We arrived at Puerto Iguazu in North Eastern Argentina on Monday after an 18 hour bus ride. The buses here are surprising comfortable, and even brought us tasty empanadas as a snack. We managed to get a fair amount of sleep, and spent Monday finding our hostel, having a swim and getting used to the heat here. On Tuesday we took the bus to the Argentine side of the falls (the Iguazu falls can be seen from both Argentina and nearby Brazil). The park was so beautiful, with multi coloured butterflies, coatis (like a racoon) lizards and birds to see, as well as lots of walking to do. Our first hike was on the upper circuit, a beautiful walk that took us past lots of different waterfalls and gave us a view down to the San Martin Island.
We then hiked on the lower lcircuit, past stunning views of waterfalls, down to where we caught a little boat over to the Island of San Martin. We walked up to the top of this, then came down and swam in view of the waterfalls, with little fish nibbling at our feet. It was amazing. We had our picnic on the shores and watched the falls (and the tourists walking on the paths above us).
We then took a little train up to the walkway to the Devil’s throat – the most impressive part of the falls. We couldn’t even see down to the bottom as the mist and spray were so huge. We could feel the spray on our skin, and I felt quite dizzy looking down into this. This waterfall was incredible and very hard to describe. We were lucky to be there on a sunny day, as it meant we could see rainbows in the water, which were beautiful. On a side note, Lonely Planet claims that apparently tour groups up until the early 1920’s used to go by rowboat up to the rapids…they stopped doing this after one rower lost control and the whole boat went over. Walking on a catwalk felt slightly safer!
After seeing the falls from Argentina, where you get so close to so many falls, we were keen to see them from Brazil, as from there you can see the panoramic views of the falls. Both sides have the falls located in national parks. After some adventures getting there (which will probably be covered in another reflection called “How we each react when we are lost in Brazil with no visa in our passport and no local money”) we arrived at the park, and took a bus up to the walkway. This side of the park is much smaller – we probably spent over 8 hours on the Argentine side but only needed 2 hours to see the whole Brazilian side.
The Brazilian side had some great views of where we had been the previous day. They also had more coatis – the raccoon like animal which can attack when it wants food and hangs out near places where people eat.
The coatis look really cute, but they are a bit scary when they come towards you for food!
The highlight of the Brazil side was the walkway out to see the Devil’s throat. It was a really different perspective and we did not stay dry! These waterfalls are so incredible and a real “must see” if you are in South America.