Over the last year we have seen many places that have been designated, either by others or more often by themselves, as “Wonders of the World”. Some of them are ancient, some modern, some are man made and some natural. Whilst many of these are questionable in terms of their provenance the Iguazu Falls certainly lives up to this description.
We flew from Buenos Aires to the small town on the Argentinian side of the falls. As well as the falls themselves this place also had the “tres Fronteres” viewpoint where you could see both Brazil and Paraguay whilst standing in Argentina. The borders are defined by the river that the falls run into. The falls themselves sit on both the Argentine and Brazilian side.
We first visited from the Argentine side. The park on this side is bigger and has more walkways around and over the falls. We started from one of the higher walks, luckily at this time of year the park isn’t so busy so we could stop frequently to appreciate the views and take photos. You hear the falls before you see them and without knowing what to really expect you first come to the smaller falls, which in themselves are very impressive. The noise by the falls is deafening. By the time we reached them the morning mist had risen and the views of the falls were complimented by the rainbows cast by the sunshine and spray. Like many amazing sights, words and pictures can’t really do it justice – it’s all about the experience.
We decided to experience the falls up close and took a boat ride into them. Luckily we had prepared for a soaking so brought a change of clothes. Just as well as we were underneath a torrent of water for parts of the trip. Obviously we weren’t right under the falls as it would have smashed the boat to pieces but we went close enough to feel the intensity of noise and the power of the water.
The following day we crossed over the border into Brazil and stayed at the larger city on the Brazilian side. Visiting from this side gave a surprisingly different experience. The park was much smaller but had superior views of the falls in their entirety. You could still get up close by walking along the walkway which takes you right across the water as well as a viewpoint which was closer to the highest part of the falls.
it was really worth visiting both sides of the falls, the Argentine side was larger and you experienced the scale of the falls but the Brazilian side allowed you to appreciate this more intensely.
As these things often work out it was cheaper to cross the border and fly from the Brazilian airport to Rio. Despite the fact that the airports are only about 20 miles apart it would have cost us about 4 times the amount to fly there from the Argentine side!