Iguazu falls They are an imposing series of waterfalls and falls that is located right on the border between Argentina and Brazil. Although they can be visited from both countries, the visit from the Argentine territory is the best because you get inside and between the waterfalls and that is priceless.
The Iguazú River originates in Brazil, in the Serra do Mar, and after traveling 1300 kilometers it empties into the Alto Paraná River. Along this route are located the 270 waterfalls that it has and the famous Devil's Throat, a phenomenal waterfall 80 meters high that is the pearl of the Iguazú National Park. I was last weekend for the first time in my life so I have several tips when visiting the Iguazu Falls:
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On one side Argentina, on the other Brazil, the waterfalls of the Iguazú River they are inside the jungle, today a protected area in both countries. On the Argentine side are part of the Iguazú National Park and recently one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
They have around 275 jumps and the vast majority, 80% are located on the Argentine side, the lavish Devil's Throat included. On the Brazilian side there is a better view, like a postcard, because you see all the waterfalls in a beautiful panoramic view, but the best walk of all, the one that takes you into the jungle and allows you to see the waterfalls from above, below and in the middle of water, is what Argentina offers. It is calculated that the flow of the waterfalls is 1500 cubic meters of water per second But it all depends on the rains and there have been extraordinary floods that have resulted in bubbling and explosive waterfalls.
The territory was inhabited by the Guaraní tribe until the arrival of the white colonizer. It was Álvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca who sighted the falls in 1542 and at the beginning of the XNUMXth century the Jesuits began their missionary activity. Of this activity there are some Jesuit ruins that can also be visited, although they are more or less two hours from the waterfalls.
Visit the Iguazu Falls
«From Brazil you can see the waterfalls and from Argentina you can live it». It is what is commonly said because, as I said before, from the Brazilian side the views are great but from Argentina you get into the waterfalls. In two days you can visit both countries, if only one side is not enough for you. If you don't have time, it is better to visit the Iguazú National Park, on the Argentine side.
The park was created in 1934 to conserve the biodiversity of the region and is in the Argentine province of Misiones. The closest city, with its own airport, is the city of Puerto Iguazú. This is where all tourism comes. You can take a plane anywhere in Argentina and get to Iguazú. The area is full of hotels and tourism agencies that organize tours so it is really very easy to visit.
The park is open every day of the year from early morning until 6 pm although the last entry is allowed at 4:30 pm. The rates are expressed in Argentine pesos and the ticket payment is in cash. Credit cards are not accepted at the ticket offices, only cash. Inside, in shops, kiosks and excursions you can pay by credit card. A shame, if you ask me, being such a touristy place you have to think about bringing hard cash to pay the entrance, something a bit peculiar.
As well You must present a document or passport before paying as there are differential rates: general admission costs AR $ 260, residents of Mercosur (common area of South America) pay AR $ 200 and Argentines pay AR $ 160, adults. Minors between the ages of six and twelve pay AR $ 65, 50 and 40 respectively. Parking is also charged, which is AR $ 70 per car. In the area of the Access Portal to the park there are paid lockers where you can leave your backpack.
If you are going to stay in Iguazú for two or three days, the usual, and you want to explore the park more calmly, you can access the Two Days in the Park pass with a 50% discount the second day. When you finish the first tour, all you have to do is return to the ticket offices or ticket offices and revalidate the ticket by paying 50% of it. The second visit must be yes or yes on the consecutive day. For example, if the first day you went through the jumps the second you can do the boat ride or some other nautical tour of those offered.
Tour the Iguazu Falls
The Park is big and there are several trails and circuits so it is convenient to know well what we are going to do inside. I recommend doing the following: Lower Circuit, Upper Circuit and Devil's Throat. In that order, because the images go in growing in beauty and when you get to the Throat it is shocking. Many people start the other way around, but I don't recommend it as expectations are going down.
- Lower Circuit: have Meters long 1700, some stairs and a panoramic balcony over the Iguazú canyon. It is estimated that the entire tour can last one hour and 45 minutes and there is a common rest area with toilets and a bar in the access area to the circuit. The footbridges gradually enter the jungle, crossing streams and lush forests without sun until they reach the Dos Hermanas, Ramirez and Chico Falls. Then you run into the Bossetti Falls and later in the walk you end up on the balcony of the river canyon with a view of the Devil's Throat and its fantastic mist. The last section of the circuit that returns you to the entrance area is the one with stairs and passes through three more waterfalls.
- Upper Circuit: it travels Meters long 1750 y it has no stairs. Calculates two hours of travel and it also has a restroom and bar area. It allows you to see the basin of all the falls and there are many viewing balconies to enjoy the views. You literally go over the top of the falls and there are several rest areas with seats to relax, listen to the water and take photos.The walk leaves you on the very edge of the Salto San Martín, a very panoramic point that also allows you a wide view of the side Argentine and Brazilian side, San Martin Island and the walkway that you will soon have to travel to get to the Devil's Throat.
- Devil's throat: it travels 2.200 meters, round trip And it is also without stairs, only with long walkways that lead you to the Throat itself. It is 1100 meters until you reach the 80 meter high drop, waves of mist that soak you and a deafening noise. You arrive tired from so much walking but as soon as you see that spectacle you forget about the heat, the walk and the sun. It is a beauty.
You can also follow some trails like the Sendero Macuco and Salto Arrechea or the Sendero Verde. You can join both circuits and the Garganta on foot, it is not as tiring as it sounds. There is an ecological train, free, which does the same route but in high season there are many people and you spend it waiting at the station.
Other tours in the Iguazu Falls
If you have time and some extra money there are some nautical walks fantastic:
- Great adventure: they are tours in special trucks through the interior of the jungle. Five kilometers to the dock from where you board a boat that travels 6 kilometers to the canyon of the Iguazú River. You live the rapids and see the waterfalls.
- Nautical Adventure: With powerful boats you navigate through the river canyon, bordering San Martín Island and arriving at the Tres Mosqueteros waterfall to see the Gorge.
- Ecological Walk: the rides are in rowing rafts, calmer, quieter. It is a descent of almost three kilometers that allows you to be close to the local flora and fauna.
- 4 × 4 safaris: there are several tours aboard 4 x 4 vans, lasting two hours. They are regular departures in Spanish and English, between 10:30 am and 4 pm. Eight passengers per vehicle, AR $ 550 per adult and AR $ 275 for children between 6 and 12 years old.
Finally, a tourism agency charges around AR $ 300 per person to do the tour. They pick you up at 7:30 am in a van and in a group you do the whole journey to finish around 5 pm. The other option, the one that I did and recommend, is hire a taxi and arrange with the driver to take you and pick you up at a certain time. They charge AR $ 450 and you have more freedom. A flight from Buenos Aires is between AR $ 2200 and AR $ 4000, it all depends on the anticipation of the reservation or the date of the year. Aerolineas Argentinas and Lan have daily flights.