A wonder of the world in Argentina – Iguazu Falls
A marvel of nature, proudly listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, the Iguazú Falls are a must experience for any bucket list. On a gorgeous day, enjoy the sun sparkling off the water, countless rainbows and an endless array of multi-colored butterflies. Located on the border of Argentina and Brazil, the Iguazu Falls consist of approximately 257 individual falls over a span of 2.7 kilometres.
These falls are not just about water, as the surrounding Iguazu National Park has much to boast about in its own right. This park ecosystem is home to almost 500 species of wild fowl, 80 species of mammals and an immense variety of reptiles, fish, insects and butterflies. Some of the most common wild animals found in the Iguaçú National Park, include the spotted jaguars, butterflies, raccoons, prego monkeys, coral snakes, toucans, parrots, and yellow breasted caimans.
The Devil’s Throat The Devil’s Throat, is undoubtedly the highlight of the majestic waterfalls, towering 82 metres or 24 stories high. At the edge of the platform, looking down at the Devil’s Throat, one sees a white misty foam that drops into an endless water pit below. The thundering sound of the falls is like the roar of an angry tiger. All in all, a mesmerizing, awe-inspiring wonder.
The name “Iguazu” comes from the language of the indigenous Guarani tribe and literally means “big water”. It is legend that a god once planned to marry a woman until she fled with her mortal-lover down the Iguazú River. In rage, the god sliced the river, creating the waterfalls and condemning the lovers to an eternal fall.
The Great Experience
To get more close and personal with the falls, consider embarking on a daring adventure, called The Great Experience. Participants board an open-air 4×4 vehicle that seats about 40 people for an eight km drive through the jungle to the coast of the Iguazu River. A motor-powered raft awaits the group and journeys upstream into the heart of the falls as close as one can safely get. This privately run operation, is only for those willing to get drenched.
1. Best times for wildlife sightings, such as toucans, coatis, monkeys, is early morning.
2. Beware of the racoon-like animals with long furry beaks, called the coatis. As these animals bite and are very aggressive food scavengers, zip all bags that contain food and do not attempt to feed the animals.
3. To avoid getting wet, purchase a plastic hooded poncho from outside the park area.
4. Consider bringing a picnic lunch – although there is a good variety of foods available at all price levels, from sandwiches to a full all you can eat buffet.
5. Bring insect repellant.
6. Be prepared for unpredictable tropical weather.
7. Consider whether your group can easily manage the one kilometer walk through the jungle leading to the Devil’s Throat, and if not take the train nearest to the park entrance.
8. Plan on spending a full day on the Argentinean side of the falls.
9. Consider whether to spend the time to see the falls from Brazil, and if yes, then obtain a visitor’s visa in advance.
10. There is a 50% discount on park entrance fees for people who return for a second day. For a natural wonder with heart, visit Iguazú Falls, Argentina!
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