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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.