Iguassu Falls – Argentina Side – Breath-taking

5 March 2012

So the Argentina side definitely beats Brazil side of Iguassu Falls.  I didn’t think it was possible but it really is the most breath-taking place I have seen.  I spent half of my morning walking along the trails thinking – I am so lucky!

Getting to the Falls was pretty easy with a bus every 20 minutes from Puerto de Iguassu.  Of course I am here during the holidays so the National Park was full of people, however, the hostel recommended doing the marked trails in a reverse order to try and avoid some of the crowds – and to be honest it worked.

I started on the ‘green trail’ which was a walk through the forest – very pretty.  Then I did the Upper trail – where you walk almost on top of some of the falls – amazing.  There weren’t many people at this part as everyone had gone straight to the main fall – Devil’s Throat – but I thought the views we had of the smaller falls were still pretty spectacular.  Even ran into some fellow Aussies who took a few photos of me.

Las Cataratas de Argentina 2012-04-05 016Las Cataratas de Argentina 2012-04-05 052

What struck me most aside from the proximity to the falls was also the wildlife you see on the Argentina side – in addition to the cuartis (or bandicoot things I saw in Brazil), there were lots of monkeys, butterflies and other animals.

Argentina side of Falls 5 April 2012-04-05 006Argentina side of Falls 5 April 2012-04-05 017

I then took the Lower trail which was spectacular.  Here you got right up close to the minor falls (though all were still pretty incredible).

After about an hour, I made it to the point where you can take the  boat to San Martin Island – this was the free boat across.  On this island there was another couple of trails – with a few more steps and more wildlife – saw a few armadillos which were pretty cool.

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Before going back to the trail on the mainland, I took a quick swim on the beach of the island.  It was so hot & humid – there was sweat running down my back – so this was the perfect place to cool off – or so I thought.  It was really pretty with waterfalls behind you, and loads of butterflies in yellow and green.  Lovely!

Las Cataratas de Argentina 2012-04-05 137Las Cataratas de Argentina 2012-04-05 082

Back on the main trail side of the falls and I took the 20 minute speed boat ride (see pic above).  I knew you would get wet as I had seen the boats on the river near the falls.  I didn’t realise it would be so wet.  I was right at the front of the boat as the driver drove straight into one of the falls.  Like being drenched in 5 seconds – all you could see was water and me and the other passengers couldn’t stop laughing.  Then we went to a 2nd, bigger fall and did it again.  This was better than swimming in Victoria Falls.

Coming off the boat drenched, I tried to wipe my face with a sarong and then found finished the Lower trail in a sopping dress and soggy shoes.  Still managed to take photos.  I stopped for my sandwich along the way and then noticed the wind picking up.

Within 10 minutes, it was blowing a gale – the sunshine of previous had disappeared into grey skies so I walked back to the train station to head to the final part of the park – the Devil’s Throat.

However, then it started to rain.  The park came to a standstill.  All trains were halted, half the trails shut temporarily.  I was still damp from my falls shower, sitting on a non-moving train.  It was funny – everyone ran to get ponchos (which didn’t do much), and lots of people evacuated on the green trail to the entrance to go home as soon as a park ranger came to escort them.

I wasn’t leaving without seeing the main attraction and after an hour on the train, the wind died down and we left to much applause.

When we got to the station I had a coffee to warm up and then walked the path over the river to the star waterfall.  The path was stunning and the grey skies gave a different perspective.  After 30 minutes or so – I got to the Devil’s Throat.  I could see the Brazil side (where I had stood the previous afternoon) across the ravine – but this time, we were on top of the fall.  It was amazing – so much water, so menacing with the grey skies, yet majestic too.  When I eventually put the video clips together – will post it and try to give a sense of it.

Las Cataratas de Argentina 2012-04-05 389Las Cataratas de Argentina 2012-04-05 336

I just stood in awe!  And because I had come in the afternoon, after a storm, there were less people at the rails – and I had a few minutes to just stand and watch.  Photos don’t do it justice – it was amazing.  Loved every second – until I finally got too cold with the wind and decided to head back to town and the hostel for a dinner of takeaway fresh pasta and an early night.

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