So one of our last adventure here in Argentina was to go to the North of the country to Iguazu and visit the national park with it's world famous waterfalls - officially listed to be one of the seven natural wonders of the world. We flew from BA Ezeiza to Puerto Iguazu with Aerolineas Argentinas. It was a short enough flight, only about an hour and a half long, and as we had an early morning flight we arrived in Puerto Iguazu well before lunchtime which meant we got the most out of the day. I have to say Aerolineas was one of the best airlines I have flown with - this is comparing it not only to the European airlines but also to the American ones. The service was great and the flights left on time etc. We were even given some nibblies and drinks to keep us going on the very short which was nice.
Some advice for people reading this blog with plans to go to Iguazu, when you arrive in the airport there are literally hundreds of men trying to offer taxi services. They charge 160 pesos for the short 15/20 min drive into town which
is a total rip off - keep an eye out for the stand offering a 'combi' service, it's basically a minibus, into town. It costs 40 pesos per person and will drop you off at your hotel/hostel if you tell the driver where you are staying.
Flying right over the jungle, and landing in Puerto Iguazu was spectacular. The landscape is amazing, and I have to say when we came out of the airport I was struck by the colour of the earth. The ground here is a really rich burnt red colour, it reminded me a bit of what I imagine the outback in Australia must be like. The heat here was also pretty intense, the sun seemed even stronger than in BA somehow. As the weather has cooled down a lot here and the week before we left to Iguazu it rained, it was nice to be welcomed by the intense heat though I have to say.
We spent the week in Pirayu Lodge resort, which was such a nice little luxurious break I have to say. Not only did we have our own little chalet fully equipped with all the necessities, and very importantly air
con, but there was also a swimming pool, bar, restaurant, tennis courts and gym all on site. I was really impressed when we rocked up, and we even had cable TV. We arrived just in time for the Ireland - Wales match too, but the one channel we didn't have was ESPN so I missed the fecking thing. I soon got over this after a nice lunch out in town and a dip in the pool (made even better by the revelation that we had hammered the welsh and literally shown them how to play rugby)!
We took advantage of the resort and recharged the batteries the first couple of days. On Monday we took the 15 min bus ride back to Iguazu National Park (it's literally right beside the airport) to spend the day. The park is huge and when the weather is hot, it must have been about 37 degrees the day we went, it can be quite exhausting. They offer you the option to do the park in twp days, but we did it all in one as it is more expensive that way, and it was already much more expensive for me being a tourist
(one thing I have to admit I don't like to much about this country, there's one price for Argentinians and another price for everyone else). Anyway entry was only abut 170 pesos for me, roughly 17 euro so it's not exactly extortionate and a once in a lifetime experience so well worth the few quid.
It's one of those places that you kind of can't quite grasp the beauty of entirely. I have never seen such a beautiful natural landscape before. The waterfalls are incredible, and the biggest one, known as Garganta del Diablo or Devil's Throat is such a powerful body of water, it's so impressive to see. In total there are 275 waterfalls in the park and as I overheard one man say, it literally makes Niagra Falls look like shit, haha you have to love the Argentinian honesty! There is a lot of walking involved as I said but there are plenty of places to stop for a cold drink or have some lunch. We also availed of the boat ride - I think it cost 180 pesos, and it was so well worth it. The guides take you out on the water and give you
a spin around the main waterfalls, giving you a chance to seem them from below. Then he literally drives you straight under one or two of the smaller ones - the power from the water is unreal, you are literally spat straight back out again by the waterfall. It's so refreshing to be drenched, by the time you come off the boat you're soaked right through, you dry off again in about 10 minutes in the heat of course though! It was really great fun and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who visits the cataratas.
I have attached loads of photos of the falls, but to be honest it is hard to capture the sheer beauty and size of them. The photos really only do give an idea of how amazing they are.
The town of Puerto Iguazu is pretty enough too and we walked in most evenings to have dinner or drinks. There are quite a few restaurants and bars, although there is not much choice food-wise I have to say. It's pizza, meat or empanadas... and repeat! there are also lots of little trinket shops to buy souvenirs and gifts which are nice to
wander round and peruse. There are lots of tourists here and the general vibe is much safer than BA - for example we could walk around here at night time no problem.
Another thing worth seeing is the view of La Triple Frontera. There are viewpoints on the Argentinian side (and from our chalet we had the view too!) across the river to Paraguay and Brazil. It's pretty cool to stand there and think for a second about where in the world you are, and the view that stands in front of you. Everybody we spoke to advised us not to go to Paraguay, as the only close enough town there is Ciudad del Este which is supposed to be dangerous enough and not pretty or anything to merit the short trip. We crossed over into Brazil another day, but I will cover that in a separate blog for people thinking of going to Fiz de Iguazu.
Think that's about all I have to mention about Iguazu. We had an amazing holiday and it was definitely a trip that I will never forget. Since coming back to BA we have been busy enough trying to enjoy the last
of our time here with Leandro's family.
I'll post another blog now on Brazil and I guess that will be it until maybe a final reflection blog when I am back in Dublin... I will be so sad to leave here!! Time has gone so fast, I can't believe we have been here four months now.... Super excited about our stop over in New York on the way home though, just hope the weather heats up a little there before we land!
Hope all is well at home and everyone is excited to watch the lads trash England in Twickenham on Saturday! Planning to go to an English bar here in BA to savour the event
Lots of love xxx
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