After a very short sleep on my last night in Ro, I arrived to the hot hot hot Foz de Iguacu, the Brazilian village next to one of the world natural wonders, the Iguazu Falls. I was actually spending my stay at the falls in the neighboring village cross the border in Argentina (yay, a new country!), in the town of Puerto Iguazu.
By the time I got to my lovely hostel I was all covered in sweat and was happy to see a big garden and a even small pool! It was a very relaxing place after the noisy Rio and couldn’t be happier with some peace & quiet. My plan to rest that night didn’t go that well as I ended up going out for dinner with the girls from my room. And we had such a fun night, talking about all the usual stuff and having some very tasty pizza, wine and free caipirinhas! And – I got to climb over the hostel fence when we came back :D
First in Argentina
On my first full day I decided to tour the Argentinian side of the Iguazu falls since I’ve heard people usually like that the most. It was a hot day, like all the others so far as well, and the park was pretty packed with people. But the views were stunning. I first rode the park train all the way up to the Devil’s Throat where you get definitely the closest of the massive U-shape waterfall. Where does all this white water come from?! The roar was amazing and a mist of water rises all the way back up.
The falls were MASSIVE - even just this part could not fit in one, two or three frames on my camera. Indeed all of the Argentinian side of the falls is very large – that is the side where the waterfalls actually are for the most part! You can go around, right on top of the falls and there are miles of passages that get you both close to the white water as well as gives you stunning views.
You can also take a boat out to the river and they will even drive you IN the waterfalls. Not Devil’s Throat though, I think that 1) the stream up there is pretty strong to cross and 2) the water pouring down might just kill you. I bought a ticket to one boat and was a little bit sceptical if it’s worth the buck and the wait. I was looking at the people cheering on the boats before me and thought it was humorous. I already heard before it’s great and that you get soaked which sounded kind of nice after sweating for hours in the park. And it was great – no, AMAZING. They drive around the river / lagoon to give you a closer look at the various falls. Then they stop and the crew puts on this heavy duty rain gear: it’s on! We drove twice in the big waterfall and to two different smaller ones!! You can’t see a thing when you get under the pouring water, just bits here and there – lucky I had my waterproof camera! Here’s a video of the trip into the big waterfall.
The water feels like you’re in a huge shower + just pouring water by the buckets on you. It doesn’t feel too cold though. Refreshing for sure! And it was one of the most amazing things I’ve done on this trip for sure! A must thing to do if you’re there. Also lots of other things, safaris, longer walks, an island you can visit.. I spent 6 hours in the park and was exhausted – and felt I saw enough of water and jungle for one day!
Then in Brazil
The next day I went to the Brazilian side of the falls. The views there are more panoramic and you get quite close to some of the falls but it’s not like on the Argentinian side where you are surrounded by them. But the walk is more pleasant (shorter and for some reason the air is cooler there). And can’t say anything bad about the views!
There also lots of wildlife at the parks - butterflies of all colours, shapes and sizes will chase you as you walk there, birds chirping in the trees and all kinds of creatures roaming around. You can also hire a car for a safari there too.
The entry to both sides is about 20€ each (they take credit cards all over the Brazilian side, not on the Argentinian) + a bus ticket there. It's certainly worth to visit both if you make the long trip there which is 24 hours by bus from either Rio or Buenos Aires or 2 hours on the plane. There's plenty to do for three or more days but you'll get to see both parks in two days - one day would be pushing it. Bring lots of water and a snack (you'll find restaurants as well).
Book your flights and hostels early to get the best ones: it's cheaper to stay on the Argentinian side usually. Prepare to change your clock when you cross the border! A visit to Paraguay is also possible as it's just on the other side of the falls as well - but I heard there's nothing very interesting there... don't trust me though, go and explore!!