The Reserva Ecológica Costanera Sur
A green oasis on the eastern end of the big city, the ecological reserve of the Costanera Sur offers an escape from the humdrum of daily life. Walking along of the reserve’s paths, through wild growing pampas grass, it’s difficult to believe that this is still Buenos Aires.
The Reserva Ecológica feels like an untamed area that’s always been a part of the landscape, but nothing could be further from the truth. This terrain didn’t even exist until the 1970s, when the city decided to “reclaim” land from the river for development, following a procedure learned from the Dutch. The project was abandoned after progress had already begun and, soon enough, plants and animals had moved onto the rich sediment. Where the Rio de la Plata had flowed throughout history, humanity had inadvertently built a home for a richly diverse wildlife. Usually works the other way around.
The city wasted no time in declaring the region an “Ecological Reserve”, and the new park quickly became popular among bird watchers, joggers, and those looking for a break from the stress of Buenos Aires. At over 860 acres, with many kilometers worth of track, a comprehensive tour of the park can take hours. There’s a lot to see; besides the wildlife, the magnificent skyline of Puerto Madero looms in the background. Walk far enough and you’ll reach the river, vast and gray. But for the cargo ships floating in the distance, it could be the world’s biggest puddle.
We make use of the Reserva constantly for jogging, and almost always encounter something new. On my last visit, a huge monitor lizard scuttled across the path in front of me. Jürgen has found turtles. We’ve also taken a bike trip through the park, which is recommendable. But regardless of how you move through the Costanera, you’re bound to have an interesting time.