Iguassu Falls

Posted by on Feb 13, 2013 in Argentina, Brazil, Play-by-plays, South America | 3 comments

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Truth be told I was a non-believer at first. I thought, how exciting can a bunch of falling water really be? Even if said water does straddle two countries, I wasn’t convinced…until I saw the falls. The parks (on each country side) offer different views of Iguassu (Iguazu in Spanish and Iguaçu in Portuguese), so I think both are a must. The feel is a bit Disneyland-y with the colorful tourist buses and trains and guided pathways. But there is nothing gimmicky about the falls themselves–they are a force to be reckoned with, a majestic sight that offers something different at every level and angle.

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Logistically you can see both sides of the falls in 1.5-2 days, but if you have more time there are numerous extra activities, hikes and parks you can tack onto your agenda. Both Argentina and Brazil have great transport choices that connect their two airports, towns, bus stations and border crossings. So it is easy to get around, stay on either or both sides, and cross back and forth. This land border is efficient compared to other ones I’ve crossed, but sometimes unless you tell the bus driver you need an immigration stamp, he will keep driving, so visa, stamps, etc are a personal liability.

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Because Yus and I arrived from Salta, we started with the Argentine side of the falls. We stayed at Marcopolo Inn, which is across the street from the main bus station and makes life super easy. Down the street are tons of restaurants, and the stuffed pacu I had at Aqva is probably the best seafood dish and tied for first place for best meal in South America. Strong words, I know, but that thing was so good I wanted tolick my plate and even considered going back the next day (but common sense prevailed and I opted to save the money for later).

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The Argentine side needs a day to explore all the pathways because they are all on different levels–from river to mid to top of falls–and it takes time to get around, especially with throngs of other tour groups. Side note: what are people looking to get out of a guided tour of the falls? “On your right…there is some water, and also on your left and below. Thanks for showing up. Tips please”. There is also a 7km hike away from the falls, various boat trips for extra money, of which we did one where we got completely drenched (awesome!) under the falls and took a free ride to San Martin Island for more views.

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The Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s Throat, basically a spot with the most water) is definitely a highlight, but I’m not sure at which hour one must go to avoid competing with a thousand people for a photo. I think the people who stay at the Sheraton inside the park might be the lucky ducks with an early sneak peek.

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The Brazilian side has all of the views from the top. But because 75% of the falls are on the Argentine side, you get to see more from Brazil. There you can also do rappelling and other adventures and take a helicopter ride over the falls and/or the Itaipu dam. Even though there is a walkway for the Garganta del Diablo, the view of it from Brazil is not even close to as jaw dropping as it is from the Argentine side.

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We were done with the Brazilian side in about 2 hours and used the extra time to see the Bird Park across the highway. I wouldn’t have gone had a friend not suggested it, and it also exceeded expectations–we could get up close and personal to Toucans, parrots, and the like. Oh and more flamingoes, wahoo.

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3 Comments

  1. Yup I am jealous.

  2. One of my all time favorites Nat. Love Iguazu.

  3. Double Rainbow!!.

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  1. Victoria Falls | Everyday We're Crushin' It - [...] Falls was our second huge waterfall experience (after Iguassu) and it was totally unlike the first. The Zambezi River…

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