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Published: January 1st 2013
Of course we were excited. We always are when we reach any world famous site. Iguacu Falls
being one of the examples. We said that before – we don’t like touristy places but they are famous for a reason. Their beauty usually exceeds the negative impact of being part of a crowd. We came in a low season, rainy weather being a norm at this time of a year. We waited few more days in Curitiba before coming to Foz to be able to take advantage of better weather. When we checked in to our hostel (Favela Chic Hostel
– really great place, recommended) we were told that weather had been bad for a week or so. We crossed our fingers and hoped for the best;-)
Actually within last 13 months we were pretty lucky with good weather when we needed it most - exceptions being some places in China and unfortunately Halong Bay, Vietnam. Apart for that sun was always there for us. Not that it matters so much in tropical climate but we believe that world is a much more pleasant place when it is sunny, wouldn’t you agree? When we woke up in the morning and it
was sunny, we only smiled. Just as we ordered, we had a sunny weather for seeing Iguacu Falls. We quickly had our breakfast and hoped on a bus to the park entrance (entrance fee: 41BR/20$). We did not like the fact that we could not walk around the National Park but only around the falls and we would have to pay extra just to trek for a few kilometers into the jungle. Another money making machine, I suppose. Never mind, we came here to see the big cataratas
It was quite early, before 9 am, so tours did not manage to arrive yet and we had loads of space for our own. The first view of the falls makes you stop breathing, really. They were massive and we did not even reach the Devils Throat
yet. Huge waves of water were dropping tens of meters down creating an unbelievable buzz around. It did not matter as we did not feel like talking, we just stared at them. The walk alongside the Rio Iguacu’s canyon is a nice promenade with plenty of tropical flora and wildlife. There are raccoons everywhere going through rubbish and peoples shopping bags, stealing cookies hahah.
There are masses of butterflies as well and they would sit on your hands and head when you stop to admire the view. It is quite magical with the impressiveness of the falls and ‘tourist trained’ butterflies haha
When we got closer to the Devils Throat we started to get soaked vet. You come so close to the falls that water is literally splashing on you. It does not matter though as you pay your attention to the rainbows around you. It is a stunning place, one of the most beautiful nature places we have been to, no doubt. Our traveler friend described them in a very correct way: “all the waterfalls you have seen before in your life seem like mere splashes when compared with Iguacu”.
We could not agree more. We have seen some stunning falls in Australia and Laos but nothing could be compared to this. Amazing!!!
We played with an idea of visiting the Argentinean side of falls as people say they really complement each other. They are not better than one another but you get a different perspective, apparently. When we walked close to the Devil’s Throat we could actually see the viewing
platform on the Argentina’s side and we actually thought we were closer to them where we were standing. Unfortunately it is bloody expensive to cross on the other side and besides by passport space was getting scarce and I could not simply ‘afford’ two more, huge stamps (Argentinean and Brazilian stamps are massive) in my passport just for one day visit. In this place we also decided not to come back to Argentina but cross through Paraguay to Bolivia. Once again, we did not want to just spend few weeks in Argentina when you really need months to see it all. It must be saved for some other trip.
After the falls we went across the street to the Bird Park. When Tomek saw the ticket price (28BR/14$ each) he just gave me the “are you kidding me?”
look. I assured him it would be worth it as I heard it was just simply astonishing and … yes it was!!! We actually spent more time in this park than walking around Iguacu Falls, shame to admit. We just love animals and even though birds were never that interesting to us, this place deserves “the best zoo we have ever
visited” award. With nearly 800 species of tropical and rare birds you have a chance to get really close to them. We spent ages staring at beautiful flamingos, ara parrots, vulchers, emu birds and eagles but most importantly we could see and even pet toucans. We had never seen them before so it was quite something. They even had cassowary which we were so desperate to see when we had visited Queensland in Aus last year. As a bonus we could hang out with a massive monitor lizard that was just taking some sun outside of the enclosures. Funny enough, we were the only people who saw it as others look but simply don’t see when rushing through a place like that. We finished this super intense and attraction packed afternoon while sipping coffee and watching boa snakes –amazing.
However, Foz do Iguacu was also special for another reason. Coincidently my primary school friend was on holidays in Brazil and our paths crossed exactly in Foz. How amazing is that? It must have been 6 or 7 years since we saw each other last time and out of all places we met in Brazil haha. We met them one
evening for a Brazilian Parrilla and drinks and had really amazing time. We both come from a small town and our men both come from Krakow – funny again;-) We made plans the next day, had pizza and more caipirinhas in our hostel. It was fun. Even though we were supposed to go already we decided to stay another day just to spend one more evening together. They went to the Argentinean side that day and came back completely knackered but still up for some drinks – love Polish attitude towards drinking, there is never a bad time hahah As it was our last place in Brazil we still had to buy some souvenir so we went for a stroll along High Street to find some. There were some artisana
markets around but they had nothing interesting and we had to find another shop. We finally managed to buy a really beautiful mask (as we collect them) although price tag was more than we normally pay (40BR/20$).
With that mission accomplished we headed towards the bridge connecting Brazil with Paraguay…. Waved Brazil goodbye, got stamped out and crossed the border. New day, new country – it is always super
exciting!!! We will miss Brazil, no doubt. We loved the atmosphere, music on the streets, people and it's modern yet culture rich feel. We loved food (meat and empanadas especially) and would kill for those cheap caipirinhas right now hahah We will be back for sure!!! Additional Note - Summary of Southern Brazil:
• 22 days, visited 6 places in 3 southern states of Rio Grande de Sul, Santa Catarina and Parana
• our favorite landscape: Foz do Iguacu of course
• our favorite activity: Birds Park in Foz and jungle trekking on the Santa Catarina
• our favorite hotel/guest-house: out of the two we have stayed in it would be the Backpackers Share House on Santa Catarina
• our favorite thing about Brazil: people and meat quality are extraordinary
• our total cost per day: 40£/65$ per day for both of us. It could have been cheaper without all the drinking and socializing but also more expensive by estimated 20$-25$ per day if we had not stayed on CS. Brazil is by far the most expensive country we have visited on this trip.
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