About Iguazú Falls
One of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world and one of the top attractions in Argentina, Iguazu Falls, which falls along the border of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay, is an impressive series of 275 waterfalls stretching across a 2.7 kilometres (1.67 mile) portion of the Iguazu River. It is rivaled in might only by Victoria Falls in Southern Africa.
The actual amount of flow varies between dry and wet season, but during peak flow, the waterfall has a surface area of 400,000 square metres.
It is possible to view the Iguazu falls from a number of vistas. The most famous one is Garganta do Diablo (The Devil's Throat), an horseshoe shaped area where the water drops down along three sides. It is the world's mightiest single water fall.
The best views of Iguazu Falls are from the Argentine side, although the Brazilian side offers a more panoramic view of the falls. The most impressive time to view the falls are from December to February, whereas the nicest weather is from April to July.
First To Review: Kieran O.
Oct 11, 2008
I am a big fan of Wong Kar-Wai, the Cannes Award winning director of the movie "Happy Together", who recently started making US movies ("My Blueberry Nights"). "Happy Together" was a love story set in Argentina. The main storyline tells of a pair of lovers who were going to Iguazu Falls for a holiday, but got lost while driving there. They then fell out, got back together and finally decided to split. One of the lover ended up going to the Falls alone, while the other moved to the former's flat, and cried over a lamp which depicts the Falls. The former stood in front of the Falls, looked up and said that he was unhappy, because "he always believed that the Falls belong to couples". A touching and beautfiul moment...
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Oct 27, 2008
Today was the day where I had to somehow burn off a couple of week’s worth of eating superb South American steak that had been washed down with too many bottles of Malbec. In a vain attempt to successfully produce a couple days worth of exercise, I patiently waited for the local El Practico bus bound for Iguazu Cataratas, or Iguazu Falls , alongside two fellow gringos I had only just met by the side of the road. After boarding the barely roadworthy yellow loaf tin, I received some welcoming looks from the Puerto Iguazu locals, suggesting their acceptance of a tight arse traveler risking the local’s run-down, clapped out, cracked windscreen Tonka Toy instead of the fully air-conditioned/westernized gringo buses. I think they realized that this mochilero (backpacker) was not prepared to endure the hardship of a horde of cochlear damaging sixty-something retirees, and was willing to hedge his bets on surviving this form of South American kamikaze public transport. The bus driver sipped his mate , a local marijuana-looking tea through a perforated steel straw for the twenty minute journey until he successfully dodged the numerous gringos at the Parque Nacional Iguazu entrance. I had noticed the car park was overpopulated by a large number of the before mentioned gringo buses, indicating that the falls were an Argentinean cash cow in this time of economic hardship, a somewhat different bovine to the enormous slabs of Pampas-grown protein that were taking my intestines an entire week to digest. After parting with thirty devalued Argentinean pesos (about fourteen Australian dollars) for the privilege, I made a mental note of the puma and jaguar warnings and hobbled off for the Circuito Superior walk. My mobility had been slightly hampered since the day I lost my ankle down a footpath pothole trying to avoid the ubiquitous piles of Buenos Aires dog shit a few days earlier. However, I was relieved to discover that the Argentine National Park Service had wisely invested in well constructed concrete and steel walkways that were an engineering feat almost as spectacular as the high security, waist high thorn bush fencing I had encountered at Victoria Falls in falling-apart-at-the-seams Zimbabwe some two years earlier. The Superior track weaved in amongst the lush jungle, sometimes placing itself directly above the thunderous roar of the falls. I was often welcomed by the soft, misty spray churned up by the cascade after it had crashed seventy metres below. The panorama of intermingled jungle and water was sometimes interrupted by large groups of chattering pre-pubescent Argentine schoolies. They took great pleasure in talking to me, probably so they could laugh at my attempt of speaking in a non-gringo language. They would ask ‘¿De donde es señor?’ – translated into ‘Where are you from mister?’ ‘Soy Australiano’, I replied in some rather butchered, but somehow comprehensible Spanish. This was the correct answer as their heads nodded in approval. After successfully competing with an iguana for my lunch, I headed off on the Gringo Train to the Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s Throat). After convincing myself the steel walkway would not wash away like the wooden one running parallel to it, the Throat was erupting the proverbial amount of whale spurt-like spray into the humid atmosphere. It was accompanied by a sonic booming soundtrack that was the sole evidence the Spanish possessed to prove to Columbus that this really was the end of the world. Wishing I had invested in three sets of power station grade ear plugs, I limped back to the Gringo Train to finish the day with the Circuito Inferior walk, of which there is nothing inferior about it. Where the Superior walk made me look down and across the falls, the Inferior Walk placed me directly in front of them. At one particular fall, named the Salto Bossetti , there was an empty platform devoid of gringos for once. Foolishly, I decided to venture out to find out why, and within a second, Bossetti had blasted my body with its elephant trunk water thrust, almost knocking me over flat whilst the other knowledgeable gringos had a cheap laugh at my expense. I was completely drenched from shirt to skin to bone, a worthy entrant for any dodgy masculine infused wet T-shirt competition in any stale beer-smelling pub back in Brisbane - the power of Iguazu Falls had won again, laughing at the silly Australian fool who tried to take them on and easily lost. At that moment in time, even though my skin had been completely exfoliated by the high pressured jet blasts, there was nothing, absolutely nothing in the world at this moment in time better than this. Here are some things you probably did not know about Iguazu falls: Rock doctors reckon the falls were created by a volcanic eruption that occurred about one hundred million years ago. Iguazu Falls are wider than both Niagara and Victoria Falls . A lot of water in anyone’s language. There are about two hundred and seventy five individual water falls at Iguazu however this number decreases in the wet season when it pisses down from a great height and the falls merge together. The falls were captured in the ninety eight six flick ‘The Mission’ with Robert De Niro and Jeremy Irons – a story based on real events about Jesuit missionaries who vainly try to protect a South American Indian tribe from slave-hungry Portuguese colonials. How to get to Iguazu Falls for a great couple of days hiking: Two airlines fly to South America from Australia – Lan Chile to Santiago and Aerolineas Argentinas to Buenos Aires , both via Auckland . Within Argentina, you can fly to Puerto Iguazu from Buenos Aires with a number of domestic carriers, but it might be an idea to book early because the airlines cannot afford to run that many planes since the economic crisis of early two thousand and two - hence they are quite chockas. Otherwise, book yourself a business class seat ( coche cama ) in an overnight bus from Buenos Aires which takes around sixteen to twenty hours. Bus travel is excellent in Argentina and the ridiculously cheap price usually includes meals and even a game of bingo. If you win the bingo game, you win a fine bottle of red from the Mendoza wine region (seriously). When you finally get to Puerto Iguazu, set aside at least two days to explore the falls by foot – the Brazilian side offers the best panoramic view, while the Argentine side provides a much closer look. Expect to become soaking wet.
Feb 12, 2011
A beautiful legend Tupi-Guarani explains the emergence of the Iguazu Falls. "Many years ago, the Iguazu River flowed free, no rapids nor even waterfalls. At its margins inhabited caingangues Indians, who believed that a great shaman M'Boy was the serpent-god, son of Tupa.
Ignobi, chief of the tribe, had a daughter named Naipí, which would be sacrified to the worship of God M'Boy, divinity in the form of large snake.
Tarobá young warrior of the tribe falls in love with Naipi and the day of the sacrifice both escape down the river in a canoe.
M'Boy, furious with the fugitives, into the ground wriggled his body in the form of a large snake, triggered landslides that were falling on the river, forming the cliffs of the falls. Tarobá turned into a palm tree on the edge, and Naipí on a stone near the big waterfall, constantly buffeted by the force of water. M'Boy guarded by the serpent god sentenced Tarobá to stay there and contemplate forever his loved one, without being able to touch it.
Mar 10, 2009
The falls themselves are comprised of 275 separate waterfalls over a 3 km area, with some over 80m in height. I spend two days exploring both the Argentinian and Brazilian sides of the falls. In order to see the falls properly you need to view them from both the Brazilian and the Argentine sides: the Brazilian side offers the grand overview and the Argentine side a closer look. On the Brazilian side, you have the opportunity to visit the bird park filled with beautifully coloured local wildlife and enjoy a helicopter ride for a birds-eye view of the falls. The helicopter ride was unforgettable and the view so beautiful. I recommend to do this. On the Argentinean side you are able to get close enough to almost reach out and touch the waters from the many jungle walkways, but if that isn’t close enough there is the option of a Zodiac cruise into the heart of the falls. It's a wet affair, but lots of fun. You have to see the waterfalls!!!
Feb 6, 2010
so far the most impressive natural heritage i have seen!! definitely worth seeing from both sides - the brazilian for the spectacular view and the argentinian for the real closiness to the falls and especially incredible garganta del diablo (devil s throat) - the most massive part of iguazu falls. to have enough time to see the falls and all the beauties nature offers you in the forrest around it, reserve at least one day for each sides. i have spent there 2 days in total, but there was still plenty of stuff i have missed because of having no more time, so 4 days would be perfect! moreover, if you are interested in spending time more actively than walking and sweating in the tropical heat, you can try a variety of other activities - bungee jumping (BR side), rafting, helicopter trip etc.