Monday, 17 March 2014

Theme Park Iguazu

One of the ´must see´ attractions when you read about Argentina or Brazil is the Iguazu waterfalls. The falls are based between the two countries, one of the 7 natural wonders of the world and bigger than the more famous Niagara Falls. This was definitely a place we wanted to try to get to, the only problem... It's miles out of the way from anywhere else!! We didn't let this put us off and decided we would take the hit, a 24 hour bus journey in and a flight out - Iguazu had a lot to live up to!! 

The Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls

We arrived in Peurto Iguazu on the Argentinian side of the falls after a little 22 hour bus ride from Buenos Aires. The town is very small and exists soley for tourists meaning there are lots if caf├ęs, restaurants and my favourite, tat shops! The weather was much more tropical than anywhere you have been so far and the place had a very different (almost South East Asian) vibe. From what we saw the town had loads of really nice looking hostels all over town, but we were staying in a cheap little hotel with a swimming pool and probably more importantly kittens (though this was more due to luck than what we saw advertised on trip advisor). My favourite place in town was probably a little coffee shop called Jack Bucks which did great little salads, which were a tad expensive, but it was great to be eating something other than steak (yes Argentina has broken me, I am so over steak). I would also recommend visiting the food market towards the edge of town which has little grill restaurants with roof terraces or tables out on the street. 

Hotel kittens playing with The Photographers camera

On our first proper day we decided it was about time we visited a new country so popped over the boarder to the Brazilian side of the falls (I got a stamp in my passport so that counts as visiting right?). The Brazillian side of the falls is much smaller than the Argentinian side with just one walkway, and provides panoramic views of the waterfalls, it can be visited in about half a day (unless you chose to do any of the activities on offer). While you can do tours to the falls, we just did it ourselves on local buses which was very easy. When we arrived the park was very busy (even with an early bus the boarder crossing takes a little while). Although the place is absolutely beautiful you can often feel like you are fighting for space on the walkway, and if you stop at a viewpoint to look around you can feel a bit of pressure to move so people can get their photos! Still the views are great with rainbows everywhere, I would definitely recommend visiting the Brazilian side if you have the time and no visa issues! 

Bird on the Argentinian side of the falls 
The Argentinian side of the falls 

The Argentinian side on the other hand is a definite must, allowing amazing views of the falls and the chance to get up close and personal too! We visited on our second day, again on local buses, this time staying in the park for the whole day. My favourite part was definitely the Devils Throat, a walkway at the very far end of the park (you have to get a train there) which takes you right over the one of the biggest parts of the falls. The experience was amazing, you cross the river and it seems so calm, then suddenly you see the water disappear in front of you. Once you make it to the end of the walkway the sound is amazing, you feel like you could just fall into the abyss and you get soaked by the spray of the falls! The other walkways also give you great views of the falls, especially from the small island of san martin. We also took a little 'adventure' boat ride which takes you along the river right up to the falls and you get absolutely soaked, it was a it like a theme park ride (and I screamed a lot), but still super fun! During our time on the Argentinian side we also managed to spot a few animals; millions of butterflies, a couple of monkeys, quite a few coatis, some giant lizards (one tried to bite The Photographer) and even a crocodile!! In general we also found the Argentinian side to be much quieter (perhaps as all the tourists are spread out a bit more), but even so the place still felt a bit theme parky... Nevertheless The Photographer and I thought the trip was well worth the travel involved in the visit!!!


Another view on the Argentinian side of the falls

A Coati climbing a tree

Looking into the Devils Throat

Jungle and Rainbows - Argentiania side of the falls 

Summary

Location: Iguazu waterfalls

Highlights: The devils throat (on the Argentinian side) and our roller coaster boat ride.

Top Tips: Get to the park early to avoid the crowds, we got the first bus out of town for the Argentinian side and manged to get the first train in the park meaning we got lots of time at The Devils Throat pretty much on our own.

Minutes spent lost: 0, the town was small and both the parks are well set up for tourists.

Profile pictures: Lots of potential options....

Epiphany´s: 0

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