Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Argentina: Iguazu Falls

I had never heard of Iguazu Falls until I began properly looking into Argentina. Its lack of fame compared to, say, Niagra is probably due to its remote location but it is truly the most sublime natural phenomenon I have ever seen. Over 200 cascades tumbling down across a vast stretch of dramatic cliffs and subtropical forest, they are a sight worth traveling for.

The falls themselves are shared with Brazil, lying along the border of the far North Eastern corner of Argentina. To make the most of a visit and see them from both countries, 2 days are needed. 

We went to the Brazilian side first by taxi. From there you get the most panoramic view of the falls and get a sense of their scale (though what you see is by no means the entire stretch).

From the Brazilian side you can also walk along a platform above a steep waterfall drop with a particularly large and beautiful waterfall above and behind you. Walking along is vertiginous and exhilarating and gets you absolutely soaked!

The next day we went to the Argentinian side and had a lovely day going up and down the various walkways to get the best views.

We also took the little train to the 'Garganta del Diablo' - the devil's mouth, where you can walk right up to the edge of a huge precipice into which the entire surrounding water falls. This is beautiful and terrifying as huge clouds of spray bellow out of the drop when a particularly violent gush of water falls. If you are lucky, as we were, and the weather is good, rainbows will dance on each cloud of spray as they rise into the sunlight.

approaching the devil's mouth

Aside from the spectacular falls, the Iguazu park offers a little mud track walk into the surrounding rainforest. It is called the Sendero Macuco trail and is a nice way to get away from the crowds and hopefully see some of the forest's wildlife.

In the evening there isn't much to do in the nearest town - Puerto Iguazu - but we did find a great restaurant called Jasy where we tried Pacu - a local river fish and had delicious Caipirinhas for around 28 pesos (the equivalent of £1.50)