Rainbows, butterflies, and waterfalls, too.

Puerto Iguazu Travel Blog

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Sunrise from our room.

According to my guidebook, there are over 350 waterfalls here in Iguaza. We really did our best to see them all today! And it all lived up to my high expectations... it was a terrific day.

In the morning we took a bus from Puerto Iguazú to the Visitor’s Center at the falls. This was a pretty easy process, and I was happy for our hotel’s proximity to both the town and transportation. As we pulled up to the Visitor’s Center, two large tour buses were being let out at the same time, so we had a very long line to get tickets. There were so many people all around us that it was a little disheartening -- we had hoped to see nature, not crowds!  

We picked up a map after getting our tickets and made a plan of attack. Our goal was to hit as many of the trails as we could in one day. First, we took the Green Trail, which just basically got us into the park.
Big lines at Iguazu Falls Visitor's Center.
On the way, some anteater-looking animals ran across the path and I thought it was a rare wild animal sighting. Exciting! Then I noticed one animal put his paws up on the lady ahead of us, begging for food like a dog. Turns out these little guys (called Coatis) are wild animals, but they have become seemingly tame from being feed by tourists. Now that they have come to associate tourists as a food source. they can be quite aggressive, and have even been known to bite. The park had signs everywhere telling us NOT TO FEED THE COATIS, but I saw many people ignoring this.

The second trail we hit was Circuito Inferior (Lower Trail), which was a series of concrete paths and rather ugly steel catwalks spanning various watery areas. Although it was kind of crowded at first, it soon thinned out and overall it wasn’t bad at all.
Greedy Coatis.
We caught glimpses of the huge line of waterfalls through the trees (spectacular!), and then the trail took us right along the base of them. It was pretty incredible… because of the catwalks, you can get really close to the pounding water and the many rainbows created by the spray. I was glad I didn’t bring my “real” camera, opting for my waterproof snapshooter instead.

From the Lower Trail, we were able to take a free boat over to Isla San Martin, where a circuit path afforded an excellent view of the falls, especially Gargantua del Diablo, which is the biggest one. We got drenched on the viewing platform there, but it felt great as it was a pretty warm day. On the island path we saw tons of iguanas (big ones!), and lots of birds.
Wow! Iguazu Falls.
There were hundreds of these hideous large black birds that looked like some sort of buzzard… they were congregating on rocks and circling above like vultures. They didn’t seem to mind our presence at all, allowing me to get surprisingly close for a photo.  

After the Lower Trail, it was time for the Circuito Superior (Upper Trail) which was pretty damn terrifying. We had to cross these catwalks right over the waterfalls (which are really HIGH)! It was so scary, but the farther we went the more comfortable I got. And although I would normally detest man-made steel bridges crisscrossing a naturally beautiful area like this, I have to say it was pretty cool to peek over the waterfalls like that. I really, really liked it.

Our last hike was the route to the top of Gargantua del Diablo.
Buzzards? Vultures?
We first had to take a small train, and on the way there were clouds of butterflies -- literally thousands of them. (I quickly learned that clouds of butterflies are just about impossible to photograph.) After disembarking from the train, we took a long series of catwalks over the water, where we saw a crocodile sunning himself, many more butterflies, and several turtles. Then we got to the main event, Gargantua del Diablo, the most amazing and powerful waterfall imaginable… and we were on a deck RIGHT on the edge of it! It was loud, wet, and terrifying -- AWESOME! It was most impressive... just incredible. Loved it.

Thoroughly exhausted, we headed back to the hotel where we managed to muster enough energy to visit the fitness room. The sunset was visible from my exercise bike, which was all the entertainment I had since I am out of books now :^(  We then wrapped the day with a late dinner at the hotel.
Wow! Gargantua del Diablo.
It was fun to get “dressed up” in a (clean) skirt again and play like grownups… we’ve been pretty grungy here in South America.

Tomorrow we leave here for an overnight in Buenos Aires before heading over to the other side of the continent and the Galapagos Islands. And that is our last stop before home… This is the beginning of the end.  

   

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Sunrise from our room.
Sunrise from our room.
Big lines at Iguazu Falls Visitor…
Big lines at Iguazu Falls Visitor…
Greedy Coatis.
Greedy Coatis.
Wow! Iguazu Falls.
Wow! Iguazu Falls.
Buzzards? Vultures?
Buzzards? Vultures?
Wow! Gargantua del Diablo.
Wow! Gargantua del Diablo.
Walking on the Green Trail at Igua…
Walking on the Green Trail at Igu…
Wild animal! Its a Coatis, and th…
Wild animal! It's a Coatis, and t…
A hungry Coatis looking for food.
A hungry Coatis looking for food.
Me at Iguazu Falls.
Me at Iguazu Falls.
Steve on the catwalk of the Lower …
Steve on the catwalk of the Lower…
Double rainbow.
Double rainbow.
The Lower Trail at Iguazu Falls.
The Lower Trail at Iguazu Falls.
Gargantua del Diablo in the distan…
Gargantua del Diablo in the dista…
Rainbow over Iguazu Falls.
Rainbow over Iguazu Falls.
Iguazu Falls.
Iguazu Falls.
Iguazu Falls, with Isla San Martin…
Iguazu Falls, with Isla San Marti…
Iguazu Falls.
Iguazu Falls.
Coatis in the woods.
Coatis in the woods.
Take the picture quick, I am getti…
Take the picture quick, I am gett…
You can see a viewing platform at …
You can see a viewing platform at…
Iguazu Falls.
Iguazu Falls.
Taking the free boat to Isla San M…
Taking the free boat to Isla San …
Iguana! I think.
Iguana! I think.
Another one! And he is posing.
Another one! And he is posing.
Iguazu Falls.
Iguazu Falls.
Scary looking birds!
Scary looking birds!
Bird silhouettes at the falls.
Bird silhouettes at the falls.
Roosting buzzard-like things.
Roosting buzzard-like things.
The path around Isla San Martin.
The path around Isla San Martin.
View of the falls and the viewing …
View of the falls and the viewing…
View of the falls from Isla San Ma…
View of the falls from Isla San M…
Taking it all in.
Taking it all in.
You can pay extra to take this boa…
You can pay extra to take this bo…
Another rainbow...
Another rainbow...
View of the falls from Isla San Ma…
View of the falls from Isla San M…
Our ride.
Our ride.
Our driver.
Our driver.
Still wet.
Still wet.
Coatis, looking for handouts.
Coatis, looking for handouts.
Coatis, looking for handouts.
Coatis, looking for handouts.
OK, this one is definitely an igua…
OK, this one is definitely an igu…
Falls as viewed from the Upper Tra…
Falls as viewed from the Upper Tr…
Tourists and rainbows on the Lower…
Tourists and rainbows on the Lowe…
Peeking over the edge of a waterfa…
Peeking over the edge of a waterf…
Terrified on the Upper Trail!
Terrified on the Upper Trail!
Standing over a precipice, and sca…
Standing over a precipice, and sc…
Iguazu Falls.
Iguazu Falls.
This one was nice enough to sit st…
This one was nice enough to sit s…
On the train to Gargantua del Diab…
On the train to Gargantua del Dia…
There are clouds of butterflies su…
There are clouds of butterflies s…
The train to Gargantua del Diablo.
The train to Gargantua del Diablo.
The catwalk to Gargantua del Diabl…
The catwalk to Gargantua del Diab…
Turtles hanging out in the river a…
Turtles hanging out in the river …
The old trail got washed away by a…
The old trail got washed away by …
You can see the spray from Gargant…
You can see the spray from Gargan…
The path to Gargantua del Diablo.
The path to Gargantua del Diablo.
Getting SOAKED!
Getting SOAKED!
Gargantua del Diablo.
Gargantua del Diablo.
A heron hanging out right above Ga…
A heron hanging out right above G…
Some butterflies having a party on…
Some butterflies having a party o…
Colorful.
Colorful.
Steves picks up a hitch hiker.
Steve's picks up a hitch hiker.
Turtle sunning himself.
Turtle sunning himself.
Huge Iguana!
Huge Iguana!
Sunset back at the hotel.
Sunset back at the hotel.
View from the exercise bike...
View from the exercise bike...
Puerto Iguazu
photo by: jeffy