Iguazu Falls

Published: February 4th 2007
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Leaving BsAs we took a cab to the bus terminal for our trip to Iguazu Falls. The tour was arranged by our HI hostel that included bus trip to the city of Puerto Iguazu, accommodations at the Hostel Inn for two nights, transfer to the Argentina side of the falls, transfer to the Brazilian side of the falls and a free drink. Thankfully the long haul buses in Argentina are excellent. We used a company called Bariloche for the sixteen hour overnight journey. The seat reclined to almost horizontal and they provided both dinner and breakfast as well drinks and movies. We arrived in Puerto Iguazu in the morning and taken to the hostel just outside of town. Pulling in to the compound the first thing you notice is the large pool covered in people trying to beat the oppressive humidity. The temperature for the few days we stayed was between 28 and 35 C. Since most of the transfers to the falls for the hostel happen in the morning, our first day had us fill in forms and signing up for the next day's excursion. The Rio Iguazu river and the Garganta del Diablo falls is cut in half by the border between Argentina and Brazil and tours are offered to take you to either side for 'optimal viewing'. Unfortunately several countries including Canada and the USA require you to have visas for the trip. We heard that visas could be obtained the same day in Puerto Iguazu as opposed to the four day wait quoted in BsAs. The operating hours for the consulate are ridiculous, 8:00-1:00. We of course missed it the first day and when we went the second day, well in time, we waited in line only to be informed that would couldn't pick them up today but could tomorrow. We also learned that the visa was only good for thirty days and would cost us around $150. Furthermore we still don't know our true schedule and the thirty days doesn't seem to fit. Another day wasted we headed back to the hostel to watch movies and update the blog. (If you've been following us you already know we watched the movie instead.) The following morning we decided not to bother with the Brazilian side and boarded a mini-van to the Iguazu National Park entrance. We arrived at the entrance and walked to a passenger train to take through the jungle to the Cataratas station. From here you can take either the upper circuit trail, the lower circuit trail or continue by train to the Garganta del Diablo trailhead up river. We chose the latter and from the Garganta station started the 1100m hike. The hike is a series of walkways and bridges that span the Rio Iguazu Superior out to the Garganta del Diablo falls. The trail ends at an incredible view point that is a platform suspended out over the horseshoe shapes falls. Standing at the edge the site and power is awesome. After the trail we took the train back down to the Cataratas station. From there we decided to take the lower circuit trail. Winding through the jungle we came across several Coati. These are cute furry rodents about the size of a small dog. They have pointy snouts with ringed tails and are considered a nuisance. We were warned that they are not afraid of people and can become quite aggressive when "begging" for food. The lower route took us past a series of waterfalls and to the base of Salto Goque Bernabe Mendez and Salto Bossetti. The trail was 1400m of stairs up and down through beautiful forests filled with butterflies. As we walked back to the start of the trail we encountered a small troupe of monkeys eating in the trees next to the trail. After that we took the upper trail. It is a short hike (650m) that takes you across the upper lip of a series six different waterfalls. Since our bus back to BsAs was scheduled for around 4:30 we decided not to wait for the transfer shuttle and try a local bus. We were running late as usual but were lucky that a bus was there and about to leave shortly. The bus dropped at a stop near our hostel and we were able to quickly gather our gear and grab a taxi to the terminal.

Additional photos below
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4th February 2007

Wow! What amazing pictures. You are becoming professional photographers! It looks like you had a lovely day as well. How are you finding the prices in South America so far? When are you off to Antartica? Have fun! Can't wait to hear your stories! cynda

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