Ranking as one of South America’s Seven natural wonders, Iguassu Falls (also known as Iguazu Falls or Iguaçu Falls) is one of the world’s most beautiful and spectacular places.
Gaze at this photo, taken on the Brazilian side of Iguassu Falls and you can see why so many tourists flock there each year. This photo offers only a small sample of the splendour in this magical destination.
Facts About Iguassu Falls
Iguassu Falls is comprised of 275 different waterfalls stretching over 2.7 kilometers with the highest waterfall reaching 82 meters. It produces the planet’s greatest annual average water flow.
The falls are bordered by Brazil’s Iguaçu National Park and Argentina’s Iguazú National Park, with Argentina claiming about two thirds of the overall territory.
Locals say that if one wants to see the falls, view it from the Brazilian side and if one wants to experience the falls, view it from the Argentinian side. There’s a friendly rivalry between the two countries about which one boasts the very best view.
Each country offers stunning but very different views of the falls, so you need to take time to see and experience both. It’s recommended that you spend at least 2 days here, dedicating one day to each side.
The Argentinian side offers three different trails.
The best trail is 1 kilometer in length, taking you to the glorious Devil’s Throat (Garganta del Diablo in Spanish or Garganta do Diabo in Portuguese). According to Wikipedia, it’s a “a U-shaped, 82-meter-high, 150-meter-wide and 700-meter-long cataract”.
There are two other trails, the Upper Falls and Lower Falls. The Upper Falls trail takes you along catwalks that cross over many of the falls and the Lower Falls trail allows you to get very close to the falls, so close that you’ll get soaked.
A fun excursion on the Argentinian side is to take a jeep ride through the jungle and then a boat ride along the Iguazu River. They’ll drive you directly under the falls! It’s a very wet but very joyous experience that will leave you laughing, spitting out water and demanding that they drive you back under for another soaking. Tours are offered daily through La Gran Aventura.
The Brazilian side has a trail about 1 kilometer in length and can be finished in one morning (the best time to see the falls and take photos). There is a even an extension that takes you to the base of Devil’s Throat. As you walk along the catwalk, be prepared to get very wet! You can opt to get even more drenched as you pose for a token photo opp right beside the falls.
There are two worthwhile excursions on the Brazilian side. You can take a helicopter ride (such rides are not permitted on the Argentinian side) and visit The Parque das Aves, a bird sanctuary with parrots, flamingos and even toucans.
- Wear a bathing suit and/or light clothing that you won’t mind getting wet. Some people even bring a raincoat or waterproof jacket. Don’t be like me and wear denim shorts. Trust me, it’s not a pleasant feeling to walk around in wet denim.
- Bring a a towel and a change of clothes.
- Carry a waterproof bag so you can prevent your passport, camera equipment and other items from getting wet.
- Realise that no matter what, you’re going to get soaked and have fun!
If you’re in South America, make a visit. Iguassu Falls is within driving distance of Buenos Aires, Argentina and a short 2 1/2 hour flight from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. You can book tours with G Adventures.
The photos do not do Iguassu Falls justice and neither does my crappy old digital camera. Ugh!
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