The ‘Ruta de la Yerba Mate’ (Yerba Mate Route) is a tourist trail around the Argentinian provinces of Corrientes and Misiones; created to show and explain everything related to one of the oldest and most genuine Argentinian traditions: Yerba Mate. This trail is considered unique and the main food-related route within the MERCOSUR (Southern Common Market).
The extensive itinerary offered by the Yerba Mate Route includes an overview of its history and its origins; as well as access to industrial and artisanal facilities to witness the production process, mate plantations, harvesting, milling, final packaging, etc. The route also includes tasting and gastronomic activities with exclusive menus based on yerba mate.
The trail is divided into 8 circuits which easily distribute sites and attractions for visitors. The proposed itineraries can be reviewed on the RYM website. However, you can always plan your own journey! The region also offers many other possibilities such as horseback riding, hiking, nautical walks and expeditions to incredible landscapes and historical / cultural sites.
Without a doubt, the most important stops along the Yerba Mate Route are the estates where the best brands of Yerba Mate are cultivated and produced. Although not all yerba mate brands have their own plantations, many of them do and offer tastings and guided tours to explain the production process. Among them, we strongly recommend Establecimiento Las Marías, the largest producer of Yerba Mate in the World, with thousands of hectares of plantations and green landscapes in a well-mantained natural environment. Las Marías offers a free pedestrian tour and more complete tours for more avid visitors, in which you can get to know the entire production process from the plant to the packaging, as well as a wide range of activities throughout the day. You can also enjoy one of the best gastronomic proposals in the province of Corrientes, the “Club Taragüi”.
The city of the Apostles is one of the most important stops in the Yerba Mate Route. There you will find “La Casa del Mate” (the House of Mate) and the Juan Szychowski Museum to learn how Yerba Mate has evolved through history.
The provinces of Misiones and Corrientes also have some of the most important tourist destinations in Argentina, so along the Yerba Mate Route you can also visit breathtaking places like the Iguazú Falls (one of the new 7 Natural Wonders!); the Jesuit ruins of Santa María la Mayor, declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO; the Moconá waterfalls and of course the spectacular Iberá Wetlands with 12,000 kilometers and a great variety of flora and fauna.
Along the Route you can find excellent restaurants, bars and cafés that offer both traditional dishes and exotic creations based on yerba mate. The Galería del Mate stands out with more than 300 types of yerba and different tastings. You can also buy themed handicrafts and souvenirs. The ice cream shop El Indiecito is also a popular destination with its famous yerba mate ice cream and more than 50 artisanal flavors. Tarde o Temprano coffee shop is also recommended with its Yerba Mate frappé; and for more elaborate dinners, the Bamboo Restaurant has a very varied menu, near Iguazú.
The Route has 1,200 kilometers in total with more than 200 businesses related to yerba mate. On the website rutadelayerbamate.org.ar you will find all the necessary information, including the 8 main circuits to organize your trip. It is always recommended to wear comfortable clothes for the high temperatures and to contact every place in advance to check availability and working hours. The website Turismo Misiones can also be of great help.
The Yerba Mate Route not only allows you to appreciate everything related to yerba mate; it also offers the opportunity to get to know the local culture of Corrientes and Misiones, where natural and recreational tourist destinations abound with activities like hiking, horseback riding, photographic safaris, nature walks, nautical and aerial excursions where you can admire the vast geography and its magical flora and fauna. An unforgettable experience.