The journey to Iguazu was extremely long, we had set off the night before from Bonito on a shared bus driving all the way through the night to get to Foz do Iguacu on the Brazilian side. We arrived at about 6am after 8hrs on the bus. It wasnt comfortable and I had a lass next to me that kept leaning on me through the night and waking me up. I suppose its all the experience and character building.
When we go to the hotel we were all pretty tired and grumpy, we had breakfast at the hotel and they allowed us to check in early. We headed upstairs to our rooms and crashed for a couple of hours. It was a good job we got to have a sleep as I had ben looking forward to seeing the falls since I booked onto the trip.
We headed off early afternoon to walk around the Brazilian side of the falls. We parked up had some very expensive lunch at the café entrance and headed off to the start of the walk. Our guide was really informative however all I wanted to do was walk off to look at the falls. The guide was discussing the fauna and flora that we could see in the area, the most famous being Coatis, which I hadn’t seen yet. Our first view of the falls were well off however it was beautiful. We were told to not take too many pictures at the start and just to make our way to the end of the track
Iguazu Falls are located on the Iguazu river on the border of Argentina and Brazil. It is the largest waterfall system in the world with around 275 waterfalls and around 62000 cubic feet per second of water cascade down the falls. In rainy season the larger falls can join up to make one large fall. Iguazu is also one of the seven natural wonders of the world and when you’re there its not hard to see why.
We did spend a lot of time at the end of the walkway and I must have taken well over 200 photos between my phone and camera. We headed off out of the park and towards the very expensive hotel which is located within the national park we had a seat outside in the sun with a glass of wine with a lovely view of the falls in the distance. A few of us had decided to go for a helicopter ride over the falls and to meet up with one of the other group in the Bird Sanctuary across the road afterwards. I was a little nervous as I am petrified of flying at the best of times. One of the guys jumped in the front and me and my room mate went in the back and then a random guy jumped in with us which was a shame as my room mate was then forced to sit in the middle where your view is pretty rubbish. However we worked it out so she could get some good shots. The flight was only around 15 min and most of that time was flying to and from the falls.
The views were well worth the expense and its something not everyone gets a chance to experience and I would recommend it.
After the high of the helicopter ride we headed over to the Bird Sanctuary, it wasn’t that expensive and it was brilliant. Most of the birds you get to see up close as you can go into their aviaries. I spent about 30 minutes in with the hummingbirds trying to get a perfect shot of one of the hovering. I managed to get quite a few good shots though so it was well worth it.
That night we headed out for a group meal to a restaurant near the hotel. Eating out in Brazil is a bit different as most places are normally buffet style – price per head or price per weight. It is very meat orientated as well so can be difficult very vegetarians to have a varied diet. The drink was pretty cheap in the hotel so my room mate and myself shared a bottle of wine. We all headed off to bed pretty early as it was going to be a long day on the Argentinian side of the waterfalls.
Our group merged with another G Adventures group that morning to get to Iguazu on the Argentinian side, just to make it easier for the border crossing. It was a very odd set up, we technically speaking never left Brazil so we had an entry stamp into Argentina but not out of Brazil.
It was a bit of a mad rush to get on the train in the national park to get down to Argentinas most famous waterfall “Devil’s Throat”. The train is very small and they cram you in the seats and it moves incredibly slowly, so be warned if you don’t like small spaces. Once we got there we sat around and waited until the rest of our group arrived and headed off down the pathway across the river.
There are around 14 waterfalls making up the Devils Throat which plunge around 350ft into the river below. In the video clip above you can see Great Dusky Swifts which fly very close to the waterfall. The spray is immense and rises high above the waterfall. It truly is spectacular and I don’t think words, pictures or videos can summarise just how amazing this place is.
After the Devils Throat we headed back up on the train and headed off around on one of the many walks that you can do around the national park. On the Argentinian side there are a lot more waterfalls and it is slightly better however if I had a choice to do both again I would as the Brazilian side gives you a better perspective. But if you do the Argentinian side first don’t expect too much from the Brazilian side. The walk went on for a couple of hours and we took our time and just enjoyed the scenery.
We did have a close encounter with a Coati which came down from one of the trees next to me which was brilliant. They are extremely cute.
After this long walk we had a nice sit down in the sun having some lunch, in my case this was an ice cream chocolate milkshake. We hung around for the jet boat experience which we had paid for yesterday. This experience takes you on a boat up the river very close to the waterfalls and underneath a couple of them.
The trip to the jet boat dock was very good, we had a guide who spoke about deforestation and the animals that can be found in the area. We got on the jet boat at the back as apparently that was the best seat. It started out pretty slow however it soon picked up. We got to go under two waterfalls, one rather small one which was a tad disappointing and then a very big waterfall. We did not go under this waterfall however from the video below you can see we got soaked anyway, and it was incredibly fun.
After this we walked up to the top of the path and headed off towards the van for our return trip to the hotel in Brazil. A couple of us booked onto a night time tour of Iguazu as it was a full moon event, so we had to get back to Brazil eat and come back again in a taxi on your own. We got a taxi from our hotel across the border into Argentina and he waited for us while the tour took place which is a few hours so be prepared to pay a little extra.
If the night time tour is an option you get then I would definitely suggest booking onto an early slot. We were told to get there for 8pm however our tour didn’t start until 9pm meaning we wouldn’t get back to the hotel until close to midnight and we had to be up very early the next day. It was very cold at night in the park and I wasn’t dressed for that, so I was freezing. We got on the train and had the slow ride back down to Devils Throat. By this point I was cold and tired and a bit annoyed at the organisation of it all, however as soon as we got to the falls I was amazed. The full moon lit up the water and it looked fantastic. I was also surprised at the heat coming off the water, making it actually quite warm by the water. I took a lot of photos but only a few came out which showed the light on the water, my camera got soaked in the process as the breeze was blowing the spray towards the tourist deck.
All in all, every single one of the experiences at Iguazu was amazing and should be a must do for anyone visiting Argentina and Brazil. Not many people get to see Iguazu at night so if there is a full moon when you are touring I highly suggest you book early and get on the trip, as we were lucky that our guide managed to sneak us on.