After a long day’s drive in mid 30 degrees heat we arrived at Iguazu Falls. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the planets many awe-inspiring sights, they are simply astounding. A visit is jaw-dropping, and the power and the noise of the cascades is wonderful. I think the setting even makes it more special, as they are split between Brazil and Argentina in a huge national park, a lot of it being rain forest, but also has flora and fauna, thousands of different insects, hundreds of birds, mammals and reptiles. In total they stretch for 3 km and there are over 250 waterfalls.
The Argentine and Brazilian sides obviously offer different views and experiences of the falls, but we saw it from the Argentine side so we had a great variety of trails and boat rides. Also both days were clear blue skies so we saw lovely rainbows and many multi-coloured butterflies which only emerge when the sun is shinning. Walking around is the best way to see the falls, with loads of walking paths offering great views over the cascades. You can also take a train which takes you to the most spectacular sight, the Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s Throat, 80 meters high) but it is very walkable also (mind you Merv might disagree, but anyway). Here the lookout platform is perched right over this amazing powerful torrent of water, and yes, with the mighty spray you get good and wet , fantastic. Here is a photographers opportunity of making money as I counted 22 ladders (not all in use I might add, as off peak season) which they use to take photos, with yes a pretty cool background. Anyway I had my own photographer with me, so I will leave it up to you guys to see if he fitted the bill !
Also on these trails you will see large lizards, coatimundi which are one of the most commonly spotted mammals (part of the raccoon family) who like to share your lunch as I found out today as one went to grab my ‘crisps’ but I was faster than him, but you have to be careful as they can bite you. Also we saw some chattering Capuchin monkey’s , who were just jumping from tree to tree, eating leaves as they went, plus an otter fishing, and boy, was he strong to be able to fish and keep himself steady against the flow of the water, plus massive fish more that 2 foot long, and then of course some huge turtles out sunbathing.
Who wants to be a ‘photographer’ when you can be a ‘THRILL SEEKER’ instead, and if you think the walkways give you a close-up view, think again, as nothing beats taking the boat ride straight into the magnificent Salto San Martin waterfall , here its up close and intimate, so much spray and water that you can hardly see where you going, maybe that’s not so bad as you don’t realize how close to the edge you were, and oh yes , every inch of you is wet, no fun otherwise, but a wonderful 10 minutes! After all, 28 days at sea just wasn’t enough! You gotta live life!
The only place we found for camping was the “Complejo Turístico Americano” which is located on the National Route 12, three km from Puerto Iguazú and 15 km from the Iguazú Falls. And they have good wifi!
(Added in 2014 – It’s well worth visiting Angel falls in Venezuela if you are really into waterfalls!)