Iberá Park, Argentina
Twenty years ago, this reserve in Argentina’s northern Corrientes region wasn’t so much a park as it was tiny parcels of wilderness surrounded by cattle ranches. That’s when the Rewilding Argentina foundation and Tompkins Conservation, created by the North Face co-founder Douglas Tompkins and his wife, Kris, the former chief executive of Patagonia, stepped in and began buying land. Today, Iberá Park is one of the largest in Argentina, close to 2 million acres of protected grasslands, lagoons, islands and wetlands — and a sanctuary for huge populations of animals. Now the Rewilding Argentina foundation, funded by tourism and a consortium of philanthropists around the world has saved dozens of species from extinction here, notably jaguars, giant anteaters and giant river otters, and has become a refuge for marsh deer, maned wolves, rheas, grassland birds and the aptly named — and endangered — strange-tailed tyrants. Tourism and infrastructure are strictly managed, and staying in one of the park’s campgrounds directly supports the foundation, continuing the cycle of conservation.
— Danielle Pergament