After brekkie we went to the Argentinian side of Iguazu Falls. These incredible waterfalls are the one main reason that people come here. The whole of the region’s tourist industry from the many hotels to the two airports (one in either country), is built around the waterfalls. Some Argenitinian tourists also pop over to Paraguay where the 0 tax means goods such as electronics are dirt cheap.
To enter the national park each person pays 85 Pesos. This basic entry gives you access to the main trails through the jungle and over the waterfalls. You can then do optional activies to really get the most of your visit. We opted for the Green Ecological passport. Our tour started in a huge jeep carrying 30 or so people through the jungle. At the front of the jeep was the guide who have commentary in Spanish and English explaining about all the wildlife in the area.
The jeep left us close to the river where the whole group boarded a jet boat. Nearly everybody (including us) had heard what was ahead and had prepared appropriately. Everyone put on their Ponchos (plastic rain covers) beneath the obligatory life jackets. The guides also handed out special waterproof bags for everyone to safely store their belongings. When the group was all ready and seated, we sped off along the River Iguazu.
Only a few minutes later we had our first sighting of the falls which prompted a “Wow!” from those who saw it. As we got closer and closer they got bigger and bigger until finally we could see them in their entirety. There were dozens of waterfalls all coming from the thick undergrowth above us. Where ever you looked, huge streams of cascading water were plunging into the river causing gigantic sprays of water to shoot out into the sky. This was an awesome sight and one you can never forget!
After a few photos up close, the staff on the boat gave the warning to “protect your cameras”. This was it, we were about to get wet. I thought at this point the boat would take us towards the waterfall and the spray would fall delicately on our faces from far off. But no. The boat kept motoring forward slowly but steadily. “Err, hang on, are you meant to stop now?” we kept thinking. It moved us closer and closer until eventually we were getting very wet from the spray. On it went still edging further forward until we were metres from this mammoth waterfall. We were absolutely and utterly soaked!!!! I could’t open my eyes because there was so much water in the air! All the adults on the boat were reduced to childish screams of delight and disbelief at the fact we were pretty much beneath one of the largest waterfalls on earth. It was an unbelievable experience, even when we did it again at one of the other waterfalls around the corner!
One of the staff members had actually filmed the whole event so we have a DVD with the whole thing on it, which is a great souvenir.
Once we were safely on dry land we had the opportunity to walk the various trails which took you above and below the waterfalls. Once of these walkways across the river led to a viewing point that overlooked part of the waterfall called The Devil’s Throat. Here, many waterfalls fall into one canyon spueing litre and litres of water into the air. The spray is so thick it looks like a white fog which you can’t see through. These waterfalls are so overwhelming!
Another of the trails takes you over the top of the falls giving you a bird’s eye view over the waterfalls at the point that water goes over the edge. Here, the sun shines through the spray creating magnificent rainbows. This along with the huge incredibly colourful butterflys which are in their hundreds create an panoramic view the likes of which I have never seen before. At one point, I saw a Tucan fly out over the valley. Green jungle, waterfalls, rainbows, butterflys, Toucans….wow! Just wow!
Later in the day, our green pass enabled us to float down the high part of the river to try and spot some of the wildlife. We managed to see a Caymen, which was a very impressive reptile. It sat still on an island within the river and apparantly it’s not aggressive and posed no threat to us, which was good since we got quite close!
There was so much wildlife to take in. We saw: Eagles, a Toucan, Millipedes, VERY big Ants!, lots and lots of Lizards, a South American Guinea Pig, a Caymen, lots of mischievous Coaties, many different types of Butterfly and even a Turtle sunbathing on a rock in the river.
What an incredible sight Iguazu was, probably the most beautiful place I have ever seen in my life (so far )!