course I am bias, course I had better access to the brasilian site of the Foz. but from every point one looks at the Great Waters.......its not only a beautiful site, these days it's also a world heritage site.
for all photographers out there........the Mornings
are the best time to take pix from the
more info on my Parana page.
has been for me a little off the beaten path, and had to beat the red tape at the time of unrest in South America....made it though.
best for photography
more info on my Argentina page
The fallas are the main attraction in the area allthough there are many attractions.
They are just so bloody big and amazing that you gotta go and see it for yourself.
There is not just one but many falls and every time you turn a corner you get a new "Niagara falls" in your face.
You can find informations, tips, pictures on my page Parque Nacional do Iguaçu:
Please, visit that page. Thank you!!
The Itaipu dam is one of the biggest hydro electric dams in the world and located right on the border between Brazil and Paraguay.
It produces enough electricity to power almost all of
paraguay and all southern Brazil.
The dam is a joint venture between Brazil and Paraguay and considerd one of the "7 technical wonders of the world".
There are tours to the dam leaving several times a day from Foz do iguacu and they are very interesting and well worth the time and money.
Very important geographic place, because it's the only one place where it's possible to appreciate the view of the three countries, BRASIL, PARAGUAY, ARGENTINA;
One of the main tourist points, the Landmark of the 3 Borders consisted of a pilaster of rock in angle of 90 degrees.
Once you are in the Three Frontiers Meeting Point, consider stretching just a little farther and visiting Salto Monday, in Paraguay, the next largest waterfall in the area. Salto Monday consists of three waterfalls on the Monday River, the tallest of which drops from about 40 metres. Located in the city of Puerto Presidente Franco, just 20 kilometres away from the Friendship Bridge.
The Rio Parana is about the same size as the Mississippi River in the USA in terms of water flow, and is second only to the Amazon for drainage area in South America. As a result, the flows into the headpond of the dam very often exceed what is needed for maximum electrical output from the hydro generators.
Once that flow level is exceeded, the excess water is diverted away from the power house and discharged directly into the Rio Parana below the dam (otherwise it would come right over the top of the dam - and that would not be good!). The photo shows this 'spillway' complex where three huge concrete chutes channel the water down to the edge of the Parana. The spillways were designed to handle an excess water flow equal to 40 times the average flow of the nearby Iguazu Falls! In this case, we were in a lower flow period so only one of the three chutes was in action, but it was putting on quite a display as the man-made waterfall shot up into the air before plunging into the river! The reason for shooting the water into the air is to prevent erosion at the foot of the spillway by taking some of the 'downhill' energy out of the stream of water. Of course, it also never hurts to combine more oxygen into the river water for the benefit of downstream fish life!
At one time, Itaipu was the world's largest power plant, but when it became fully operational China's three gorges dam was somewhat more powerful. There are also plans to create a large hydroelectric project in Africa that would become even larger.
Nevertheless, Itaipu is an impressive machine, and certainly ranks as one of the world's largest piles of concrete, if nothing else.
The typical activities here involve seeing a movie about the history of the dam and its "social responsibility" (including environmental practices) and then taking a bus across the dam below the penstocks, then returning across the top of the dam.
The lake behind the dam, as seen from the bus going across the top, is fairly impressive.
However, if you came to see the natural beauty of Brasil, this certainly isn't the place to see it. It is an extremely sterile and utilitarian structure, even by hydroelectric project standards.
The visitor's site has a covered ampitheatre for looking at the dam, and while I do find it an impressive structure, it isn't like the dams where I live in the USA where you can go down into the dam and see the actual structure of the facility, or even get into the turbine hall.
One of the great places to stop in for an afternoon in Foz do Iguaçu is at the Parque das Aves, which literally translates to Bird Park. As a person who enjoys taking photographs, this was a great opportunity to get up and close to the beautiful birds that had been flying around the falls and cities as we travelled throughout the region. In particular, we had the opportunity to see the coveted bird, the Toucan. Maybe it was all of those Fruit Loops commercials when I was younger that had me fascinated with Toucan Sam, but I have always wanted to see one of these animals up close. Well, Sarah and I got our wish here at the Bird Park.
The bird park of course has many other birds here, including flamingos, parrots of many varieties and many others. As of 2007, the cost to enter the park is $12USD, and the park is open from 8:30am through 5:30pm, which works out well if you are adding this before or after a day trip through the Parque Nacional do Iguacu, since it is located less than a mile from each other.
Given that you are considering going to Foz do Iguaçu by the fact that you are reading this page, this tip seems almost redundant. The reason this part of the Brazilian countryside is even being talked about is the beautiful and majestic waterfalls that are here. When considering the location however, you should research how much time you have to visit the area before deciding which side of the park to visit. The Argentinian side will get you up close and personal to the falls, whereas the Brazilian side makes for a better overview of the area and has some great panoramas of the entire area. If you are there for more than one day, I would recommend seeing both sides.
The Brazilian side is great, and seems a little more developed as a tourist destination, with quite a few great paved walkways and some nice cafes and restaurants. There are also a ton of other activities available to you, including the jungle safari and river rafting. It is easily worth an entire day or three, so make sure you take the time to enjoy it!