Catwalks to the viewing areas of the falls
Favorite thing: Iguazu Falls is one of the most spectacular and accessible falls in all the world. The many catwalks leading to the three different viewing areas are very well planned and quite safe.
When viewing the Garganta del Diablo the largest and most awe-inspiring fall you will walk about 10-15 minutes meandering through the catwalks and crossing over many sections of the Rio Iguazu Superior hearing the thundering roars of the mighty Iguazu Falls before you can see them. The catwalks are quite sturdy and new after the original catwalks were destroyed in a flood.
Along the way you may spot some caiman, many different butterflies and see circling birds (not sure if they were vultures) as you approach the falls, so keep your eyes open.
Fondest memory: Walking on the catwalks and hearing the mighty thundering roars of the Iguazu Falls before you get a glimpse of falls themselves.
Butterflies...I see many, many butterflies
Favorite thing: The park is full of many different species of butterflies which at times seems like an invasion. There are some really beautiful colorful ones and if you stand or just stop long enough, you may have one or a few of these creatures use you as a landing spot.
It was a nice treat to see so many of these beautiful creatures just fluttering around and landing where they wanted.
I was able to photograph a few different species.
Critters of Iguazu Falls
Favorite thing: There are many species of animals in the park and if you are lucky enough you may spot one or many of these creatures, just remeber stop to look at them, photograph them and move on.
We were lucky because we spotted many coati running around, some iguanas, birds, butterflies, beautiful plush crested jays, a few caiman, agouti and some giant ants. I am an animal lover and enjoy seeing animals in their natural habitat.
Fondest memory: We actually witnessed a coati snatching some cookies from a young girl, running off to a secluded area and tearing up and eating his treat.
Park Entrance Fees and Visiting Hours.
Favorite thing: We did the park on our own (not with a tour) and therefore base this information on entering the park on your own.
We noticed that the entrance fees changed from our first visit only a year ago, so be prepared to pay a bit more if you visit after 11/2008 (fees are an every changing thing).
During our latest visit (2008/2009) we paid an entrance fee of $60 pesos per person.
The visiting hours were from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm.
- National/State Park
- Jungle and Rain Forest
Favorite thing: For our visit to Parque Nacional del Iguazu, located in the far northeast of Argentina, we had made arrangements to stay in the small town of Puerto Iguazu, located about 20-km (13-miles) from the Parque, where Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina all come together on the map.
After a very pleasant pre-booked flight on Aerolineas Argentinas, we were there in no time at all (compared to a bus trip!). Our experiences while in Puerto Iguazu far exceeded my expectations. This small city of 30,000 people, located in the rain forest area of Argentina, has a lot to offer a visiting tourist.
Fondest memory: In addition to touring both the Argentine and Brazil sides of Iguazu Falls, we also visited the world's largest power plant at the nearby Itaipu Dam. On top of these natural and man-made wonders, the town itself was very enjoyable, with it's very friendly people and beautiful location where the Iguazu and Parana Rivers meet. Combine this with very pleasant tree-lined streets, excellent restaurants and first-class accommodations at the Hotel Esturion, we could not have asked for a better spot to spend our 30th wedding anniversary!
This photo shows a typical street leading down into the main business area of the city.
- Family Travel
Favorite thing: This is probably the single most important tip I have ever seen anywhere on a trip to the falls that includes staying at the Sheraton. The Sheraton is inside the National Park here and therefore you are required to pay park entrance when arriving the first day. From then on, your room keys will double as your park pass. I know I should have thought of this ahead of time but no one ever told us we would need to pay the park fee in the taxi that is in addition to the 60 pesos for the ride.
So in our case the ride to the hotel cost us 80 pesos for the 2 admissions and 60 pesos for the ride plus a small tip of about 5 pesos. 145 pesos just like that. I know its not a big deal coming to Argentina with dollars but it’s a lot more than you probably will be expecting. It was more than I was expecting.
How the falls were created
Favorite thing: When the world was ruled by M'Boy, the snake-god, the caigangues used to live by Iguassu river. Igobi, the chieftain, had a daughter called Naipi, who was so pretty that the river stopped each time she reflected. Because her beauty, Naipi was consecrated to M'Boy, and she began to live to his cult. Once, a young warrior called Taroba, saw Naipi and fell in love with her. The celebration day, Taroba run away with Naipi in a canoe; when M'Boy realized, he got angry, penetrated the land, and made a huge cleft, where a big waterfall was made. The waters wrapped the canoe and the runaway lovers, who fell down and disappeared. Naipi became a rock in the middle of the waterfall, where is fustigated by the turbulent waters; Taroba became a palm tree at the edge of the abyss. Beneath that palm tree, there is a cave, under the Devil's Throat, where the revengeful monster watches his victims forever.
Cuando el mundo era gobernado por M'Boy, el dios serpiente, los indios caigangues, habitaban las márgenes del Río Iguazú. Igobi, el jefe de esa tribu, tenía una hija que se llamaba Naipi, tan bella que las aguas del río paraban cuando se miraba en ellas. Por su belleza, Naipi fue consagrada al dios M'Boy, y pasó a vivir para su culto. Existía entre los caigangues, un joven guerrero llamado Tarobá, quien se enamoró de Naipi. El día de la consagración, Tarobá se escapó con Naipi en una canoa; cuando M'Boy se dio cuenta, se puso furioso y penetró en las entrañas de la tierra, produciendo una gran fisura, donde se formó una gigantesca catarata. Envueltos por las aguas, la canoa y los fugitivos cayeron desde una gran altura y desaparecieron. Naipi fue transformada en una de las rocas centrales de las cataratas, perpetuamente fustigada por las aguas revueltas; Tarobá fue convertido en una palmera plantada al borde del abismo. Debajo de esa palmera, se encuentra la entrada de una gruta bajo la Garganta del Diablo, donde el monstruo vengativo eternamente vigila a sus víctimas.
Magical sights and sounds
Favorite thing: Did you ever see the movie "The Mission" with Robert DeNiro? If so, you'll surely recognize the scenery here in the Iguassu National Park in Argentina. If you haven't seen the movie, I'd highly recommend seeing it either before or after your visit. It's really a magical place that is filled with the sounds of chirping birds and falling water.
Into the forest
Favorite thing: The best thing about the Argentine side of the falls is that you get to wander deeper into the forest and closer to the falls. In my humble opinion, you really can't get the full experience of visiting the mighty "cataratas" without visiting both sides. The Brazilian side will give you a perspective of just how wide and enormous the waterfalls are and the Argentine side brings you up close and personal with the power of the water and inside the surrounding forest.
Fondest memory: This picture was taken as I was walking along the Green Trail, which is the first footpath you'll encounter when you visit the Argentine side of the falls. Don't be surprised if you see some wildlife cross the path.
Favorite thing: Brazil doesn't have a monopoly on great views over the falls. Particularly from the Upper Circuit trail, the Argentine side provides some really interesting panoramas. Instead of looking directly at the falls, you kind of look across them from all sorts of interesting angles. The visual lines are really great as the water bends around the cliffs away from your eye (or camera lens). You might be on top of the falls or looking up at them from river level or you might discover some small creek that gives way to a slight drop creating a minor fall. It's great to explore.
Wanna get wet?
Favorite thing: Don't worry, you don't have to take a high speed boat ride in order to get wet. There are many vantage points where you'll feel the misty spray coming up from the falls. This spot, for example, get you right up close to a fairly large portion of the falls. It's loud, but the spray is fairly gentle. It's enough, however, that you need to make sure you protect your camera equipment.
Favorite thing: I snapped this photograph from the Helisul helicopter ride that I took from the Brazilian side of the falls. The Rio Iguacu is amazing. It's meandering it's way through a dense rainforest and then, for no apparent reason, it decides to create one of South America's greatest attractions by just dropping off an edge only a few miles before merging with the Rio Parana downstream. What a cool river!
Favorite thing: After we got off the train at Devil's Throat there was a traffic jam on one of the catwalks and people looking over the railing and pointing. This guy was hard to see at first because he blended right into the rocks he was sitting on.
Caimans are reptiles, closely related to the Crocodile although the ones I've seen are much smaller than any Croc I've ever seen.
Favorite thing: I read on several travel boards and the Center for Disease Control website that a yellow fever vaccination was recommended for visiting this part of the country so I dutifully went and got one (yellow is not one of my favorite skin tones!) at a travel clinic at Northwestern Hospital in Chicago which was the only other vaccination they recommended for me as I already have vaccinations against Hep A, diptheria and tetanus.
Did I really need it? Probably not in our case, I don't think I saw a mosquito the entire time I was there and I brought Deep Woods Off for my husband who opted not to get the vaccination. But you'll need to make up your own mind based on your personal health concerns and take into account what season you are visiting in.
both sides of beauty
Favorite thing: If you have time, cross borders (with a remise) to Brasil (no visa needed if you only go to the National Park, and you will see a pretty view.
because we have most of the falls in Argentina, but from Brasil you ll see the others and a beautiful landscape!!).
the Brasilian visit to the falls can be done in 3 hours while the Argentine visit to the falls... it depends on your interest, because you can walk many hours.
Fondest memory: the sounds and colours of nature.