Argentina’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports has received a loan of $33 million dollars from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to promote the country’s nature tourism sector.

Through the La Ruta Natural programme, Argentina’s Minister of Tourism Matías Lammens is looking to position Argentina as a world-class nature destination, optimising quality and safety by developing infrastructure for public use, improving the environmental management of tourism, and professionalising the sector by supporting and assisting providers and enterprises linked to the product.

“Nature tourism is the great demand in this new tourism era and our country has unique wonders,” said Argentina’s Minister of Tourism Matías Lammens. “We are taking on the challenge of strengthening infrastructure to promote sustainable development in territories and communities.”

The grant will help fund a variety of improvements including the introduction of trails and new routes; cycle paths; bridges; viewpoints; shelters; camping areas, docks, among others, taking into account criteria of climate adaptation and mitigation, and sustainability, promoting the use of ecological building materials and renewable energies.

The La Ruta Natural programme launched by Argentina’s Ministry of Tourism, for the development and promotion of nature tourism, covers all regions of the country through 17 trails. While on the route travellers can experience camping under the stars, walking on glaciers, travelling through the jungle of Misiones, hiking in the Puna, visiting national parks, meeting animals, do bird watching, kayaking, a family trip or a weekend getaway.

Iguazu falls (Photo: Argentina Ministry of Tourism)

Argentina’s spectacular nature

The 17 routes are as follows:

-Ruta de la Selva Misionera (Misiones Rainforest Route) goes deep into the heart of Misiones to discover the Argentinean tropics connecting the mighty Iguazú Falls with the Misiones jungle including several national parks.

-Ruta Iberá is one of the world’s largest wetlands combined with one of the best ecotourism and wildlife watching destinations in Argentina. Highlights include the Esteros del Iberá with its abundance of fauna.

-Ruta Gran Chaco Route covers the subtropical nature of the Chaco region with forests, marshes, rivers, palm groves and pastures.

-The Route of the Valleys, Ravines and Yungas is one of the most beautiful and unforgettable regions of Argentina in the mountains of the northwest. It is the land of the Pachamama which links the desertic Quebrada de Humahuaca or the Calchaquíes Valleys to the lush jungle of the Yungas.

-Ruta Puna offers spectacular landscapes formed by volcanoes, salt flats and deserts of all colours at 3,000 metres above sea level. Some of its attractions require experienced guides, equipment, transport and a certain amount of physical preparation.

-In western Argentina, the Route of Deserts and Volcanoes invites visitors to travel through film-like landscapes with red, orange and white deserts, volcanic fields, torrential rivers crossing imposing canyons and dunes reminiscent of the Sahara. It includes World Heritage Sites, archaeological and paleontological sites and the emblematic Route 40.

-Ruta de la Sierras Centrales is very close to some of the most visited holiday destinations in Cordoba and San Luis but surprise visitors for its nature of native forest-covered sierras, its flamingo-filled lagoons, desert landscapes and high altitude pastures ideal for hiking, climbing, horseback riding, bird watching and astro-tourism.

-Around Buenos Aires, the Route of the Plains and the Atlantic Coast helps discovering natural attractions of the Pampa plains, the sierras and the Atlantic coast of Buenos Aires. La Ruta del Delta is also very close to Buenos Aires and other big cities, is a trail along the Paraná River and its islands. The lower delta of the Paraná River is a unique ecosystem with natural reserves and little-known national parks.

-Between rivers, streams, beaches and palm groves, the Route of the Littoral and the Great Rivers follows the course of the Paraná, Paraguay and Uruguay rivers, crossed by countless streams such as the Gualeguay. The route is perfect for river and water sports.

-Many routes include Patagonia such as the Andean Patagonia Route, the Southern Patagonia Route or along the Patagonian coastline with the Patagonia Sea Route and the Ruta de la Estepa, an immense region between the coasts of Patagonia and the Andes Mountains. Special trails take travellers through lakes, mountains, forests, steppes, waterfalls, glaciers and rivers and an endemic fauna.

-In the extreme south of Argentina, the Ruta Del Fine del Mundo (End of the World Route) takes travellers to a land surrounded by sea and snow-capped mountains, and multicoloured peat bogs, including the famed Tierra del Fuego National Park as well as Ushuaia.

-The Aconcagua is the most famous landmark of the High Andes Route through the Andes mountain range. It is perfect for climbing, horseback riding, trekking, snow sports, hiking, bird watching and photographic safaris.

-The Ruta del Continente Blanco (White Continent Route) begins in Tierra del Fuego, the closest territory to Antarctica. Since 1961, Argentina has been part of the Antarctic Treaty System, which, among other things, regulates tourist activity to guarantee the preservation and care of Antarctic ecosystems.

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