15.07.2014 - 17.07.2014 24 °C
We experienced the first hiccup to our travel plans when we got to the airport in Buenos Aires. It appeared to be in chaos, even the luggage belt behind check in wasn't working so bags were just left strewn about. About an hour before take-off we discovered our flight to Puerto Iguazú had been cancelled... and ours wasn't the only one. We queued for about 2 hours to find out what the options were and were told the flight would be the same time tomorrow morning. Ratbags.
The airline put everyone up in a city centre hotel with meals provided, and I have to say it was a fairly decent hotel which came as a surprise. We were both a bit flat having spent the entire morning at the airport for nothing, so we couldn't motivate ourselves to do more sightseeing. We took the chance to chill out, do some admin and find our Rio accomm.
Unfortunately then there was a power cut, so we sat in the dark chilling out and doing admin! It had affected a few blocks not just our hotel, and the power remained off for the rest of our stay which was a right pain.
Thankfully the flight took off the following day without any hitches, although ironically we almost missed it as someone else took our taxi from the hotel which made us cut timings extremely fine, and we had to run through the airport! But anyway, panic averted and 2 hours later we had been transported to an entirely new world. Brilliant blue skies, verdant green forests and plants everywhere you looked, countless butterflies and warm temps in the mid 20s.
Puerto Iguazú was quite a cute town, if geared entirely to serve the constant flow of tourists, and is located just 11 miles from the falls. Iguazú Falls straddle both the Brazilian and Argentine borders, with roughly 80% on the Argentine side.
It's recommended to do both sides as you get a very different feel. The Argentine trails take you closer to the top and bottom of the falls, whereas from the Brazilian side you get more of a panoramic view, and really get a feel for the full extent of the falls. We'd heard that the Argentine side is better, but unfortunately some of the trails were closed as they'd been washed away from very heavy rain and floods just last month. So as it stands we actually preferred the Brazilian side.
One of the great natural wonders of the world, Iguazú Falls (according to our Rough Guide) make Niagara Falls look like a ripple. Only Victoria Falls in Africa can compare in terms of size. It is vast - comprising of 275 separate waterfalls which cascade 80m over the rim of a horseshoe shaped cliff that's 2.7km long. At any viewpoint it's impossible to see the entirety of the falls.
One path takes you up close and personal to one of the roaring curtains of water, very cool... and very wet!
Viewed from above
Because we'd lost a day from the cancelled flight we had to really rush around to see the Argentine side. By the time our flight had landed, we'd got to the guesthouse, checked in, dropped bags and caught the bus from the town to the falls, it was 4pm. The park closed at 6pm! One of the trails was quite long so we were virtually powerwalking our way around to make sure we saw everything in time. It was funny/exhausting!
We spotted several toucans and had a really great view of them in the trees - much better than the rare glimpses we got in Mindo, Ecuador
The mist thrown up rises 30m high resulting in rainbows
Looking frazzled but relieved we'd made it!
We had a more leisurely experience on the Brazilian side and really enjoyed the trails and walkways around the falls. The land border crossing was straightforward enough - our first would you believe as Laos was across the Mekong, Malaysia was by sea and everywhere else we've arrived by flight.
'Cute' coatis were commonplace... they possess a mean set of claws
At the heart of the falls is Garganta del Diablo (The Devil's Throat), where 1800 cubic metres of water per second hurtles over the rock into the misty river beneath. Wow!
We haven't had an "awwwwwwesome" for a while
Pretty damn spectacular I think you'd agree.