Saturday, 17 November 2007

Iguazú Falls (Brazil & Argentina)

Four hours east of Ascunción, three countries meet (Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina) with 3 border towns, literally minutes apart from each other and all in close proximity to the widest waterfalls in the world, the Iguazú Falls, which is a serious contender for one of the 'wonders of the world'.

Ciudad del Esté in Paraguay is a smelly, congested market town where you can buy anything from an apple to an Apple MAC computer. Visitors (mostly day trippers) from Brazil and Argentina, arrive in droves to buy and sell. Beware, as lots of the merchandise is fake, especially the electronics, perfume and clothes. You can use any of the three currencies of these countries in shops, restaurants buses and taxis etc in addition to dollars and euros.

You only have to cross a bridge to go from Paraguay (Ciudad del Esté) to Brazil (Fóz de Iguazú a.k.a Fóz). Fóz is a well develeloped commercial centre and from here you can visit the panoramic Brazilian view of the Iguazu falls (cataratas) which many people say has the best photo opportunities. We did a boat trip to the base of a thundering waterfall which is highly recommended.

Twenty minutes from Foz you can cross over to Argentina (Puerto Iguazú) which is smaller and less developed than its Brazilian neighbour. From Puerto Iguazu its about 30 minutes to the Argentine side of the falls, where you have by far, the better perspective / experience of the sheer gargantuan size of the Iguazú falls. You can take two walking circuits (upper and lower) which will take you above and below some of the most impressive cascades in the world and also provide excellent photo ops with rainbows almost guaranteed.

You need to resign yourself to the fact you are going to get wet, whether its the boat trip or the walk out to the viewing point for the highlight which is 'The Garganta del Diablo' (Devils Throat) where several waterfalls collide into one huge gushing cascade, but it's absolutely worth it. No trip to Argentina or indeed South America is complete until you've seen Iguazú.


Anonymous,  November 20, 2007 10:49 am  

Had a really, trully good laugh reading your adventures in Boliva. And (how can it be?) was happy to hear that all remained more or less the same... including big ladies with blankets, nightmare bus journeys and "speedy" border check ups - only thing 22 years ago (which was when we traveled that route) there was no aircon and no chance of freezing. Enda darling, be thankful for small mercies - just imagine how wonderful if to top it all (handyman, bug mama and mummy + baby) you would have had the same trip without aircon and with a 6 foot gringo that never stopped complaining!!! Look forward to seeing you guys back in BA- both of you look tired but happy - big kiss - Cousin Yud

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