iguazu falls

into the fallsEvery guide and every book says you must visit the falls. They also say it as overpriced a touristy destination as you will find. This time they were right. Iguazu falls are beyond touristy, horrible value for your money and totally worth the trip. It truly is a wow! 275ish waterfalls stretched over 2.7 kilometers. During the rainy season, November to March, 13000 cubic metres of water flow over the edge each second. The roar is truly impressive.

IMG_017480% of the falls are on the Argentinian side; the other bit is in Brazil. Both countries have turned the rainforest areas surrounding their falls into national parks. Both are UNESCO heritage sites.

We stayed at the Sheraton in the park on the Argentinian side: great location, mediocre hotel. Our rooms had views of the falls. We were pretty impressed… until we started walking along the paths and bridges along the top of the falls.   Then we were awestruck. The best thing about staying in the park is the access to the pathways after the hoards have left. We had an about an hour where we didn’t see another person. Quite magical.IMG_1371

The next day we headed over to Brazil. This side was way more commercial and an even bigger WOW! You are obliged to take a double decker hop-on hop-off bus into the park (they are hoping to minimize the effect of tourists on the environment). We paid extra to go on the boat ride. Everyone we saw coming back from this activity looked so miserable we assumed it had to be a waste of money and time.

wet vogelsI don’t know what was wrong with those people. It was incredible. And it was wet. A huge thank you to the stranger who told us to get a locker for our bags and leave our shoes on the dock. 25 people crowded onto a powerful speedboat that took us right into the falls. There was so much water you couldn’t see the person next to you. The noise was deafening. It felt terrifying, exciting and adventurous! There was not a dry spot on anyone… even those who bought raincoats before climbing aboard.the falls

I was so glad to be wearing a dodgy lifejacket though I doubt it would have done any good. The power of the water demands respect. Not everyone does. A couple people drown each year. Go anyway. It was magnificent!