Iguazu Falls and our tripto Brazil and Paraguay
Foz do Iguacu Travel Blog› entry 14 of 34 › view all entries
We arrived in Puerto Iguazu after a 26 hour bus trip from Salta. We had originallyplanned to stay in Corrientes, but it wasn´t clear whether it was their annual carnival and hence that is why we couldn´tfind any available accomodation in advance, so we had to scrap that idea. Although Salta was very much on the edgeof the Andes, there was still a feel similar to that of the High Andes of Peru and Chile. Puerto Iguazu is clearly very different, it is a hot and humid town on the "Tres Frontiers" - the border of Paraguay and Brazil, with very different vegetation and also appearance of the people.
We arranged a tour for the next day across to Ciudad del Este and Fozde Iguacu, the Brazilian town to see the falls and get a very different view, although it doesn´t takevery long to walk along the path of the Brazilian site.
Early the next day, we set-off across to the border to Brazil, which required the rigmarole of passport stamps and tourist entry cards. We then proceded about a mile or two to the Paraguayan border, fortunately we didn´t have to go through the same imigration process though and we were away to our first part of the day - The Ipaitu Dam - "a lesson in corruption and dreadful waste of public money", although the propaganda film that we watched first in the visitors´centre didn´t touch on these issues! It generates about 80% of PAraguay´s national electricity and also contributes a lot to Argentina - apparently it is the biggest hydroelectric generator in the world.
We then moved-on from the dam to Ciudad del Este - a haphazard town on the border that is well known around the world as being one of the most important money laundering centres of Al Qaida and also a centre for smuggling into Brazil and Argentina!! We were dropped in a duty free shopping centre for an hour, it was pretty uninspiring and wewerekicking our heels until we went to Foz, to see a panoramicview of the waterfalls. They certainly didn´t disappoint, it was a fantastic site, which gave a view spreading over severalmiles to the other side of the falls in Argentina.
The Brazilian City of Fox was a complete contrast to the Argentine City.
The next day we went on our own along to the Argentine side of the falls. This side had a lot more wildlife and we were lucky to see a Caiman (South American Crocodile) lazing in the water, along with all sorts of other creatures (the pick of which were the "coatis",which are likea cross between a badger, a racoon and shrew!). It was quite a tiring day with as the sun blazed down as we walked for miles along the trails round the edge of the jungle of Iguazu (which has some of the most pristine and protected jungle accessible in South America). It will be our only brush with such environment as we start to head south through Argentina.
Our next leg of the journey is down to Buenos Aires - another 20 hour bus trip! We were kept awake at night by the most ferocious thunderstorm that seemed to last for hours.
I expect that one day we´ll find a computer in Argentina that allows us to upload our photos (we took loads between us), but we couldn´t find one in Puerto Iguazu (or Salta!)!