Parque Nacional Do Iguaçu

We spent yesterday at the Parque Nacional do Iguaçu on the Brazilian side of the Iguazú River. The Rio Iguazú (the Iguazú River) is the national boundary between the province of Misiones, Argentina, and the state of Paraná, Brazil.

Back in the 1930s, Brazil and Argentina established national parks across from each other at the massive “cataratas” (cascading waterfalls) on the Rio Iguazú. Iguazú Falls is world renown and has been declared a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site. The Falls is actually made up of 150 to 300 separate waterfalls (depending on the level of the Rio Iguazú at any given point in time), spanning 1.7 miles when measured end to end. Iguazú Falls is one of the largest waterfalls in the world by any measure: it is 50% higher than Niagara Falls; 70% wider than Victoria Falls in Africa; and, second only to Niagara Falls in water volume!

We’re staying at the Sheraton on the Argentinian side of the Rio Iguazú, inside the Parque Nacional Iguazú, but it seems that very few of the tourists on this side – especially the foreign tourists – visit the Brazilian side; probably because it is so difficult and costly to obtain a Brazilian visa, which you have to do in advance. As a result, the Brazilian side of the falls is less crowded and less commercialized than the Argentinian side.

We hired a taxi for the day ($470AR, about $90US) and our driver, Walter, dropped us off at the main entrance to the Parque Nacional do Iguaçu where we caught the park’s bus to the “Path of the Falls Walk.”

At the first overlook, we were able to see our hotel across the river:

And after taking a quick self-portrait…

We set off on the walk,…

…admiring the waterfalls across the river on the Argentinian side.

The Path of the Falls Walk progresses up river through a narrow chasm called the Garganta del Diablo – the Devil’s Throat – where the Rio Iguazú Superior (the Upper Iguazú River) launches itself over the edge of the Paraná Plateau.

We walked down onto the first overlook and took this picture of the Devil’s Throat.

Our adventure was just beginning.

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