If you are heading to South America for your outdoor adventure travel, make sure that you fit in a visit to the beautiful Iguazu Falls!
“Poor Niagara!” is what First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt reportedly said when she first laid eyes on the incredible Iguazu Falls. Lining the Brazilian state of Parana and Argentina’s Misiones province, the 275 waterfalls divide the upper and lower Iguaza River, creating one of the most remarkable natural sites in the world. In fact, the Iguazu Falls were named as one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. You can’t help but agree when you experience the Falls with all of your senses – especially your tactile senses as the spray hits you!
The grandeur of the Iguazu Falls is accompanied by the legend of Naipi. Naipi, a beautiful aborigine, caught the eye of one of the gods. She ran from him with her lover, and the vengeful god cut the river, creating falls that would trap Naipi forever. It is no wonder that stories of gods and legends flow through the Falls: at some points, the impressive cataracts spill 270 feet down to the lower river, and seeing hundreds of waterfalls along only 1.67 smiles of the Iguazu River is almost overwhelming.
You can view the Iguazu Falls from either Brazil or Argentina: both are outstanding. On both the Brazilian and Argentine sides, you can enjoy the luscious flora and fauna at the Iguazu Falls National Park. Seeing hundreds of gorgeous butterflies in flight is second only in awe to the Falls themselves. If you are in Brazil, you can visit the Argentine side of the Falls for one day without a visa, and likewise if you are in Argentina. Seeing the Falls from different viewpoints is a treat; you will see this as you walk along the walkways and footbridges or glide along the river into the mist of the cataracts. A guided tour is an excellent way to enjoy the Iguazu Falls.
When should you go to Iguaza Falls? The climate is such that there really is no wrong time to go. The peak season is January through February. You will find the Falls crowded with vacationing Brazilians and Argentines. During this time, the water volume is high and the skies are amazingly blue. On the down side, though, it will be crowded, hot, and humid. Rates for accommodations will rise along with the summer temperature as well. March through November is a great time to go in terms of weather and sparser crowds, though the Falls are crowded again at Easter time. If you’re willing to brave the rainy season of May through July, you will find lower prices, thinner crowds, and the awe-inspiring beauty that you came for.
Enid Glasgow is a travel writer who likes to travel to Argentina and other parts of South America.
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Katie’s comments; tips for adventure travelers
Iguazu Falls is quite simply stunning. Here are my tips for adventure travelers;
- You need at least two days to see the falls, one for the Brazilian side and one for the Argentine side.
- There are some great accommodation options on both sides of the Falls, the Brazilian side (Foz du Iguacu) tends to have quite a community/party atmosphere while the Argentine side (Puerto Iguazu) is a bit quieter but has some good, relaxing places to stay.
- I highly recommend the ‘Grand Adventure’ on the Argentine side. You get a thrilling speed-boat ride right up to the Devil’s Throat and a ride through the jungle in open trucks.
- Bring a towel/spare clothes – you will get wet!
- Whatever you do, do not feed any of the wild animals! There are a number of raccoons who are known to aggressively pursue tourists for food, a result of being fed tidbits too often. This is not good for the raccoons either as they may die if fed the wrong kind of food.