Saturday, 31 October 2015

The Iguazu Falls, Argentina versus Brazil

Shooting Rainbows over Iguazu, Argentina ©Solange Hando

The natives called Iguazu ''big water' and with an average flow of 10 million litres per second in season, it's easy to see why.Stretching for 2.7 km, the cliff face is streaked by up to 300 waterfalls, plunging 60 to 90 metres from the upper to the lower Iguazu river.

Straddling Argentina and Brazil, the falls came to the world's attention when Spanish explorer Cabeza de Vaca stumbled upon them in the 16th century. 'Santa Maria', he exclaimed as he set eyes on one of the most powerful cataracts, and so it is still called today.

Crested Jay in Iguazu ©Solange Hando

Surrounded by rainforest, the Iguazu National Parks are protected on both sides by UNESCO and wild life can often be spotted near the falls, especially birds like macaws, parrots, toucans and jays.

Meanwhile caimans lurk in the lower reaches, jaguars and coral snakes hide in the forest and monkeys play havoc in the trees.

The Devil's Throat, Argentina ©Solange Hando

On the Argentinian side, tourist amenities have been kept well away from the falls and to reach the most popular cataract, you have to board an eco-train then make your way across the upper river on a km long walkway.

All seems placid at first until thunder begins to roar and suddenly you come face to face with the mighty Devil's Throat, the easiest fall to access on that side where you can also explore a network of trails.

 View of Iguazu Falls from the Air ©Solange Hando

Argentina claims 80% of the falls but since the cliff face is shaped like an inverted J, the Devil's Throat offers a limited view.

Brazil on the other hand reveals a stunning panorama across its own falls and most of those in Argentina. You can view the falls by helicopter and although amenities on that side are much closer to the falls, they're out of sight as soon as you make your way down the panoramic path.

Raccoon Looking for Spoils in Iguazu ©Solange Hando

Of course this raccoon knows nothing of borders but if you want to enjoy Iguazu from both sides, it's easy enough. It's just a short drive to the border bridge where the paint changes colour half way along -to reflect the national flags- and you can get a glimpse of Paraguay as well.

Rainbow over Iguazu, Brazil ©Solange Hando

Here on the Brazilian side, you look right across the falls, first from the top then at water level where a wooden walkway (top right in the picture) takes you to the heart of it all, but expect to get drenched. Or if you dare, you can hop on a boat and shoot the rapids.

For the best of both worlds, see the Devil's Throat in Argentina then go across to Brazil for the most spectacular views and a shot of adrenalin to top it all.


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  2. Nice blog with beautiful collection of pics. Information you shared here very informative.Hope i would have also there this time. Looking for your next blog.. I am looking for some interesting places for long trip with friends. I think i should choose one between Vancouver and Brazil.