter and explore the park without having to pay an entrance fee.
Facilities and Services
The park offers a range of services to provide comfort and convenience to visitors. In the La Jaula Area, you’ll find the Recreational Area of the Park, where visitors can enjoy rustic camping with amenities such as lighting, bathrooms, sinks, and fireplaces. There’s also a small store where basic products and supplies can be purchased.
In the nearby city of Diamante, there’s a wide variety of accommodation options available. You can find hotels, lodges, guesthouses, and bungalows offering different levels of comfort and prices. There’s also a selection of restaurants and eateries where you can enjoy local cuisine. For stocking up on food and other products, supermarkets are available in the city. Additionally, there are gas stations for those in need of refueling their vehicles.
It’s advisable to bring sunscreen, insect repellent, drinking water, and food. Furthermore, respecting the flora and fauna by not littering and avoiding excessive noise is important.
To protect the ecosystem, pets, fishing, hunting, and the use of drones without permission are prohibited.
Impact on the Local Economy
Pre-Delta National Park boosts the local economy by attracting tourists and providing employment opportunities in the tourism sector.
Education and Community Participation Programs
The park promotes environmental education and community participation through various programs and activities.
Research and Conservation
Conservation and Restoration Programs
Several ongoing programs aim to conserve and restore the unique ecosystems of the park.
Ongoing Research and Recent Discoveries
The park is also an active site for scientific research, conducting studies to better understand its ecosystem and the species it harbors.
- Ramsar – Delta del Paraná.
- Plan de Gestión (pdf version in Spanish).
- Ley n.° 8491 (in Spanish).
- Infoleg. Ley 24063 (in Spanish).
- Infoleg. Resolución Nº 122/98 (in Spanish).
- Comisiones de Defensa Nacional y de Recursos Naturales y Conservación del Medio Ambiente Humano – ORDEN DEL DIA N° 1991 (in Spanish).
- Ley nacional n.º 27672 (in Spanish).
- Decreto n.º 387/2022 (in Spanish).
- Infoleg. Resolución Nº 126/2011 (in Spanish).