Iguazu Falls – it may not be the biggest, the tallest, or the most powerful – but it is the most impressive waterfall I’ve seen. And I’m someone who isn’t particularly thrilled by waterfalls – and I have no idea why. They just don’t thrill me like a mountain does or a vast open landscape or desert. So when my father and I decided to take a very quick pre-Antarctica trip up to Iguazu to see the famous falls I was doing so more for my dad than for me. I looked at it as a challenge – I wondered if these famous falls could possibly change my attitude about waterfalls.
As the plane was landing in what seemed to be the middle of jungle for as far as one could see, you could see a little puff of mist coming from a section of the jungle. I tried to send telepathic messages to the pilot to get him to just turn a bit to the right and do a fly over – but it didn’t work. The mist was only a teaser, and I would get to actually see what the fuss was all about until the next day. We went with a small tour group to the Argentinian side of the falls and brought lots of sunscreen, plastic bags for cameras, and a pashmina to try to dry things if they got wet.
The falls are in a national park and an entry ticket (130 pesos) is required to get in. Made up of 275 cascades spanning a distance of 2 mi/3 km and rising up to 300 ft/90 m high, it’s said to be one of the most impressive sights in the world. The park is well maintained and it’s train, catwalks, and trails are what is touted in the big Brazil vs. Argentina ‘which side is better debate’. There are 5 trails – and we did 3 of them.
- Circuito Superior – is a short walk to some nice viewpoints along the upper rim of the waterfalls
- Circuito Inferior – is a longer walk on the bottom end of the falls with the main attraction being the lookout to watch Salto Bossetti and Dos Hermanas. This pathway leads also to the free ferry service to Isla San Martin (that may or not be closed), and the tour operators.
- Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s Throat) – The main attraction of the Argentine side. There is a free train running up to a 1 km-long walkway across the river to stand just back from the main horseshoe of falls where the roar and spray are most tremendous (bring a plastic bag to protect your camera!).
I was also made aware of the chance to take a speed boat into the falls – there were two options – a short ride for 10 minutes or a longer ride with more waterfall dousing for about 30 minutes (plus a lame ride through the jungle) which costs 310 Pesos or about $65. I chose the longer ride to see what it was all about – and it ended up being a highlight of my day there ad a greatly needed cool-down in the stifling jungle heat.
After a day at the park experiencing the falls from the top, the bottom, and in between – I was sold – waterfalls are cool. Specifically this waterfall. I was in awe of the size and power of the Iguazu Falls and could have sat around staring at it and listening to the roar all day. Instead – I had to take a lot of photos to remember it by as we had a short time before heading to Antarctica!
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I took a three of cameras with me and tried my best to keep them dry. Luckily I had a waterproof casing for the GoPro – but for my SLR and my Galaxy SII phone – I had a plastic bag and towel that I used to try to protect it while still trying to get some great shots.
Do you have a favorite shot? Please let me know!
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