Blissful tranquillity and fascinating boat trips at an elegant lodge in the bird-filled wetlands of northeast Argentina”
Among a slew of hotels attracting flocks of European twitchers, Posada de la Laguna is unique. Small, elegant and intimate, it was created by owner Elsa Guiraldes to give guests contact with this natural beauty and help preserve it. Built in local Correntino style, it has gardens going down to the lagoon and hammocks on vine-covered verandas that invite you to gaze on wide open views. With just 7 rooms, each guest receives Elsa’s personalised welcome - being here is like staying with charming friends.
- Inspiring host Elsa Guiraldes, a painter and granddaughter of a major Argentine poet, makes you feel instantly at ease
- Wonderful boat trips: the guides have lived here all their lives and know the lagoons intimately. They’ll take you to see specific birds, howler monkeys, marsh deer and alligators
- Utter tranquillity - the most relaxing place we visited in Argentina. And service is excellent, without the fuss and pomp of a big hotel
- The food - all locally grown with daily changing menus
- All meals and activities are included, so it's excellent value for money
- The posada is beautiful and comfortable, but it's not 5-star luxury hotel standard. However the service is genuine and personalised
- Not for those who want nightlife, urban entertainment and all the mod cons. There’s WiFi, but no TV
- It’s a long way from anywhere - set in the small village of Colonia Carlos Pellegrini, 120km from Mercedes and 800km from Buenos Aires - but that’s the point
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Nature Lodge
- 7 rooms
- All meals included
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Outdoor Pool
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Bicycles Available
Being on the Esteros broadens the mind and heightens the senses; it's meditative. Gazing up at the wooden beams in our room after a glorious siesta, it was clear that the space had been carefully designed to sit in harmony with the open vistas outside.
Natural materials bring authenticity: uneven, whitewashed, hand-stuccoed walls; brick patios where hammocks are slung; handmade tiles on the floors; and high ceilings lined with local wood. The rooms have windows in 2 directions, and shutters are handmade in the traditional way. It looks like an old traditional estancia of the region, but with the added advantages of being clean and modern, with sparkling contemporary bathrooms.
Beds are supremely comfortable, with pristine white linens. Wicker furniture and restored antique pieces give a sense of history, and warmth and detail is added with quirky sculptures of birds and an array of paintings. WiFi is available throughout. A great virtue of Elsa’s design is that the guest bedrooms are in a separate house from the sitting and dining rooms, so you won’t be disturbed by other guests if you have an early night.
The 7 rooms are all doubles or twins (request your preference) and all have private bathrooms stocked with L'Occitane goodies. Outside you have your own stretch of veranda from which you’ll spot birds, as the garden goes right down to the lagoon. The effect is subtle but appealing: you have your own private space to utterly relax, and unlike the other hotels in the area, there’s no sense of an agenda to fit in with.
- Cots Available
- Extra beds
- Internet access
Elsa takes great care to ensure that meals at the Posada are balanced and healthy. As is usual in an estancia, menus are set rather than à la carte, but dietary requirements can be catered for. Vegetarians will be very happy.
Breakfast is a simple affair of juice, home-baked breads and toast with local jams. Cereals are on offer, too. Lunch can be taken with you on your activities or eaten in the cool of the terrace.
Dinner is more of an event, with guests invited to gather for a convivial glass of wine on the comfortable white sofas beforehand. The dining room is spacious, and rustic without being twee: checked tablecloths, white linen, impeccable taste. Each pair of guests has their own table, but single travellers can eat with Elsa and her son Alejandro if they choose. There are 3 courses, with fresh vegetables and salads, along with locally reared meat or homemade pasta. Traditional Argentine recipes are used and puddings are a speciality. Argentine wines are served, though these aren’t included in the price.
- All meals included
- Organic produce
- Room service
- Vegetarian menu
- Head out on a boat trip into the lagoon. Setting out early in the morning or after tea (stunning), you’ll spend 2 hours with the Posada’s guide, who knows all the flora and fauna. Elsa or Alejandro will accompany those who don’t speak Spanish, to translate. You’ll see an astonishing number of birds, as well as capybaras swimming with their young and alligators basking on rocks. Climb onto the islands, where marsh deer and otters scamper, to discover that they’re wafer-thin and spongy!
- Once you’ve done the main boat trip, set out in a canoe to see even more wildlife at your own leisure
- Several different horse rides are offered, suitable for novices and the more experienced. Try a 1-hour ride around Colonia Carlos Pellegrini, a 2-hour ride across palm forests, or an all-day ride to Camba, visiting a typical Correntino farm for lunch
- Borrow bicycles and meander around the estate
- Take a cultural tour of the area, to meet local farmers and see more of the region. You can also learn basic Guaraní from a teacher in the village (ask at reception)
- The nocturnal walks are highly recommended. You'll see and hear another set of creatures, and they're great for kids
- Go swimming in the estancia's pool, which is tranquil with wonderful views
- Visit in February and experience the local Gauchito Gil festival
- Elsa's brother Francisco (Pancho) González Alzaga is a well-known chef who owns a restaurant called Bar6 in Buenos Aires; he organises training courses at the Posada
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Boat trips
- Cooking classes
- Horse riding
- Language courses
- Plantlife / flora
- Private guided tours
- Traditional cultures
Children of all ages are welcome, and those under 2 stay for free when sharing their parents' room. Babysitting, cots and extra beds are available on request. Older children will love the space, the pool, the grounds, and the boat trips and horse rides.
Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
Family friendly accommodation:
Cots Available, Extra Beds Available
Babysitting is available by arrangement
Baby cots are available on request
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
Kids Activities on site:
- Swimming pool
- Exploring the estate
- Nocturnal walks
Kids Activities nearby:
- Boat trips to sight wildlife on the lagoons
- Horse riding
- Bicycles to borrow
- Airport: 4 hours
Posada de la Laguna is located in the small village of Colonia Carlos Pellegrini in the Esteros del Iberá nature reserve. It's 120km from Mercedes (the nearest large town) and a 2-hour flight plus a 4-hour transfer from Buenos Aires.
Posadas (185km away) is the nearest airport. It’s served by domestic flights from Buenos Aires’ Jorge Newbery Airport. If you're arriving into Buenos Aires from abroad, bear in mind that you'll fly into Ezeiza International Airport, and will need to transfer between the two.
Click on the links below for information on airlines serving these airports.
From the Airport
You can take a private plane from Posadas to Mercedes but it's expensive (please enquire at the time of booking). The Posada can put you in touch with a company that offer transfers from Posadas Airport or Mercedes. It's a 4-hour drive from Posadas, and a 2-hour trip from Mercedes along dirt roads.
Another option is an overnight coach service from Buenos Aires, which arrives in Mercedes around 6am the following morning. The coaches are comfortable, with reclining seats and toilets - click on the links below for details of coach companies. When you arrive in Mercedes, you’ll be met by a driver and taken to the Posada. If you’re coming from Iguazim, you can take a bus to Mercedes and then take another transfer to Posada.
It’s really not advisable to hire a car to visit the Esteros. The roads are unconsolidated earth for long stretches, and a heavy bout of rain turns them into mud baths. Once you’re stranded, there’s no one passing to dig you out, and you could be there for hours. It’s far better to arrange a transfer.
Combining with the Iguazú Falls:
If you’re arriving in the Esteros after a trip to the Iguazú Falls, you’ll approach from the city of Posadas. Again, you can arrange a transfer.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.
More on getting to Argentina and getting around
- Posadas 185.0 km PSS
- Beach 800.0 km
- Shops 2.0 km
- Restaurant 2.0 km