We're off to see one of the world's big three waterfalls - Iguazu Falls

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South America » Brazil » Paraná » Iguaçu Falls
March 22nd 2016
Published: April 13th 2016
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When we left home a month ago we had been to see Icehouse and Alex Lloyd the night before and I couldn't get the chorus from Alex Lloyd's song 'Amazing' out of my heard. I think the phenomenon is known as an ear worm? Anyhow, after last night's performance I have a new ear worm, I just don't seem to be able to get 'Don't Cry For Me Argentina' out of my head!!

Annoying ear worm aside, this morning we took a short flight from BA to the airport on the Argentinian side of the Iguazu Falls which is spelt variously: Iguazu, Iguasu, Iguassu or Iguaçu Falls. That's probably the Argentinian, Brazilian, English and Paraguayan spellings?! Humph, it was a short flight, but our 11.15am flight was delayed until after noon. Just what we needed, more sitting around in an airport departure lounge.

When we arrived at the falls' airport we were me by local guide Arlete and driver Julio (?). Because of the delay with our flight, Arlete and Gina had decided that we should go straight to the Brazilian side of the falls this afternoon rather than attempt the Argentinian side this afternoon as originally scheduled. Gina had not steered us wrong so far so we all agreed that if they thought it best that was what we should do.

We stopped for a snack along the way at a 24 hour bakery/convenience store. Blimey, that ended up being the biggest time waster of the day as the staff struggled to cope with 14 hungry Aussies who all wanted to buy empanadas for a late lunch!! All of us eventually purchased something to snack on and we continued on our way to the Brazilian side of the falls very conveniently located near the Hotel Das Cataratas where we will be spending the night.

Julio dropped us at the end of the canyon path that starts in front of the hotel. We were very lucky to be staying at Das Cataratas because it is situated inside the Brazilian side of the Iguazu National Park. This meant that we could view the falls after the crowds left this afternoon and before the crowds arrive tomorrow and/or Thursday mornings.

We walked past the interpretative map from which we could hear the roar of the falls. Just a little further along the path and there they were, Iguaza Falls, one of the world's big three waterfalls! There are actually 275 individual falls, surrounded by lush rainforest, that make up the Iguazu Falls. At three kilometres long and 70 metres high they are wider than Victoria Falls and higher than Niagara Falls. We considered ourselves lucky to have seen Niagara Falls before coming to Iguazu but, some members of our group were actually ticking off the third of the big three!!

It was fairly late in the afternoon and a little overcast, but that really did not detract from the amazing spectacle of the falls. So much water, so much energy - it was just incredible. As we walked along the canyon path we also saw cuatis (small, racoon-like animals) coming out at dusk to forage for food. Both Arlete and Gina had warned us about the cuatis. They said we should make sure not to have food in our bags because they have been known to climb onto tourists trying to seek out snacks in bags and back packs. The cuatis we encountered showed little interest in us and seemed to be happy snuffling about on the forrest floor looking for natural food.

We walked all the way along the canyon path which ends at the Brazilian side of the Devil's Throat waterfall, the biggest individual fall of the falls. There is a walkway out into the middle of the river in front of this massive waterfall. Of course we walked out onto it so that we could see the waterfall from front and centre to properly appreciate its size and power ... and get soaked in the process from all the spray. We didn't even bother to put our raincoats on figuring that our next stop was the hotel where we could dry off and change into fresh clothes.

We took the elevator back up to road level where Julio was waiting with the bus to drive us back to the hotel. Even better, it was a quick trip back to the hotel and we were soon in our room stripping off our soaked clothing and jumping into a warmish shower. Our room at the hotel was lovely and the bathroom was gorgeous, BUT the shower was a bit dodgy with not much pressure and all over the place temperature wise - hot, warm, tepid, freeze your bum off, hot, cold, sort of tantalisingly warm enough for a moment and then cold again - ugh!

Before we left home people were asking us if we were worried about the Zika virus. We kept saying that we were already planning to take precautions against mosquitoes because we needed to be mindful of the possibility of contracting malaria or dengue fever from mosquitoes in South America. It's all very well to have a Yellow Fever vaccination, but that is only one of a number of nasty mosquito borne illnesses that occur in South America. All of us have been spraying ourselves diligently and liberally with a variety of repellents. Gabriel alone is applying enough tropical strength Rid to himself to protect everyone within a 20 metre radius!! We're not sure if it's the miasma of DEET surrounding our group that is keeping the mosquitoes at bay or if there are just no mosquitoes, but we really haven't seen any on our whole trip, not even here at Iguazu Falls, at dusk where/when we thought they might be at their worst.

With today's application of 'Repel' (30% DEET) spray washed off - and a fresh one applied! - we headed down to the bar to meet Meredith and decide what to do for dinner. Gina had told us that the hotel has a la carte, buffet and bar food options for dinner. The bar was packed, but other members of our group had been to ask about the buffet and were told that there was no room in the US$40.00/head buffet until 10.00pm and that the a la carte restaurant was an even more expensive option!! We all managed to squash onto some tables in the bar and ordered some bar snacks for our dinner. Not exactly a great eating day today but, after some of the big meals we are having, it will probably do us good to eat a bit more lightly today!

Steps 8,295 (6.20km)

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13th April 2016

Amazing adventure
Yes it sounds like you still needed the Alex Lloyd ear worm for this day, not the dreaded Evita one. (One of my least liked film experiences ever when I was wishing for the heroine to just die so we could all go home!) After a number of annoyances the visit sounded truly memorable with lots of different facets to the experience. There is little man made that can eclipse the power of nature for visual beauty and delight! And when you add some interesting little critters to the mix it just makes that whole experience so much better. But I do feel sorry for you when it comes to making your photobook. It is going to either be one very expensive huge monster or you will go through massive torture choosing which great pics to put in or leave out. Good luck with that, can't wait to see the final product to show off your photos brilliantly.

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