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mistybleu Iguassu - A travel report by Amanda
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Iguassu,  Argentina - flag Argentina -  Misiones
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mistybleu's travel reports

A day in Iguazu Falls

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Iguazu is the world’s largest waterfall and has approx 234 different waterfalls that pours into the Rio Iguazu, that flows between Argentina and Brazil. Whilst it’s a must to see from both sides, the Argentinean side allows you to explore it up close.


Iguassu
Iguassu
We organised a private tour at the airport, the evening we arrived, just to take away the pressure, but it really turned out to be just transportation, as we didn't have a guide.

After oversleeping our driver picked us up from our hotel at about 9 o'clock and we set out for Argentina. We crossed the Argentinean border; even though we had to technically pass thourgh border control, our passports weren’t stamped as we were considered ‘day trippers’, I was a little bumbed about that.

We arrived at the Parque Nacional do Iguacu and boarded a truck (Iguazu Jungle Explorer) that took us through the jungle. There our guide explained some of the different flora and fauna, which are indigenous to the area. It was really exhiting being here, as we weren't going to be traveling to the Amazon so this was going to be our only experience of a jungle. We actaully saw a monkey in the trees but that was the only wildlife, apparently the others are nocturnal.

The rainy season is between April and July which usually means the skys are usually overcast and as you approach falls it can get quite cold - but a waterproof fleece would suffice. The best thing is that as it is rainy season, the quantities of water is at its greatest, and is by far the most impressive time of year. We were advised to avoid Easter, as it see huge amounts of local tourist coming from both Brazil and Agentina.

Once in the falls, there were numerous paths and trails that we took to various viewing points; some were a little strenuous but it all added to the enjoyment.

Favourite spots:
Rio Iguazu
Rio Iguazu
After the Jungle Tour, we took the most exhilarating boat ride we'd ever done. We took a high-speed speedboat up the river - brilliant, the rush was exhilarating. Initially the water was calm and free flowing, until we neared the falls, the surface became very choppy, at which point we slowed down and were briefed on what was going to happen next. We ended up under the falls and soaked - silly me forget to put my jacket into a plastic bag to keep them dry, but it was worth it, and I have the video to prove it.

Between 9am–4pm for just $5 return you can cross to the Isla San Martín, which really shouldn't be missed. It has some wonderful vantage points. One of the many enchanting spots is La Ventana, a rock formation that looks like a window. There are also some fine natural deep pool to take a quick dip.

What's really great:
Iguassu from Brazil
Iguassu from Brazil
Most people tend to only visit the Iguazu for a day and miss out on seeing from one side. But best thing for us, was having sufficient time to explore both side of the falls. The Brazillian side gives great panoramic views and it's very easy to get a bus from Foz do Iguacu for about $2 to the main gates. Then another bus inside the National Park that I belive they run every half hour and the price is included in the entrance fee.

You can probabley see it in a morning and using a catwalk, a winding footpath and a lift, you can stand below the vast torrent of water that flowed from the Devil's Throat where the spray was so intense I can’t even take pictures.

There are only two hotels within the park – Hotel Sheraton Internacional (Argentina) and Tropical das Catasrastas Hotel (Brazil); I chose the latter, because it offered free drinks to watch the sun go down, after which I took the bus back to my pick up point.

Sights:
Devil's Throat
Devil's Throat
One of the pathways leads to a train station (there was also has a cafe ), so while we waited we had some lunch. We then took the train to the Garganta del Diablo or ‘Devils Throat’; this is where 14 falls combine into a 100-metre drop pounding down. If the weather is good, the force of the water creates a constant rainbow, but we weren't so lucky, as the day was completely overcast.

We were told that the best way to see the falls is by helicopter, but alas the weather again. But really its fabulous to see it up close. A couple of the tourist were asking us to compare Iguassu to Niagara. I think its very hard to compare, as they are so different yet the vast size of Iguassu makes it more impressive.

One of the funny things is, as Iguazu is on the border, it was difficult to remember when to speak Spanish or Portuguese, sometimes when purchasing souvenirs, quite often I said ‘obrgida’ instead of saying ‘gracias’, as my knowledege is limited in both language

Accommodations:
Hotel Colonial Iguacu
Hotel Colonial Iguacu
We stayed at the Hotel Colonial Iguacu, which was meant to be a 4 star hotel; we would say that the facilities and surroundings are 4-star, but the rooms are more like 3-star. The good thing about the hotel was the location - close to the Airport, maybe a 5 minutes drive and it was also relatively close the falls as well.

The Tropical das Catasrastas Hotel located insde the park and if we ever visited the area again we would definitely say there.

Restaurants:
The Falls
The Falls
Spending the time in the National Park means either taking a pack lunch or stopping in one of the few cafes. We didn't think the food was great, but it allowed us to have a bigger evening meal.

Back in Brazil on Avenue Brazilia, in Foz du Iguassu, there were many restaurants. In the height of the summer season, I can imagine it must be heaving, but when we went in May, it was quite quiet.

Other recommendations:
Ciudad del Este
Ciudad del Este
The 400-yard ‘Friendship Bridge’ that links the Brazil to Paraguay, is constantly packed with trucks, cars and motorbikes jammed full of goods bought or stolen in Brazil. It is quite customary to see people hauling up the boxes from the Paraná River below with the officials just looking on.

Ciudad del Este – the City of the East, so we were told, has become a centre for illegal behavour; and luckily our trip lasted all of two hours so we were very happy to see the back of Paraguay, but it's probably better to continue on to Ascuncion - the Capital.

Published on Tuesday August 22th, 2006


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Tue, Jul 26 2011 - 03:25 PM rating by shervin19

Intersting and realy perfect.

Mon, Feb 11 2008 - 09:08 AM rating by krisek

Your report is great. I will use this info when I go to Brazil/Argentina to see the falls!

Wed, Jan 09 2008 - 11:29 PM rating by fieryfox

Wow, the photos are spectacular. Great Report Amanda!

Mon, Feb 12 2007 - 03:13 PM rating by travler

I enjoyed reading your report because I've only been to Buenos Aires

Sun, Aug 27 2006 - 09:13 AM rating by magsalex

Looks like an amazing place to visit.

Sat, Aug 26 2006 - 12:47 PM rating by st.vincent

I was hoping we would see a report to go along with the great slideshow.

Fri, Aug 25 2006 - 11:04 PM rating by mrscanada

Wonderful photos and I'd love to go back to Brazil.

Lyla

Fri, Aug 25 2006 - 09:30 AM rating by gloriajames

what an adventure! well done! great report and pics!

Wed, Aug 23 2006 - 10:55 AM rating by frenchfrog

Very impressive report, I would love to see "the Devil's fallas", it must have been very impressive. Very well written, another great report.

Wed, Aug 23 2006 - 10:03 AM rating by marianne

Another wonderful report. Impressive and informative, a joy to read.

Wed, Aug 23 2006 - 03:56 AM rating by downundergal

Loads of info and great pics. Well done. I regret not getting there when I went to SA, sigh.

Tue, Aug 22 2006 - 09:54 PM rating by eirekay

Amanda ~ Great report about one of the places on my "to do" list! I love the idea of seeing both sides of the falls. Great pics!

Tue, Aug 22 2006 - 05:04 PM rating by rangutan

Wonderfully described Amanda. I also overslept there, remember not getting good sleep because the hotel is only about a kilometer from the falls with constant rumbling through the night. Nice evening and night walks though. You were lucky, because of drought, the falls reduced to a trickle end of June 2006!

Tue, Aug 22 2006 - 04:41 PM rating by davidx

This is really inspirational. Thanks a lot.

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