09.02.2012 - 11.02.2012 30 °C
We had the most amazing flight into Iguazu. The pilot zig-zagged the aircraft around the falls for a few minutes on the way into landing, giving us an incredible first view of the famous Iguazu falls. After landing, we were met by Rodrigo, a Brazilian guy who was dropping us to our hostel. An interesting (or not!) fact – due to Rodrigo being a Brazilian tour guide his car was unable to collect us from the airport. So we jumped in an Argentinean cab and switched cars outside the airport. A bit bizarre but there seems to be a little competition between these South America neighbours.
After our rubbish hostel in Buenos Aires, we were extremely pleased to arrive at the Hostel Inn, complete with pool and wonderful bathroom facilities! We were based between the national park and the town centre of Puerto Iguazu. It was a great location and very easy reach of the local buses to take us to the national park.
Trekking day – after deciding to catch the bus to the falls, we were approached by a taxi driver with a cheap offer of a taxi journey that we couldn’t refuse. No need to twist our arms! Luckily there were two Brazilians also at the bus stop who shared our taxi ride making it the same cost as the bus would have been anyway.
Arriving at the falls was hassle free. Tickets purchased we jumped on the mini “train” to the furthest station to reach the 'Devil’s Throat', a horse shoe shaped, most powerful section of the falls. Iguazu falls consists of approximately 275 falls over a 2.8km area. It is so difficult to describe just how fantastic the falls are. The Devil’s Throat section is the deepest and where the falls start. The river that runs through the falls belongs to both Argentina and Brazil with an imaginary border going right through the centre of the river. The Argentinean side consists of the most falls but the Brazilian side gives you a different perspective and view of the falls.
The Argentinean side of Iguazu has around 3 or 4 different trails to walk through to see different angles of the falls. All in all it takes approximately 5 or 6 hours to get all the walks done. We stopped for lunch for our daily jamon y queso baguette which we ate in the quiet grounds of the Sheraton to avoid having to share our lunch with the very brave and particularly annoying raccoon type creatures!
A similar story to our journey to the falls, on the way back, after being pushed out of the queue for the bus, we jumped in a cab with a couple of Aussie lads. The two single Aussie boys were particularly pleased to hear from the driver that the hostel where they were staying was considered the “gay” hostel whereas where we were staying is where all the “hot chicks” are. Very funny.
Walking into town in the evening we found another amazing Parilla, which would be our last in Argentina – a very sad thought….
Day two of Iguazu and we were met by Rodrigo to take us across the border to the Brazil side of the falls. Another easy border crossing! The Argentinean side consisted of the border control lady peering inside the car to check us to our passports….no getting out involved! A quick stop in “no mans land” for a picture opportunity of the river 'T' junction border between Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil. Our way through the Brazilian border consisted of Rodrigo using the tour guide channel, him taking our passports and returning with them stamped and the relevant papers filled out. Graeme and I thought it was quite amazing that we had entered the country without anyone official having physically seen us….not sure if that is a good or bad thing but at least we didn’t have to get out of the car!
We had decided that if the opportunity arose, we would take a helicopter tour over Iguazu. That opportunity did indeed arise and after a half-hour wait to fill our helicopter, watching the safety demonstration on the screen about 5 times, watching others come and go we were finally ready for our first ever helicopter flight!
WOW!!! What a fantastic experience for both of us. It really is so hard to describe being up there and seeing the falls in all their glory. We hope the pictures we have taken will give people some idea of the scale and different perspectives. It was just incredible and definitely one of the (many) highlights of our trip so far. After safely landing, we headed for a walk around on the Brazilian side for more picture moments and a chance to get even closer to the falls, oh and a bit wet in the process! It was only a quick walk around but certainly enough to see it all. After a pretty amazing 2 days exploring Iguazu, we headed to the airport for a quick flight to Rio and a 3 hour bus journey South to Paraty.