Visiting the Iguazu Falls
The perfect addition to any Latin America travel itinerary must include a once in a lifetime trip to the Iguazu Falls which promises to impress any traveler. Located on the border of Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina, where the Iguazu River tumbles over the edge of the Parana Plateau, the Iguazu Falls are one of the great natural wonders of the world.
The falls span over 1.6 miles and are comprised of over 275 distinct falls to form a breathtaking sight. The Iguazu Falls have been named both a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the new Wonders of the World. The name Iguazu derives from the Guarani words “y” meaning water and “uasu” meaning big which barely does it justice. Access to the Iguazu Falls can be reached from the Brazilian side of Foz do Iguacu or the Argentinean side of Puerto Iguazu which happens to be smaller than the Brazilian side. The right bank of the Falls belongs to Brazil which has just over 20% of the jumps of these falls, and the left side belongs to Argentina making up the rest of the 80%.
The Iguazu Falls National Park on the Argentine side is very well organized and makes it easy for travelers wanting to avoid the large tour groups. Most tours to the upper circuit are done in the morning meaning independent travelers can explore the lower circuit in the morning and the upper circuit with a fraction of the people in the afternoon. The tour of Puerto Iguazu provides a spectacular canyon of waterfalls creating a dazzling panorama of cascades with a powerful roar that echoes through the surrounding jungle.
One of the main waterfalls, which is visited by over 1.2 million people every year is the Devil’s Throat. The Devil’s Throat is U-shaped, 82 metres high, 150 m wide and 700 metres long. To visit the Devil’s Throat, the parks largest fall, visitors can take the typical route which is done by train. It is highly recommended to get an early morning start and enter the park as it opens, usually between 7:30 and 8:00 am to provide travelers with ample time, as the hike to the Devil’s Throat is about 45 minutes, leaving time to enjoy the views with some peace and quiet before the first group of train goers arrive!
The Iguazu Falls are much bigger than Niagara Falls and almost twice as wide which for which Eleanor Roosevelt is said to have exclaimed on her sight of the Falls, “Poor Niagara!.” The Falls have become a major tourist attraction and are well worth exploring a day on both the Brazilian and Argentinean side, especially if travelers are interested in boat tours.
Experience a waterfall rush during a Puerto Iguazu Toru and make your Argentina vacation the trip of a lifetime.