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Iguazu Falls along the border of Argentina and Brazil

Iguazu Falls – Both the Argentinian and Brazilian sides.

August 5, 2014 – August 8, 2014

Full Iguazu Falls Photo Gallery

Our last stop in Argentina was Iguazu Falls, in the northeast corner of Argentina along the border with Brazil and just a few miles from the border of Paraguay.  At 1.7 miles wide Iguazu is one of the widest waterfalls in the world, and 279 feet at its longest drop.  It is actually a collection of hundreds of smaller waterfalls along the Iguazu river.

After a 24 hour bus ride from Salta we arrived in the afternoon and checked into our hostel.  Luckily the hostel was just two blocks away from the Brazilian consulate which would make getting our Brazilian visas very easy.  We also toured the city of Puerto Iguazu, Argentina and walked along the river.  The city is actually fairly small and nearly everything is within easy walking distance.

The city of Iguazu at sunset.
The city of Puerto Iguazu, Argentina at sunset.
The Iguazu river along the Argentinian border, Brazil is on the opposite side and Paraguay is in the far left distance.
The Iguazu river along the Argentinian border, Brazil is on the opposite side and Paraguay is in the far left distance.
Based on the recommendation of an Argentinian we had met in Cafayate, we tried the local river fish called surubi, it was delicious!
Based on the recommendation of an Argentinian we had met in Cafayate, we tried the local river fish called surubi, it was delicious!

Iguazu Falls – The Argentina side

The park is easily accessible via a short bus ride from town.  The entrance is a bit like entering a large theme park with lots of tourist shops and places to get food.  The food is a bit pricey here, we would recommend bringing in your own.  The park is massive and once inside there are different ways to get to the actual falls, train, bus or hiking.  Since we had time we elected to hike to the falls.

We took a short hike to a smaller waterfall on the way to main attraction.

We took a short hike to a smaller waterfall on the way to the main attraction.

argentina_iguazu_falls3We discovered many friendly butterflies.

We discovered many friendly butterflies.

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Racoon like Coati are everywhere in the park, looking for food handouts or food to steal.
Racoon-like coati are everywhere in the park, looking for food handouts or food to steal.
The Coati at Iguazu do not fear humans and will steal and beg for food.
The coati at Iguazu do not fear humans and will steal and beg for food. Signs all over the park warn not to feed the coati, and that they will bite.

 

It was a feeling of utter amazement to see the immensity of the falls for the first time, stretched out before you.

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Once we arrived at the falls we decided to go for a boat ride that takes tourists right up to and under the waterfalls.

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We boarded boat and immediately began to wonder what we had just signed up for.
We boarded the boat and immediately began to wonder what we had just signed up for.
We were starting to think this was close enough.
We were starting to think this was close enough.
The  captain told everyone to put their cameras away and then drove right under the waterfalls.
The captain told everyone to put their cameras away and then drove right under the waterfalls.

The boat made multiple trips directly under the pounding water, we were completely soaked in the freezing water and left cold and wondering why we had done it.  Luckily it was hot out and we wore clothes that dried quickly.  While we wouldn’t do it again it was actually quite fun and we were glad we did it.

Krista soaked after the boat ride.
Krista soaked after the boat ride.

After getting wet beneath the falls we walked up to see the falls from the trails above.

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These birds were everywhere in the park, checking out the tourists.
These plush-crested jays were everywhere in the park, checking out the tourists.
The end of the trail, a walkway that extended another kilometer out had been washed away.
The end of the trail, a walkway that extended another kilometer out had been damaged due to recent high water levels.  Unfortunately the “Devil’s Throat” platform further up the river, usually one of the highlights of the Argentinian side, was also closed for the same reason.

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Iguazu Falls – The Brazil Side

After checking out of our hostel, we crossed the border into Brazil with our recently acquired visas, and visited the Brazilian side of the waterfall.  By contrast to the small Argentinian town of Puerto Iguazu, Foz de Iguacu on the Brazilian side is a gigantic city with tons of skyscrapers.  After exchanging our leftover pesos for Brazilian reals, we took a bus to the falls, and stored our luggage in a locker before entering the park.

There are differing opinions from people we talked to, but we liked the Brazilian side even better than the Argentinian side.  Upon entering the park all visitors are immediately ushered on board a bus for the 15 or so minute ride to the falls.

 

The Brazilian side offered higher views of the falls.
The Brazilian side offered higher views of the falls.
Hungry Coati roam the Brazilian side as well.
Hungry coati roam the Brazilian side as well.

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There were a lot more friendly butterflies on the Brazilian side as well, this one was number 88.
There were a lot more friendly butterflies on the Brazilian side as well, this one was number 88.

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The Brazilian side offered better panoramas and more angles on the falls.
The Brazilian side offered better panoramas and more angles on the falls.

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A walkway extended over the river, with so much mist it felt like it was raining.

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This water was so close you could almost touch it.
This water was so close you could almost touch it.

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Though we liked the Brazilian side better, to be fair the best walkways with views on the Argentinian side were literally built above the water and had been damaged in a flood before our visit. They would have offered even better views from their side of the falls and will be rebuilt for future visitors.  We were happy we saw the falls from both perspectives and recommend seeing both sides if you have the time.

Parque Das Aves – Bird Sanctuary at Iguazu

After touring the falls on the Brazilian side we crossed the street from their park entrance and visited the highly rated Parque Das Aves, the Bird Sanctuary.

The first animal in the bird sanctuary was this Black-Tufted-Ear Marmoset... because, that's why.
The first animal in the bird sanctuary was this Black-Tufted-Ear Marmoset… because, that’s why.  He looks like he’s about ready to punch someone.

The best part of this bird sanctuary is that many of the birds are in large fully enclosed aviaries which visitors can walk through so their are no bars or fences between the birds and the visitors.  Many of the birds are used to tourists and will pose for pictures just a few feet away.

Flamingos, and the Scarlet Ibis (red).
Flamingos, and the Scarlet Ibis (red).

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Grey Crowned Crane.
Grey Crowned Crane.
Krista finally got to see Tucans close up, she had been wanting to see them since the jungle in Ecuador.
Krista finally got to see toucans close up, she had been wanting to see them since the jungle in Ecuador.

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A Chinese Golden Pheasant.
A Chinese Golden Pheasant.
This bird was checking us out while I posed for pictures.
This bird was checking us out while I posed for pictures.
Careful what you walk under...
Careful what you walk under…
This was the very noisy Macaw area.
This was the very noisy Macaw area.

After the Parque Das Aves, we retrieved our luggage from the locker and headed to the Foz de Iguacu long distance bus terminal to take an overnight bus to Curitiba.

 

One thought on “Iguazu Falls along the border of Argentina and Brazil”

  1. Wow – haha, butterfly number 88 cracked me up! I’m very happy for you guys to have this opportunity :) Thank you for sharing as much as you do; it’s quite generous, really!
    Wishing for safe, fun and exciting travels to you both, always

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