Do you want to get wet? Welcome to the Iguazú Falls, one of Argentina’s most beautiful sites. This site was designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Let’s explore this place full of stories and mysteries…
Do you know the legend? The Guarani people used to offer young girls as a sacrifice to the huge snake named Boi which lived in the river. But one day, a man named Taroba fell in love with a woman named Naipi, who had to be offered to the snake. Taroba couldn’t endure this tragic fate and decided to kidnap her and escape with a canoe. Unfortunately, Boi became enraged. It bit the earth to catch the lovers and stopped the course of the river. The earth quaked and the rocks were split. Thus were born the Iguazú Falls. And the lovers? They were transformed into trees and forever separated by the snake. But sometime, when the sun brushes upon the horizon, one can see a rainbow which brings them together for all eternity…
Today, the Iguazú Falls are really famous and have become a big touristic place. Over 275 falls await you here! They are anywhere up to 80 metres high and pump about 1800 cubic metres of water per second. The Iguazú Falls are split between Argentina and Brazil, but most of the falls are located in the Argentinean side. We encourage you to visit the two natural parks on both sides of the border.
First, on the Argentinean side, you’ll be able to walk on a maze of walkways where the falls can be seen from all angles. Do you want to enter the “Garganta del Diablo” (Devil’s Throat) and face the waterfalls? Take your bathing suit and get in a tour boat to approach the monster! Be prepared to be drenched from head to toe! If you are not quite ready to be wet, you can get up high on an upper wheelhouse and just enjoy the panoramic view.
On the Brazilian side, the Cataratas footpath enables you to be closer to the Garganta del Diablo and gives you a beautiful view on the waterfalls. You have to walk 1 200 metres on this path at the heart of the Amazonian vegetation. Very exotic! Take a break to the Aves Park to listen to the 800 species of birds such as the parrots and macaws. Indeed, there are a lot of animals and plants in the two natural parks: toucan, ocelot, coatis and many others. You can also observe the vencejo : it’s a bird found nowhere else on the planet. It makes a vertical dive along the waterfalls which is very impressive.
Moreover, the city of Puerto Iguazú is worth a visit for the quiet and comfortable atmosphere of its green neighbor-hoods. Twenty-five miles south of Puerto Iguazú, you can visit the Wanda Mines. On these mines, precious stones like topaz are extracted. Similarly, the Itaipu Dam is remarkable: it was the biggest hydroelectric central in the world until the construction of the three Gorge Dams in China. This dam can also be visited.
If you decide to stay in the region, you may visit the Jesuit ruin Missions from the 17th century. In San Ignacio Mini, you will discover the story of these missionaries who left everything to evangelize the Guarani people. They created in this region a new utopian lifestyle where society is a result of a mix between two different cultures. The Jesuit Missions are located near the city of Posadas in the direction of Puerto Iguazú. San Ignacio is the best preserved remains of these missions. You can admire the church, the priest’s residence etc. It’s fascinating!
Finally, if you are feeling adventurous, you can go to Esteros del Iberá to discover the wildlife safari and enjoy the virgin nature. It’s very difficult to take a bus from Puerto Iguazú to Carlos Pellegrini (the main city of Puerto Iguazú) because the route is not easily accessible by public transportation. However, if you succeed in reaching Carlos Pellegrini, you won’t be disappointed. Take a bark and sail on the surface of the marshlands: the change of scene is definitely worth it! Look carefully, you might see caimans and anacondas!
For more information, please visit the website of Argentina Excepción as they have more great tips for you.