The Beautiful Igauzú
I wanted to dish all about my incredible adventure to Iguazú, Argentina. It was a quick hop over to Argentina simply because there’s nothing else to do in Iguazú, the town is centered around the national park.
Why did I want to go to Iguazú? My answer would be, have you seen pictures?! It’s absolutely out of this world. The second I heard of it, I had to see it. And I will add that it’s considered one of the New 7 Natural Wonders of the World.
The following day, I set out with my tour company to the National Park. I say “tour company” loosely, because they really just provided transfers to and from the park and made sure we didn’t get lost. Both of which I am grateful for, but I was bummed I didn’t get much information about the park. Most of the other tours seemed to operate in the same manner. The park (on the Argentina side) is designed so you can do the whole thing in one day.
The Iguazú National Park sits on the border of Brazil and Argentina. 20% of the falls are in Brazil while 80% are in Argentina. I didn’t make it to the Brazilian side only because to do so, I’d need a $160 visa. The National Park is actually much more than just the waterfalls. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1984. Because of it’s location, Iguazú has a very rich biodiversity with over 2,000 species of plants, 400 species of birds and over 80 mammals. Researchers and Scientists have and continue to preserve and revive endangered species. I was so fascinated to hear that Iguazú is home to crocodiles, leopards, pumas, tucans, monkeys and some animals I’ve never even heard of!
I found the park itself to be very navigable. You didn’t have to partake in difficult hikes to get to the falls. In fact, I was impressed to see that almost all of the park was handicap-accessible. I was so pleased to see this because this was the first National Park I’ve visited where people with physical disabilities could enjoy it completely. For the same reason, the majority of the people were there with their kids. The park was quite crowded which wasn’t so great, but the majority of the Southern Hemisphere is on Winter Vacations right now.
The trails all provided amazing vantage points to the falls, all extremely different from the others. I thoroughly enjoyed the hundreds of different butterflies fluttering about. Many of which landed on me. I also enjoyed all of the animals like the coati which I’d never even heard of before! To me, they looked like raccoon-cat-anteater type creatures. Like the monkeys, they preyed off of the tourists for food. I did see a few monkeys but not what I had imagined after my experience in India!
One of the highlights of my trip was the boat excursion. I was initially on the fence about paying extra for this since the wallet is a little empty lately, and I’d already done “The Maid of the Mist” in Niagra. I am so happy that I ended up doing it because it was nothing like Maid of the Mist, and it was one of my favorite parts of the day! The night before I went on an excursion with my friendly taxi-driver to find a poncho in town since I’d heard they cost $11 in the park. I’ll tell you now, the poncho AND raincoat did nothing. I was soaked to the bones. The boat was more of a speedboat that went full-speed into the falls. Their objective was to soak you, and they were quite good at it. It felt like an amusement park ride.
The day couldn’t have been more perfect. I was surprised at how much I had enjoyed the actual park in addition to the falls. Everything was so well-designed and well-run. I’d highly recommend Iguazú to everyone and put it high on the list of South American Destinations you should visit.
While I was away, I tried a new pet-sitter for León. I honestly think León had a more fun time than I did. She was watching another dog and León spent the entire 3 days playing with her. He was so exhausted when I picked him up he wasn’t that excited to see me. He liked the lady so much that he slept in her bed with her. He even snapped his leash in half in the car so that he could sit with her. She was shocked at his Incredible Hulk strength.
The tour guide would take attendance after each destination and would refer to me as “streaker”. (For my Chilean readers, a streaker is someone who runs through crowds naked)
‘Cataratas’ was a new word for me as I always knew waterfalls to be ‘cascadas’. I kept confusing the word for ‘carreteras’ which is highway. I’m convinced I have Spanish dyslexia
I felt like such a pro when I noticed the line at customs to get back into Chile was ridiculous. I asked the guy directing people if he’d allow me to go in the Chilean line. My argument was that I’ve seen them let foreigners enter that line before when the other line was too long. I was shocked when he smiled and let me go.
If you're planning on heading to Iguazú, and I highly suggest you do, check out my Iguazú, Argentina Travel Guide