I adore Niagara Falls. During our August trip in Canada, we visited once again where I continued to pledge my eternal love.. but Niagara, I’m sorry there’s a new more impressive guy in town, he’s four times wider than you, twice as tall and he’s stolen my heart.
When First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt saw the falls, she famously declared “Poor Niagara” and that it “makes Niagara look like a kitchen faucet”
Billy and Mel had told us that we would love it there. Mel had wonderfully declared in her own famous quote “There’s water pissing out everywhere!” They were right and yes Mel there is!
After our relaxing time in Florianopolis, we took a flight to the tiny airport of Foz do Iguacu, located at the bottom corner of Brazil, where the Parana River separates the three borders of Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. We stayed in the modern town in a central, great value hotel – Pietro Angelo, with additional bonus of a free pick up shuttle bus from the airport to the hotel.
The next day we set out to visit the waterfalls that look amazing on all the photos we have ever seen.
Millions of years ago huge volcanic eruptions spewed basaltic lava all over the land forming the canyon that now separates Argentina and Brazil. Then about 20,000 years ago fractures in the earth allowed water from the rainforests and mountains in the west to flow down into the Iguazu river. This water becomes rather excitable as it picks up speed before finally trundling over the ever thirsty horseshoe frame of The Devils Throat and down 90 meters of rock creating the most spectacular display of waterfalls. Water to the east has forged its way through the land, shaping mini rainforest islands. It meanders with bubbling force along 2km of the Argentinian side of the canyon creating a vast veil of cascades. While the US Grand Canyon is amazing I can honestly say this is the most impressive natural wonder I have ever seen.You not only get to see astounding waterfalls, but you’re in a steamy lush shiny rainforest where Capuchin monkeys chat to each other in the tree tops, butterflies land on you, spiders spin webs that are coated in a fine spray mist, colourful birds soar, extensive wildlife, flora and fauna lives here, it’s just incredible.
To get to the Cataratas del Iguacu from the town of Foz do Iguacu, we avoided the tour buses and opted for the public number 120 bus from the Centro station for $3.20BR – a bargain at 50p each. The last stop dropped us off at the large visitors centre into the park. It felt very much like a theme park entrance with entry fee $53 each / £9. You could pay extra for additional boat tours, which take you right to the base of the falls. We didn’t do this but it looked like a lot of very wet fun!
Organised systems of buses with lovely cooling air conditioning, then transport you through the Iguacu National Park to various stops along the side of the falls. We got off the bus at the start of the cataratas trail which follows the canyon edge.
You can hear the thundering noise of the falls before you can actually see any water. We followed the sturdy concrete path trail along until we had our first sight of the falls across the gorge on the Argentinian side. Our mouths dropped in awe!
There are lots of stops for viewing the falls all along the trail and we welcomed the misty spray on our sweaty bodies as the temperature was 32c and it was humid.
From the Brazilian side you get the full panoramic landscape views and it’s a stupendous, wow moment at every corner unveiling more waterfalls as you walk nearer to the Devils Throat.
I tried to take some decent photographs but contended with mist, water spraying from the falls and high overhead sun. I hadn’t tried a slow shutter speed before on my camera and unable to use a tripod to steady the camera, I used the wooden handrails, but didn’t quite get the full effect. The photos were a tad shaky, but it was fun to try!
At the Garganta do Diabo balcony, you could walk out to see the massive amount of dropping water and feel the force of the rapids fast flowing underneath the walkway.
We didn’t have waterproofs with us and only made it half way before getting exceptionally wet. We soon dried out in the sunshine though and made our way up the elevator tower for fabulous panoramic views where rainbows arched gloriously over the expanse of water.
Yep, totally in love with Iguacu.
Brazil Iguacu was spectacular, but the following day in Argentina was even better!