When you look up into the trees, you might see a toucan! I saw two of them, and what we learned is that the toucan actually uses her beak to pull out her own eggs and eat them! Well, I suppose that's a handy way to get a quick snack, but it makes it rather difficult to propagate the species.
It is propaganda, it is free!
This fancy propaganda exercise starts with 10-minute movie on the different building stages of the Itaipu dam; its parameters and bilateral dimensions. The president of Brazil at the time says something along these lines: "A nation which can build a facility of this magnitude cannot be considered as a third world country".
Then immaculate buses take the crowds up to a perfect viewpoint where all the incomprehensible might of this concrete monster stands up in front of you and intimidates every nucleus of your being. When your imagination is thoroughly saturated you are driven off to match your meager body against the colossal turbines and then on to the borderless road crawling on top of the wall for the ultimate display of water infinity.
By the end of the exercise your lower jaw is fixed permanently at an unnatural level and you flagellate yourself for thinking of Brazil in such a belittling manner.
Las Cataratas means the waterfalls in Spanish and Portuguese and this is clearly why you're here. In my personal opinion, you're shortchanging yourself if you don't visit both the Brazilian and Argentine national parks. Each side offers a very different experience of the majestic falls and is worth taking the time to see. You can be at the Brazilian side of the falls in just over 20 minutes from downtown Foz do Iguacu while getting to the Argentine side will take somewhere between 40 and 90 minutes depending on your method of transportation. Check out my respective national park pages for both Brazil and Argentina for further details.
World's Largest Power Station
Back in the mid-1970s, Brazil and Paraguay began construction of the Itaipu Dam, presently the world's largest power station in terms of electrical output. Taking 18-years to complete, this massive 200-m high concrete structure stretches for about 8-km (5-miles) across the Parana River only a few kilometers above Foz do Iguacu.
The 1350 square km reservoir stretches upstream for 170 km, having filled itself to capacity by 1985 as the waters of the Rio Parana backed up behind the new dam. One thing that the promotional film in the Itaipu Visitor Centre (see my 'Tourist Trap' tip) does not mention is that this flooding drowned a waterfall that was even more impressive than the nearby Iguacu Falls. Located just south of the Brazilian city of Guaira, the Sete Quedas waterfall had a total drop of 114 m (375 ft) and the Rio Parana was compressed from a width of 381-m to just 61-m as it flowed through canyon walls. The roar of the water could be heard 30-km (20 miles away) and was reported to be the greatest volume of falling water in the world. Now, just a placid lake.
A lively church congregation
The largest church that I saw in Foz do Iguacu was the Catedral Sao Joao Batista on Avenida Jorge Schimmelpfeng. The beautiful cathedral seemed to always have something going on. The doors were open during a service on the Saturday night that I was in town and things looked rather exciting inside. The speaker and the audience were very enthusiastic and I was interested enough to move closer and try to understand what was being said . . . to no avail!