We had both our Intrepid guide and a local guide today for our excursion to see the Argentina side of Iguazu Falls. Both were in agreement that an early start was a necessity in order to beat the crowds. So, up and at em, we were on the road before 7:00.
A quick photo stop in the middle of the bridge that crossed the Iguazu River at the point where you could have one foot in Brazil and the other foot in Argentina.
The name Iguazu come from the Native American Guarnai word for “great water”. The Iguazu River is just over 800 miles long, beginning near the city of Curitiba. For most of its length, the river flows through Brazil. Reaching the Paraná Plateau, the falls divide the river into the upper and lower Iguazu.
“Iguazu Falls are arranged in a way that resembles a reversed letter “J”. The border between Brazil and Argentina runs through the Devil’s Throat.” ~ Wikipedia
About half of the river’s flow falls into the fourteen falls that make up Devil’s Throat. The balance is divided up into 150 to 300 other waterfalls (aka cataracts), depending upon the time of the year and amount of water.
Roughly 20% of the falls are in Brazil and the remaining 80% are in Argentina. From the Brazil side, you have a wide open vista of the greater number of falls on the Argentina side. We got to take all of that in on our previous day in Brazil. You can click here to see pictures from the Brazil side and from our helicopter ride.
But today we are visiting the Argentina side to get up closer. With our early start, we are one of the first ones to arrive. Our local guide purchases our tickets and we wait for the gates to open.
**Notice that in Argentina, as in many other countries around the world, the date is shown in the format of day/month/year. The $500.00 Argentine peso admission price is approximately $25 USD at today’s exchange rate.
After passing through the gates, we walked a short distance before loading onto a miniature train, not unlike one you might take at any major theme park.
After a short ride, we hustled out onto well-built walkways jutting out over the river taking us ever closer to the falls.
Looking straight down into the mouth of the falls is overwhelming. You can sense the power as we became covered in mist. And even though we were there early, it was evident that crowds would be a challenge as we joggled into position to get prime picture-taking real estate.
Professional photographers had also stationed themselves on the deck to offer their services to us tourists, and sell us a picture upon our departure. I watched as they climbed upon a ladder to get the best angle and with acrobatic talent held an umbrella to shield their camera lens from the drenching spray and shoot a picture at the same time.
After many oohs, aahs, and a few sighs, we moved on to continue our exploring along the walkways. Some of the overlooks were more stunning than others, but the overall experience was incredibly memorable.
To complete the experience of seeing the falls from every possible angle, we chose to take a boat ride on the river that would take us right up to the bottom and under the falls.
Issued a dry bag to put our camera in before being completely drenched by the thundering downpour was a blessing.
Some people had changed into swimming suits before the ride and I think they enjoyed the dunking more than we did. It was impressive seeing the falls from this angle as well, but I think if we ever return, I would choose to forgo this and walk more of the paths instead.
We had kept our eyes peeled all day trying to spot a toucan, but never did. We did however get to see a Plush-crested Jay with its brilliant yellow eyes.
Originally we had been scheduled to have a visit with a Guarani community to learn about one of the few remaining indigenous peoples. The weather had turned wet, and our guide was hesitant for us to travel over the roads to get to their village so offered us an option of a stop at the Triple Frontier where the borders of three countries come together – Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay.
The Triple Frontier is located just a few miles downriver from the falls where the Iguazu River empties into the Paraná River. You can stand on the bank of the river and see all three countries from one location. They have each placed a monument on the bank of the river in the colors of their national flag. We were at the Argentina monument.
GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful that we truly got to experience Iguazu Falls from every angle. It was a dream come true and I continue to count my blessings for the incredible travel experiences we are having. Although we have not yet set foot in Paraguay, I feel like we were soooo close.
Our next stop – RIO DE JANEIRO!