Iguazu Falls

Puerto Iguazu Travel Blog

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After yet another 20 hour bus ride I arrived in Puerto Iguazu.  Unlike the previous bus ride's I had experienced in Argentina this bus was quite torturous.  Not so much because of the bus itself, but rather the other people on the bus.  While I was sitting waiting for my bus in the terminal a young American girl from Indiana asked me if I spoke english and wanted some help finding her bus.  I was happy enough to help out, however I didn't realize that I was now entering into a multiple day relationship with a moron.  Think John Candy in Planes, Trains and Automobilies.  This girl was dumb as hell, not only asking the normal questions like "Is it like, really cold in Canada?"  or just plain dumb statements like "this is a really big bus.

"  Anyways, I faked her out with my iPod headphones and she left me alone for at least half the trip to Iguazu. 

Once we arrived at abour 9am, I discovered we were both heading to the same hostel in the small town on the Argentinian side of the waterfalls.  My mentally challenged friend latched on to me and we took the bus to the hostel.  After checking it, while making abundantly clear to the staff that I was not traveling with this girl, I had a shower, breakfast and tried to figure out how to get to the falls from the hostel.  About an hour or so after arriving I was back on the bus to the Iguazu Falls National Park. 

Part of traveling is hearing all about where other people have been and their experiences in these places.

Some are loved by all, like Machu Picchu, while others are routinely pissed on, like the floating islands in Lake Titicaca.  Iguazu Falls was one of the places which was unanimously loved by everyone I had spoken to, which worried me as I now felt the pressure to enjoy myself here.   However they most definitely lived up to expectations.  The sheer size of the waterfalls, which curl around in a kind of a horseshoe shape, is truly overwhelming.  The waterfalls lie directly on the border between Brazil and Argentina with each side offering a much different view.  The Argentine side allows you to get much closer, while the Brazilian side allows for a greater overview of the entire falls.  Being in Argentina, I was able to walk on a series of steel trails which take you right into the middle of river and over the tops of the falls.
  They also allow you to get right into the bottom of one via a platform which juts out right into the spray of a "smaller" waterfall. 

The highlight of the entire park, at least from the Argentine side, would have to be the "Devil's Throat".  This is an area about 2 kms up the river and also the beginning of the waterfalls themselves.  You walk out on the same metal trail/gangplank about 1 km into the river.  This means that if it were to collapse, you are in big trouble.  This actually did happen in the 90's some time, as you can see the wreckage from the floods.  Anyways, walking out over the calm looking river is quite enjoyable in itself, with plenty of birds flying around.  About half way out you can see a rising cloud of mist and it looks almost like the world is falling away.

  This is the Devil's Throat, and its loud as hell with about half the river just falling instantly without any real warning.  It's such a steep and sudden drop you can't see the bottom of the waterfall even at the very edge, there is just too much mist everywhere.  With the high temperature, about 34 degrees, it was actually kind of a nice shower, even thoguh I was above the falls themselves.  I stood here for about 20 minutes just enjoyign myself when I started my walk back and headed out of the park.

I spent the rest of the afternoon and night sitting around the hostel.  The hostel was amazing, probably one of the nicest I have seen in South America, which is saying a lot as the hostels have been great down here.  Apparently the hostel used to be a casino and is huge, but not without character and warmth.

Devil's Throat
  There was a huge pool with poolside seating, the all important 24hour bar, a soccer field, free internet, 2 pool tables, foosball, topping it off was a delicious all you can eat dinner for about $5.  I could have spent over a week here just hanging out, but I was really wanting to get to Brazil and chill out on the beach. The next morning I got up early and checked out, headed into to town, got my Brazilian visa for the low low price of $130 (ouch) and jumped in a taxi to get to the Brazilian border town, Foz do Iguacu.

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Devils Throat
Devil's Throat
Hostel pool
Hostel pool
Puerto Iguazu
photo by: jeffy