After walking hundreds of metres amidst thousands of photograph-fanatic-tourists at Iguazú Falls, the slowly swaying hammock beside the pool at La Cantera jungle lodge is the perfect solution.
Of course when in Argentina no trip is complete without seeing one of nature’s most amazing natural phenomenona, the Iguazú waterfalls. So when my parents came to visit I used their trip as an excuse to escape from the grimy streets of Buenos Aires to the lush green jungles of the province of Misiones. After scouring the internet for hours we finally decided to stay at La Cantera.
Built in 2009 the jungle lodge is still in pristine condition with beautiful wood buildings and a huge infinity pool. The reception is small but the staff were friendly and spoke fluent English, a relief for my non-Spanish speaking parents.
From the reception one of the first things visible is the large turquoise pool. Comfortable lounge chairs, perfect for tanning, surround the water and on the far side are two hammocks.
Although the pool is not heated, the warm temperature of the air makes the crisp cool water feel fantastic. The only downfall to the pool area is the deck.
The wood is painted a beautiful, deep red colour but as soon as it gets wet it stains anything it touches. At one point I though I had cut myself because I had what looked like blood all over my hands. This is a seriously big mistake for an area that is always wet.
Between the reception and the pool is the restaurant. My family and I decided to try it based on a recommendation from one of the other guests. We were not disappointed. Service was a little slow but the food was fantastic. We started with a leak and potato soup and an arrugula, Parmesan, and pear salad. The soup was delicious and the salad was crisp and refreshing. For the main course I had a roast pork chop with a mango and bacon salsa. The meat was cooked perfectly and the sweet mango slices accompanied the salty bacon pieces to make a mouth-watering salsa. After that feast we didn’t have room for dessert but from spying on other tables it looked pretty appetising.
The room we stayed in had modern furniture with large beds and very high ceilings. The walls were painted white to make the room appear even larger and the décor was jungle-meets-chic, with white linens accented by green and blue leaf patterns. Each room also had a screen porch with its own hammock.
The only problem was the bathroom walls. The walls were in fact not walls at all but fogged glass barriers with strips of translucent glass. I can understand the modern look they intended to achieve but I’d rather have my privacy.
Outside, the jungle was full of life and staying right in the midst of it was a nice retreat from the not-so-picturesque town Puerto Iguazú. Once while sitting by the pool we even had a toucan come and land on the tree right beside us.
The tough part about the location is the commute. It is about 15 minutes from the airport, 15 minutes from the national park, and 10 minutes from the town. Although this means tranquility it also means money. Instead of using the hotel pick up service, hire a taxi for the weekend and agree on prices before you get in the car, this will at least save some money.
When the time came to pack up and leave I seriously considered asking the manager if they needed an extra staff member. La Cantera is the perfect getaway for families, friends, and couples. Despite a few quirks, it is a tranquil haven in the middle of the jungle.