It was the same price to fly to Iguazú as it was the same price as the 17hours bus ride and for a no brainer. After booking I found out that the airport on the Argentinian side of the falls was closed and my flight redirected to the Brazilian side. This left me in the ridiculous situation of flying to Brazil to see the Brazilian side of the falls, only to take a day trip to Argentina the next day. I then returned to Brazil where I flew back to Argentina and the plan was to head to Uruguay the day after. I’m hoping immigration will not question this and it means I get many more stamps in my passport.
I had an early start and the night before did not help with that. I had planned to take the bus to the airport but after the 5th one drove past too full for me and my bags I took a taxi. It was my first experience of Buenos Aires rush hour and unlike London it didn’t seem to end after 9am. The flight was uneventful, Brazil let me in and I took a bus to Foz do Iguaçu.
I very quickly realised that the Portuguese would mess with my Spanish and the little Spanish I knew was no help to me here so I decided to just speak in English as any decent tourist would. I also took a quick trip to the supermarket and was happy to find my deodorant, thank you globalisation, cheaper prices and a security guard with a shotgun – watch out shoplifters.
The Brazilian Side
It’s recommended that you start with the Brazilian side of the falls as most of the waterfalls are on the Argentinian side. It means you get a more panoramic view of the falls and a better idea of how it all looks. I had been told by people it wasn’t great but i wanted to do both sides.
You can catch a bus from the main bus station, it’s the same one that takes you to the airport and it leaves every 30mins and takes about 40mins to get to the park. I paid 63 real to enter and took the bus to the place where everyone else got off. If in doubt when travelling, follow everyone else! At least that way you are not left alone!
Once off the bus I put my bag down and was mobbed by a Coatis who tried to steal my lunch. He failed and I managed to grab some pics. The last three are form the Argentinian side.
There is one path to follow which everyone else walks along but you do get great views of the falls in the distance. It’s hard for me to explain in detail now but the falls are over 3km with half the river falling off the Devil’s Throat and the rest spread across hundreds of other waterfalls. This is the biggest set of waterfalls in the world and it makes Naigara Falls, which I’ve also visited, look like a hosepipe.
Along the path there were also a tonne of butterflies. When I sat down for lunch they all decided to join me, maybe I was tasty and like me for the duration. I didn’t see the same happening to everyone else so I am definitely special. But I managed to get some shots of their colours.
There are boat rides you can take that get you close to the falls. I spotted one and decided to take one the next day.
There were lots of condors circling as I’m sure dinner was close.
As you walk along the path you start to see the Devil’s Throat and then there are viewing platforms at various stages where you can get good views. It’s nothing short of spectacular.
And then the rainbows. I’m afraid to say I’ve now seen the end of too many rainbows and there is no gold.
Of course I took the usual condor pics as one flew overhead.
I also said I would be honest in this blog. I’m sure by normal standards the day was not busy but especially at lunch time when the tours were there you had to fight for space with the selfie takers. Also here are all the platforms you walk along. Without them it would be difficult to see anything so I am glad they are there and it didn’t make it less special. I stayed around and after 3pm practically had the place to myself.
There was really good WIFI on this side so I took advantage and sat by the river just enjoying the scenery. This is what it looks like from the top.
And of course the photos of me!
I was told by the hostel that it would take two hours to get to the Argentine side via public transport. To me that’s a short journey so I took it rather than paying the ridiculous transport fee. A bus showed up at the bus station and drove to the border. It didn’t stop at the Brazilian side on the way our or the way back. No idea why, but I did get another Argentinian exit stamp. I made friends with some Americans/Brazilians in the bus and just after the border it stopped for us to catch the bus to the National Park. We were approached by a man with a car who offered a better price than the bus so we jumped in. It took less than an hour to get to the falls so don’t get a transport. I decided that I would splash out for a boat trip but we will come to that later. First I thought I’d show you a selection of the animals I photographed. Don’t ask any questions as I’m not informed enough to know anything about them. Just think ahhhhh pretty.
I had been told that it was a good experience to get a boat trip to get up close to the waterfalls and I had little idea of what I was letting myself in for. It’s around £40 and takes around 2hours so just bare that in mind if you want to see all the waterfalls as some can only be accessed by train.
I waked to the meeting point and then boarded the tuck that drove the 5km to the docks.
I boarded the boat and sat next to a lovely American lady of Paraguayan decent who was on holiday with her family. The boat took off at some speed down the river and we soon approached the waterfalls and saw lots of wet people in other boats.
We passed through rapids and were taken to places where it was possible to get good shots of the waterfalls.
although it was hard to take pics when you have to fight for space.
The crew then instructed us to put our cameras away and i became a little concerned when they appeared in full waterproofs. Two minutes later they dove us under the waterfalls you see in the pictures. There was so much water and spray I counted the really see anything. But I was thankful for the waterproof bags provided. If that wasn’t enough this time they hit the rapids at the bottom of the waterfall so the waves went over the boat. When that was finished they took us to the other set of waterfalls and released the process. This was even more powerful and I ended up laughing so hard and holding hands with the lady next to me. After another set of rapids we started heading back. I thought it was all over so put on my sunglasses and they hit another wave which I got the brunt of and it knocked my glasses clean off my face. It took me a second to realise what had happened and people looked around for them. Everyone else still had their glasses and I began to come to terms with losing them as we headed back to the dock. When we got up I realised that they were lodged in the life jacket of my new friend and I counted my luck yet again. The boat ride was a lot of fun but other then a thill ride I don’t think you get a better view of the waterfalls so possibly not worth it if you are sitting on the fence.
When we returned I decided to take the upper waterfall path and here are a selection of pictures from the experience
As you can see there were a lot of rainbows and just to prove there is no gold I was able to walk through one.
The river is so wide, unimaginably so, that you have to walk along kilometres of walkways to see the waterfalls. It’s slightly disconcerting as you can see through and if they broke and you ended up in the river you would be over a water fall pretty quickly. Anyways thank goodness for great engineering. I’d like to know how they were built.
And of course here are a few of my more arty shots.
So now I’d seen everything but the big one. It was time to take the train to the Devil’s Throat. This is the set of waterfalls where half the river falls off so just think big. The photos don’t do it justice and there is so much spray and mist it’s hard to get photos, as the camera became soaked. But again there are more rainbows and a lot of water.
and after that I decided to head back. Two busses took me over the border, again in around an hour, I received an exit stamp from Argentine but again nothing from the Brazilian side. The next days I flew back to Buenos Aires for the second to last time ready to head to Uruguay for six days.