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Published: December 25th 2007
A view of the Argentine falls with rainbow at sunset
Happy Christmas everyone first off. I´m thinking of all of my friends and family out here today so I hope you have a great festive break and 2008. Feliz Navidad. As i am a few days behind in blogging, although this is about Iguazu, i am actually now in Bariloche in the Argentine Lake District for Christmas day. It will probably be a walk in the sunshine followed by a big steak later for my Christmas day.
So, on to Iguazu.....There are a few excursions that were definites on my hit list of things to see during this trip in South America. The first one of these i planned to check off was Iguazu Falls in Argentina. I have seen many pictures in the planning of this trip of the falls, but the reality far exceeds what any picture can convey.
First, a little background. Iguazu Falls are found in the Northeast of Argentina, right on the border with Brazil (The border actually disects one of the biggest falls) and very near the Paraguyan border also. On the journey South from Brazil, the Rio Iguazu swells as it is joined by water from 30 other rivers. This river flows
fairly serenely in a wide valley swelling to 4km across at Iguazu. It is here that the water hits the edge of a massive basalt plateau and is reduced to a number of very fast flowing waterfalls. Suddenly this serene looking river plunges over a 74m drop in a series of over 250 waterfalls (Is this sounding like my guidebook yet?). Most of these fall are on the Argentinian side, however the most impressive single fall is at the Garganta del Diablo (Devils Throat), where the Argentine - Brazil border cuts right down the middle.
The falls are just awesome. There is no other word to describe them. It takes 2 days to see them properly. I spent one day on the Argentinian side. Here, there is a really large park with a number of jungle walks, many of which emerge at spectacular viewing points of the falls. Every view gives a different perspective on the falls themselves and i took so many pictures during my walks. I´ll try and keep them to a minimum here to stop boring you (thats assuming anyone still reads these ramblings!). Many points on the Argentine side get you right up close and
Devils Throat Waterfall from Brazil
The viewing platforms hang out over the falls, giving great views
personal at the bottom of some of the falls, where you get drenched by the spray coming off them and can really appreciate the power of them.
The second area of the Argentine park is a 1.5km walkway, across part of the Rio Iguazu. This eventually ends at a spot right on top of the Devils throat waterfall. This is absolutely amazing. Aparently there is enough water passing over this fall every minute to fill a really, really large swimming pool, a lot of times, I think! It is an unbelievable spot to stand at, and totally hypnotic to just watch the water continually plunging over the edge. Its impossible to see the bottom of the Devils throat fall, due to the constant mist rising up from the base. In the evening there are also 100´s of swallows which dart in and out of the falls to their nests, behind the falls. And the sun constantly creates rainbows in the mist generated.
The park also has huge numbers of wildlife resident, most of which i couldn´t name if they came up and bit me! But i did see some sloth type things, lots of lizards (Some pretty big
Garganta Del Diablo
The impressively named Devils Throat Waterfall, the biggest in the park, with a constant cloud of mist at the base
ones) and thousands of butterflies. However, the highlight on that side was seeing 3 toucans in the evening, flying between the trees in the park.
The following day i visited from the Brazilian side. (Another stamp in my passport for the one day visit, now i feel i have "done" Brazil!) The Brazilian park is much smaller, but gives a much better appreciation of the scale of the falls, along with much better panaromas of the Devils Throat area. The views again are just simply amazing and they have also built walkways that run right out across rivers, to viewing platforms that hang over some of the main falls.
I don´t think my words can do justice to this amazing place. I´ll try and post a few pictures to help you understand this place. I only hope other places i visit on this trip can live up to this fantastic sight and i would recommed anyone to come and see them. (Am i getting soppy enough yet, but i just loved it there!) The only difficulty in walking around the park was the extreme heat and high humidity, which made it pretty uncomfortable at times. However, everything else
Lovely Day for a Guinness
So they don´t drink guinness in real life?
made the 36 hour round trip bus journey worth it!
OK, thats it for now, Merry Christmas again,
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