“Cataratas do Iguaçu”

The Iguazu Falls when combined with the Argentinian and Brazilian side, make up the World’s longest stretch of waterfalls with a reported 275+ individual waterfalls!

As I understand it, the Argentinian side makes up at least 75% of the falls so it’s a shame we won’t get to see more of it in volume. However, that has some inadvertent advantages because it’s from the Brazilian side you actually get to see ‘the best of Argentina’ – if that makes sense? So, the Brazilian side provides you with the greater single panoramic and it gives you the best platform (literally) to enjoy such a viewpoint. I’ve also read that unless you’re on the water in Argentina (by boat), it’s on this side of the border that you get more of a feel as to how immense the falls are.

The Argentinian side has SIX walkways (circuits) to navigate due to its larger surface area whereas the Brazilian side has just ONE. Admittedly there was an appeal in knowing that we would not be able to even contemplate the six circuits due to not being able to get into Argentina! I mean, it’s a scorching 36 degrees today. We had only been walking a short while and already our rucksacks were cleverly disguising our sweat-soaked backs. At least with just the one single trek circuit in Brazil, it was accomplishable, mostly in shade and supposedly within an easy 30 minutes (of actual walk time). Yes, please.

We booked our tickets online (currently mandatory) and bagged an early slot at 09:10. Our thinking was obvious: fewer tourists and slightly cooler temperatures. The combined cost would have been £20 but Vivian got this slightly cheaper as a Brazilian national. 

Once we reached our destination courtesy of Uber, official double-decker buses take you to the start of the trail. This journey consists of a leisurely 15-minute journey through The Iguazu National Park (also part of Argentina). Although the falls are the main attraction, the park is monumentally sized and houses a vast variety of wildlife. Our bus slowed at one point to let a deer pass!

Our walk began and therefore so did our photos. They’ll start lower quality and a little pixelated but not for long. As we all know, phone camera quality is pretty excellent but not when it comes to satisfying a zoom from quite a distance away.

(You can now click on the image to expand)

Top tip if you have spare cash! There’s a luxury hotel within the National Park and on route to the start of the trail. We retrospectively Googled it, as you would, to discover it’s a minimum of £250 a night but it does give you access to the falls before tourists arrive!

It wasn’t long before we could start to see the main and concluding viewpoint – the extension to the lower base of The Devil’s throat. The last picture above shows this viewpoint from the distance and indeed, The Devil’s throat as the backdrop. The bridge is supposed to provide the best single viewpoint of the entire falls and we felt fortunate this was on the Brazilian side.

What we have missed out on though was on the Argentinian side you can get a boat that sits above the The Devil’s throat and that is reaches reasonably close to the drop. Well, as close as you’d want to get anyway, lol. That’s a shame as we’d have definitely signed up for that.

And now, our experience had transformed. We’d reached the start of the aluminium bridge, on I stepped without too much of a thought only for my senses to explode seconds later. Simultaneously the all-encompassing visual and aural spectacles hit you. Nature at its grandest and it was all truly breath-taking.

Once I caught my breath I spotted the viewpoint at the end of the bridge was fairly scarce from tourists so coming early did look to pay off. We didn’t need to rush reaching it so stopped, snapped, gazed and marvelling all pretty much in that order.

We honestly did not want to leave, which is extremely rare for me as I’m normally a ‘done, let’s get out’ kinda guy as I fear annoying tourists ruining a moment). If it wasn’t for the fact that it started to get much busier, we would have stayed for even  longer. Not that spending nearly 30 minutes getting progressively more and more damp was not plenty, it was. When I looked around I’d noticed we’d easily out-lasted everyone else that arrived at similar time.

I’m really happy to tell you that by the end of the post we’ll get another Vivian video so you’ll get to see this spectacle in its full glory and I’ll get to relive it. I suspect it won’t convey the noise as deafening and intoxicating, the spray and mist palpable but it will deliver the view itself as magnificent and mesmerising.

They say the memories that live with us the longest are those that touch us in a way that ‘we feel’ in that very moment. This experience was one of these moments; grinning from ear to ear with the water’s soft spray cooling us down and making us feel so very alive in the moment.

The unexpected sheer enjoyment I experienced at the falls, the Kattamaram boat trip along the Paraná river, the triple frontier region and some early evening Caipirinha-indulged pool sessions with Vivian, has made this my most favourite consecutive 4 day journey to-date and quite possibly, the single most amazing attraction.

Here’s a 3 minute video showcasing some of that.

I’d like to quickly point out that getting to Rio de Janeiro, doing all the attractions and visiting the Iguazu Falls is easily achievable as a two week holiday. Honestly. Well, assuming you nail the itinerary and get lucky with the weather.

In fact, I’m told it’s not uncommon to fly into Foz, enjoy the falls, have some lunch and even catch your return flight back that very day! The river cruise from my last post also sets off at midday so depending on your flights you could even fit that in also! What a 24-hours that would be.

By the time you’ll have read this we will have caught our return flight back to Curitiba. Our next destination is a well known island off the south east coast of Brazil meaning we’ll need to take our first lengthy coach journey. Well, five hours lengthy.

The weather here right now is quite England-like, grey and wet. Not something frequent readers will have heard me describe very often! The forecast for the island we’re off too not much better which could be a problem as there isn’t much to do there other than visit beaches and eat seafood. I’ll endeavour to satisfy the latter if I cannot, the former.

Right now though as Vivi and I look out upon a rain-soaked city, we do wish we were back in the city of Foz do Iguaçu and enjoying these views.

Sun rising in the east shining down on Paraguay to the west.

Beautiful sunset behind Paraguay.

3 Responses

  1. Ola voces dois,
    I have to say that out of all the blogs you both have written the last one with the Iguazu Falls has been my favourite. Its so beautiful and breath taking.
    You both look so good and tanned compared to us whiteys ha!
    Sami you are actually getting good at having your photo or video taken. Keep it up.
    Have a safe journey to where ever you are going next.
    Tenho saudades vossas
    Keep safe xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    • Obrigada Teresa e Phil. ☺️

      The Falls felt very special for both of us too. The beauty is mesmerising but the feel of the little particles of water landing on your body makes it an immersive and memorable experience. I hope we can comeback one day and that you are both able to experience it as well.

      And yes, we are getting more comfortable being in front of the camera. We are both camera-shy so it’s a bit unnatural for us.

      Hope you are both well and safe. xx

      Love,
      Viv

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