Las Cataratas do Iguaçu
nature at its finest
Between our jobs in La Paloma and Cordóba we decided to take some days off and had a little detour to visit the Iguazu Falls at the Argentinan, Brazilian and Paraguayan border.
For that we hitchhiked to Porto Alegre in southern Brazil and spent one night in a hotel (60$R = 15€ per person, hostels are available from 10€). Other common places to reach Iguazu are Buenos Aires, Florianopolis or São Paulo. The next day we continued our trip by bus to Foz do Iguazu (aviable from 160R$ = 40€), where we stayed for two days with a host from CouchSurfing.
Foz do Iguaçu is the closest city to the waterfalls on the Brazilian side of the reservoir. Its a town of 250.000 inhabitants with lots of sights around to visit like the falls, the bird park, the Itaipu Dam, one of the biggest hydroelectric dams worldwide as well as the Triple Frontera, the place where Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil meet.
The Argentinian equivalent to Foz is Puerto Iguazú, it is way smaller and the connection to the waterfalls is more complicated and expensive. For 4 reales (50cent) you can take a bus from one to the other city but you need to pass two immigration points, so you should calculate at least 1 hour for the trip.
Our initial plan was to stay for 3 days and visit both sides of the waterfalls, the Bird park and Itaipu Dam. Poorly el niño thwarted our plans. The rain started when we crossed the border to Brazil and didn't stop until we left the country. We hit the bottom in Foz do Iguaçu where it was non stop heavily raining, so we shortened our trip to 2 days and only visited the falls in Brazil.
It was mind-blowing. With a length of 2,7 km, heights up to 82 m, more than 270 individual waterfalls and a water quantity up to 7000 m³/s are the Iguazu Falls are one of the biggest and most amazing waterfall systems in the world. Since the majority of the waterfalls are located in Argentina you have the better panorama view on the Brazilian side of the park. Its a secured path along the river with an amazing view, which ends in a jetty in front of the Garganta del Diablo (the devils throat), an U-shaped, 82 m high, 150 m wide, and 700 m long waterfall. You should definitely take a waterproof jacket or buy a rain cover from the several venders in and around the park, a regular shower is nothing against that.
To reach the reservoir you can take a bus from the Terminal urbano Foz do Iguaçu. The entrance fee was 60 reales (15€), payable by cash or card but the price varies between visitors from different nationalities. It includes the bus ride from the entrance of the park to the waterfalls other services like a rafting tour or a helicopter flight can be booked additionally. Without the extra tours 2-3 hours is a good time to spent in the reservoir.
Our host told us, that the Argentinian side is bigger and more impressive than the Brazilian part. You have the chance to come really close to the waterfalls, better paths and more places to relax and enjoy the rainforest. The entrance fee is 180 $AR (ca. 12€) and needs to be payed in cash. You can calculate 6-8 hours to walk through the whole reservoir.
After 2 days of incredible heavy rain we decided to take the bus to move on to Cordóba.
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