Parque Nacional Pre-Delta
Toward the northern end of the Paraná Delta, this little-visited park protects 2,458 hectares of wetlands and gallery forest just south of the city of Diamante, less than an hour south of the provincial capital.
Dating from 1992, it features forested natural levees that become islands when the river rises, and interior depressions that support wildlife-rich marshes and lagoons. It offers a pair of short nature trails, but visitors will see more by hiring a launch to explore its islands and watercourses.
Flora and Fauna
Pre-Delta’s most conspicuous flora are gallery forests of large trees like willows and alders, where the espinero rojizo (common thornbird) builds conspicuous hanging nests of sticks.
Twisted ceibos and the cedar-like timbó grow on islands, while mammals like the capybara make their way among floating islands of water hyacinths with violet flowers. Reeds cover lower-lying areas, where there are also nutria and river otters, as well as yacaré (caiman). Other birds include ducks, swans, egrets, and the kingfisher (the park’s symbol).
The ranger station at Paraje La Jaula, at the end of the road from Diamante, has a small campground, free of charge, with fire pits for barbecues. There’s a small shop at Paraje La Azotea, immediately before the park entrance, but it’s better to bring supplies from Diamante or Paraná.
There is a ranger station right at Paraje La Jaula, where the road from Diamante dead-ends; there’s a small shop at Paraje La Azotea. The park also has a Diamante office (25 de Mayo 389, tel. 0343/498-3535, predelta [at] apn [dot] gov [dot] ar). Park admission is free.
Parque Pre-Delta is only six kilometers south of Diamante, where it’s easy to hire a remise to the park entrance at Paraje La Jaula. There, Excursiones Fluviales Ave Fénix (tel. 0343/15-47-68525) provides launches to explore the intricate waterways. The nearest big city, Paraná, has frequent bus service to Diamante.
© Wayne Bernhardson from Moon Argentina, 3rd edition