January 10th ~ Getting there
The 10th was a travel day. Sebastian and crew dropped our group off at the bus station for a scheduled 5-6 hour ride in a local bus from Ituzaingo to Puerto Iguazu.
With a late departure, and then an unexplained stop where the entire bus was emptied and then loaded onto a replacement bus, the trip turned into closer to 8 hours.
When we arrived in Puerto Iguazu, the local laws do not allow Brazilian vans to pick up passengers, so a make-shift solution was for us to be carried by local taxis/transfer vehicles, driven around the corner, and then loaded into our Brazilian van.
We then continue for another hour plus drive, crossed the border into Brazil and arrived at Foz do Iguazu for our three night stay.
January 11th – Iguazu Falls
Mehul and Uma wanted to take a helicopter flight over the falls. Tim, Juani and I decided to join them.
Can I say – wow, Wow, WOW! The views were spectacular.
What an amazing way to get my first look at the largest waterfall system in the world.
According to our Intrepid trip notes, Iguazu Falls is over 2 kilometers long and actually a series of cataracts. There are over 270 falls with some reaching up to 80 meters in height. They are wider than Victoria Falls and higher than Niagara Falls.
Back on the ground, we drove a bit further to the official entrance of the park where tickets are purchased.
If you are interested in staying inside the park, check out Belmond Hotel das Cataratas.
Greeted by Coati,(aka Coatimundi), furry creatures of the raccoon family, that were cute, but a pest as well. They are aggressive and adept at opening backpacks to obtain food. We were seriously warned not to feed them, as they could carry a harsh bacteria similar to rabies. If bitten, a trip to the hospital would follow where a series of shots must be taken.
You can bet we used at least some degree of caution – even if MANY pictures were taken.
On the Brazil side, you walk along a boardwalk, look across at the Argentine side and get more of an overview of the immensity of the falls.
Here is a variety of shots taken along the walk. We took our time and really savored the experience.
There are also big and small lizards in abundance that we viewed along the path.
As we neared the end of the boardwalk, near Devil’s Throat we put on our plastic raincoats. Fortunately Juani had advised us to purchase them earlier as we left the hotel for half the price they were offered at the falls.
This last portion of the walk, everyone got soaked to the bone, but the views were out of this world gorgeous.
The visitors center offers the option of taking an elevator or stairs back to the top. My sandals had gotten very wet and slippery so we waited in a line for the elevator. We arrived back at our bus about 15 minutes late. I felt bad about keeping the group waiting.
Normally Tim and I are very prompt, but I hope I was forgiven that after dreaming of seeing this magnificent place for so long we truly and literally “soaked it up”.
GRATITUDE MOMENT: Iguazu Falls had been on my bucket list for many years. Not only did I get to experience it up close, but had an unexpected opportunity of seeing it from the air. It was definitely worth the wait!