Iguazu Falls – Both the Argentinian and Brazilian sides.
August 5, 2014 – August 8, 2014
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.
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 the main attraction.
We discovered many friendly butterflies.
It was a feeling of utter amazement to see the immensity of the falls for the first time, stretched out before you.
Once we arrived at the falls we decided to go for a boat ride that takes tourists right up to and 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.
After getting wet beneath the falls we walked up to see the falls from the trails above.
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.
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 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.
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.