Iguazu Falls

Hito Tres Fronteras

Hito Tres Fronteras

A 18h busride (600 Ps) brought Wancy & myself from city life in Buenos Aires to the sub-tropical jungle of Puerto Iguazu, a nice & authentic resting spot in the province of Misiones & perfect spot to start our visit to the world famous & impressive Iguazu Falls, recently chosen as one of the New Natural Seven Wonders of the World. In the afternoon, we strolled around town, visited ‘Hito Tres Fronteras’ – a place where the Parana & the Iguazu river intersect and form a natural border with neighbouring Paraguay & Brazil – and we had some of Argentinian’s delicious ice-cream at Freddo’s downtown afterwards.

The Great Adventure

The Great Adventure

Iguazu National Park, declared a National World Heritage Site by the Unesco is one of the most impressive natural wonders in Argentina. From Puerto Iguazu we could take the public bus for 35ps/one way to the park but a taxi was 140ps for a return ticket so we chose for that option. The entrance ticket for the Iguazu National Park was 170ps but we bought the optional ‘Green Passport’ for 430Ps, combining the ‘Great Adventure’ (380ps) & the ‘Ecological Tour’ (80Ps) and started with that first.

Sneaky little fellah... A coatie

Sneaky little fellah… A coatie

‘The Great Adventure’ started with a 5,5km 4×4 ride in the jungle along the Yacaratiá Trail where a licensed guide gave us some insights about the fauna & flora in the park. We embarked afterwards on a speedboat for a 6km upstream navigation through the narrow lower Iguazu river including a 2km thrill ride on rapids & extremely wet but fun close-ups from the inside of the Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s Throat) & the San Martin waterfall.  Our fun boatride ended at a dock where we started to meander along the Lower Trail, a 1,4km shady trail offering beautiful panoramic views on the main falls & more intimate experiences of some lateral falls & sub-tropical vegetation which surrounded them.

Beautiful double rainbow

Beautiful double rainbow

It was the first time that I laid eyes on a ‘Coatie’, a cute fluffy animal at first sight but a little devil that became quite agressive when he noticed that Wancy had left her lunch bag on her backpack to take a snapshot. Fortunately she didn’t got hurt like some others unfortunates who were bitten or scratchend by the little devil!  That brought us to the 650m Upper Trail with again fantastic panoramic views and bridges that brought us right on top of some of the main falls such as Mbigua, Bennabe, Mendez, Adam, Eva,… We were also extremely lucky with the weather that offered us rainbows & even a double rainbow thanks to the sunlight & the spray as a result of the huge watermassa of the falls.

Garganta del Diablo

Garganta del Diablo

The panoramic train brought us to our last trail, the impressive 1.1km ‘Garganta del Diablo Trail’ with waterways crossing the upper Iguazu river from island to island where we finally reached the viewing platform after 20 minutes, a balcony right on top of the most powerful waterfall we ever experienced! By no means least among the park’s attractions was the enormous variety of insect life. Most are small & unnoticed but the butterflies stood out because of their bright colours & shapes.

Colourful butterfly

Colourful butterfly

Their varied designs were another manifestation of the rich biosiversity of the park.  To end the day we embarked in a lancha for the ‘Ecological Tour’, a smooth & quiet 3km ride back on the shallow upper Iguazu river through the jungle where we spotted some brown Capuchin monkeys, Toucans, turtles & lot of exotic birds. The colourful Toucans and the myriads of butterflies which displayed their radiant hues against the green backdrop gave us a fantastic experience in the majestic sub-tropical rainforest.

Ecologicql boatride on Upper Iguazu river

Ecologicql boatride on Upper Iguazu river

The headwaters of the Iguazu are but a few miles from the Atlantic Ocean in the coastal mountains of Sierra do Mar. After flowing westwards for 1320km, it joins the great Parana river. Most of it’s course is through Brazil.  Only in its last 133km it constitutes the border between Brazil, Argentina & Paraguay. The name Iguazu comes actually from the Guarani language and means ‘Big water’. ‘Y’ means ‘water’ or ‘river’ and ‘Gauzu’ means ‘big’.  Five times a month with full moon, it’s possible to visit the Iguazu Falls by night and enjoy an unique experience. We were lucky to be there on the last day and in the first group.

Full Moon @ Garganta del Diablo

Full Moon @ Garganta del Diablo

The moonlight, although hiding behind clouds time to time, gave us the impression that the falls were floating in the air. But the highlight was something I had never experienced in my life and even didn’t realize it existed… The moon & the water drops created a beautiful ‘double night rainbow’ !  Strong winds blew huge amounts of waterdrops towards us as well making it all a very wet but unforgettable experience!

Unfortunately it was the end for Wancy but another great experience awaited her in Iceland…  The Northern Lights!  I stayed one more day in Puerto Iguazu to relax before leaving Argentina for my last country on this world trip… Brazil !

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Comments
2 Responses to “Iguazu Falls”
  1. The Rider says:

    Great post! I love your photos! Thanks for sharing your journey…

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