LUGARES MAGAZINE Nro. 52
Page. 32 - 46
By: Archivo Lugares
Pictures: Gustavo Castaing
1. La Bonita
On the border of the Yaboti Reserve, immersed in absolute solitude, lies this extraordinary hostel. There are three cabins, perfectly integrated into the surrounding green countryside, exactly half way
between El Soberbio and the Moconá falls. Getting there is not too difficult, and once the visitor sights La Bonita, it confirms that the journey is well worth the effort. The place is fantastic, unexpected and light-years away from anywhere else.
The large house containing the reception area, the bar, the lounge, dining room and kitchen is a truly wonderful place. Set at a discreet distance from one another, each cabin has a stone front wall with a terrace at the back that intermingles with the vegetation of Misiones. There is nothing like staying in La Bonita, enjoying the great food, sleeping as long as you wish, walking along the jungle paths and taking
dips in the waterfall.
2. Santa Inés
Real jungle and true comfort only 10kms from the capital. In addition to its splendid history, this estancia built in 1903 is worth seeing if only for the gallery that runs around the house. It is a pleasure to take an extended siesta in one of the hamuwcks with the swimming pool only a few steps away, all set in a beautiful garden. In the distance you can see a bit of jungle with all its wildlife included.
In the 2,000 hectares of Santa Inés there are excellent opportunities for exploring on foot, cm horseback or in a 4x4. To have a picnic amongst the incredible bamboo that can be found 5kms from the main house -having previously passed the lake with its resident alligators - is an assured pleasure. There is another enormous swimming pool, filled with spring water and guarded by amber canes. Trips on the
Paraná River, visit, t the missions and guided tours to Posadas are all activities to be tried.
At both breakfast time and teatime the table is laden with home-made jams and marmalades made with local fruit as unusual as it is tasty. The food warrants a chapter of praise on its own.
3. Las Mercedes
Ponytrekking with the Lowes, descendants of a colony of New Zealanders. The property occupies 700 hectares and was bought in 1920 "off the
map" by Alexandra Lowe's grandfather who had not long arrived from the Antipodes. None of the actual owners live on the estancia, but when guests arrive Edith Lowc and her brother Johnny are already there,
ready to receive them and accompany them throughout their stay.
The house is original, made of wood and with double-pitched roofs, all painted white with the red borders. What really distinguishes it is the complete absence of luxury, having always been home to hard-workiny folk. And that is how it is presented to the traveller. It has been preserved in its original state and is surrounded by well cared for gardens. Over the new swimming pool stands a large, shady cypress
The pony-treks are one of Las Mercedes' specialities. For those who prefer to avoid horses there are trips to local orchid farms, to the zoo and to a nearby yerba mate mill.
4. La Misionera
The house is built in the jungle on the banks of the Paraná River overlooking Paraguay on the other side, in a 5 hectare park filled
with araucaria trees, azaleas, camellias and jasmine. It is worth watching the sun setting, from the terrace looking out over the river. As well as the neighbouring Caraguatay Island, a provincial nature reserve. These pleasures are complemented by the wonderful canoe trips and excursions in the jungle by foot or on horseback. There are only three rooms equipped for tourists. In March four more, with their thatched roofs, limestone walls and timber beams will be ready.