Hutovo Blato is a nature and bird reserve located in southeastern Herzegovina, on the left side of the Neretva River, next to Čapljina and 30 km from Mostar. It occupies an area of 74 km2. The park is primarily composed of marshlands that were created by the underground aquifer system of the Krupa River.
Hutovo Blato is a home to 163 species of migratory birds and dozens that make their permanent home in the sub-Mediterranean wetlands surrounding Deransko Lake. In the migration season, tens of thousands of birds fill the lake and its surroundings.
This reserve is a unique oasis in the harsh karst of south Herzegovina. The water surfaces of Hutovo Blato are mostly covered with lilies (Nymphaea Alba) and water lilies (Nuphar Luteum). There are numerous lakes which are connected with many channels and gullies.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is well known for its crystal clear waters. The same thing is also with the waters of the Hutovo Blato. This unusual kind of marsh is full of fish. There are recorded 22 fish species, and 5 of them are endemic. Because the waters are connected to the Adriatic Sea through the rivers Krupa and Neretva, some migratory species that live in salt water coming in Hutovo Blato and adapt to the conditions of fresh water. The best known species is European eel (Anguilla anguilla).
Archaeological site 'Desilo', found in 2008 within the nature park, is an important find from the ancient Illyrians. The discovered trading post could be more than 2.000 years old. Later the archaeologists have discovered also the ruins of a settlement, the remains of a harbour as well as many sunken boats, fully laden with wine pitchers – so-called amphorae – from the 1st century BC.
The park is ideal for those with adventurous spirit and eager for new experiences, but also for families with children. The area is full of freshwater fish, wild ducks, geese, coots, hawks, herons, pheasants, wild boar and wild horses. In the park there is a hotel and restaurant with local cuisine.
The reserve of the Nature Park Hutovo Blato is inscribed on the list of Important Bird Areas. It is also a member of the Network of Adriatic Parks and Wetlands of international importance under the International Ramsar Convention.