With an area of 550 km2 , the Iguazú National Park is one of Argentina’s natural wonders, declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1984. Located in the Province of Misiones on the border with Brazil, the Park was created in 1934 and is home to the astonishing Iguazú Falls, one of the world’s natural beauties, surrounded by subtropical rainforests. Several indigenous communities, mostly Guaraní, inhabit the Iguazú area despite the massive hunt and consequent displacement suffered since the 16th century, mostly under the Hispanic conquistadores.
The Iguazú N.P. is a real treasure of biodiversity where some of South America’s most beautiful and endangered species roam free. Jaguar, tapir, ocelot and the yacaré caiman are all species inhabiting this rainforest. Groups of 10 to 30 coaties looking franticly for food are frequently spotted when walking through the park and the surroundings, while harpy eagles, toucans and macaws control the sky above, flying from tree to tree.
BIOPHILIA is currently working in the region with Jasy Pora, a Guaraní community that lives near Puerto Iguazú, on a project that will contribute to create new options for native people through the development of a fresh initiative that will foster a new flow of non-intrusive, indigenous tourism. The Jasy Pora project, however, is part of the wider Iguazú Program that BIOPHILIA will gradually implement in the area, with the goal to provide both locals and tourist with a set of new activities to empower the local economy while fostering the conservation of biodiversity.
Today’s Iguazú area offers limited options for locals and for those who choose to visit and would be willing to spend quality time exploring and experiencing the region; national and international tourists typically spend at most two-to-three days to visit the Falls and the small portion of the National Park around them – then leave the region immediately for lack of proposals.
BIOPHILIA is working on this gap, trying to generate new opportunities for the local community around the pre-existing flow of visitors. By doing so, BIOPHILIA will contribute to foster a responsible approach to tourism through a series of educational activities shaped through a set of partnerships with local key-players involved in the conservation of the natural heritage.
BIOPHILIA’s Iguazú Program will gradually result into a multilayered, dynamic system that will connect the whole local community with different types of tourists through an innovative strategy of sustainable development. Beside empowering the regional economy, BIOPHILIA’s Program will contribute to raise significantly the profile of the whole area, contributing to position Iguazú among the most attractive and sustainable touristic sites of Argentina.
By visiting the GüiraOga Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Center you will contribute to animal care and you’ll meet with some of the most representative species of the region. All of the animals held in captivity at GüiraOga have been seized to poachers or locals who kept them as pets, and are waiting to be reintroduced into their natural habitat, where possible.
Eco Tourism – Education