Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Iguassu Falls - Argentina

Iguassu Falls - the largest waterfalls system in the world - was one of the most powerful spectacles I've experienced in my travels!  It was worth the special trip we made from Buenos Aires before the start of our Patagonia Tour.  We spent two days at the falls, one on the Argentinian side and a good part of the second day on the Brazilian side of the falls.

We started on the Argentinian side in Iguazu National Park.  Our driver advised us to go to the Devil's Throat first as the trail has no shade and there was always a lineup for the train shuttle.  That was good advice.  We waited 45 minutes for the train which ran every half hour.  For anyone planning a trip and are only spending one day in the park on the Argentinian side - make sure enough time is allotted for the 3 main trails. The best strategy is to take the train shuttle to the Devil's Throat first thing in the morning when there are fewer people (there are always crowds!) and therefore less of a lineup for the train.  This is the longest trail and the only one with transport. The viewing area is a limited area on a platform over the falls, so it would be an advantage to make it there early and beat the crowds.  The Upper and Lower trails wind through the forest to the falls and it is best to do these when the sun is hot (or if it's raining).

Spray is a problem at the Devil's Throat depending on the wind direction.  It was a sunny relatively windless day so I was able to get by with just a shower cap over my camera.  The upper trail was far enough from the falls that spray did not pose a problem but the waterfall at the end of the lower trail was right above the platform and no rain sleeve or shower cap could keep the camera dry.  I used my underwater camera at that point but even then, shots have a water film on them.

Lineups and sprays aside, the waterfalls were spectacular and we had a very enjoyable day viewing the falls from different angles, starting above the falls at the Devil's Throat, then at mid-levels on the upper trail and finally below the falls at the lower trail.  There were also lots of wild life in the Park, butterflies, coatis (whole families), birds, turtles, monkeys, even a cayman!

The "Devil'ls Throat"
Closeup of the vortex
The walkway to the falls from the train station
Looking at the Brazilian side of the Devil's Throat

The view from the Upper trail
The falls are in so many layers and levels - here we are still above some sections of the falls
Platforms built over the falls allow visitors to stand almost right over it...and under!
Looking at the Lower trail from the Upper trail
Walking by a waterfall on the lower trail
On the platform at the end of the lower trail - you get very wet as you are right below - these were taken with my underwater camera...

Of course, if you want to get very wet, you could hop on the boat tour which would take you right to the bottom of the falls!  (best done in swim suits)


Cayman in the water near a pedestrian bridge

Coatis own the park - they will appear the moment you have food in your hands...

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