POOR NIAGARA !!!
Here the exclamation made by Eleonore Rosevelt (United-States First Lady from 1933 to 1945) on her first sight of the Iguacu falls.
Yes, you would believe that Iguaçu falls are more spectacular and exceptional than Niagara falls. Here something that two countries of South America can taunt the USA with…
A bit more about these falls :
They have been discovered in 1541 by the spanish conquistador Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca. As the Victoria Falls, tribes used to live there before it becomes a tourism business draging more than 1.2 millions of tourists in Argentinan side last year.
On the scientific side, the falls have been formed following a volcanic eruption which created a large crack. Iguazu falls are made of 275 smaller falls which through tonnes of water throw themselves.
If you want to compare them with the two other famous falls (Niagara and Victoria), Iguazu is wider, but because it is split into 275 discrete falls and large Island, Victoria has the largest curtain of falling water (1600m wide for 105m high). On the flow side, Niagara falls have the highest average rate of 2400m3/s while Iguazu stands at 1746m3/s.
Let’s now discover the falls.
We are finally arrived in South America. On Saturday 30th of march, our Johannesburg fligth lands in Sao Paulo in the everning.
After a night spent at the airport (pretty quiet), a morning spent waiting at the bus terminal and 16 hours sitting in a bus, we arrive at Foz de Iguacu, Brasilian side still.
Five minutes later (we don’t waste time), we catch another bus which brings us to the Iguacu National Park. A quick cleaning at the bathroom (we haven’t had a shower for two days), we let our bag in the very convenient lockers and end up in another bus which leads us to the main view point of the falls…
We plan only to spend a few hours on the brasilian side as there is more to see on the other side.
But the view is spectacular… The water flow is massive and impressive. At the main view point, you need to push a bit to win your temporary spot for your souvenir photo.
We meet some strange animals and a lot of butterfly who seems to enjoy the high level of humidity and mist.
We walk the Cataratas trail then go down to Devil balcony where you can get wet for free to observe closer the falls. The noise is deafening, but we are not sure wheather is the water roaring or the tourists around us yelling and pushing to get their picture at the end of the walkway…
Here the gallery of photos of our day in Brasilian Iguacu.
The next morning, we are back to the falls but to the argentinian side. We have crossed the border the day before, and it really starts our south-american adventure.
From Puerto Iguazu (the argentinian city), we catch the bus to the National Park doors. There you catch a little train (you would think you are at Disneyland) which brings you to the Devil station. But we haven’t seen Mickey..
Over there, you go through a 1km long walkway and end up just at the main horseshoe of the falls : the Devil Throat… The noise is impressive, and you guess that the Devil is currently gargling as there is so much spray and get litteraly wet (the camera too…)
Then, we walk the lower circuit which is located at the bottom of the falls and where you can see the Dos Hermanas (two sisters).
Then the upper circuit which gives you a nice point of view of the falls but from their upper rim.
Here the pictures, we had to push a few people to get them… Sorry to them…
I end up this post with the Iguazu falls filmography as they have been featured in several movies :
– Moonraker James Bond in 1979
– The Mission with the famous music from Ennio Morricone (you need to know that the falls belongs to the Misiones province in Argentina famous for the Jesuit organization that came in the 17th century and then get pushed out in 1773)
– Miami Vice (2006)
– In the hands of gods (2007)
– Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
– OSS 117 : Rio ne réponds plus (2009)
Our next part will continue with Argentina but in Salta in order to get closer to the Bolivian border.
Blog you soon,
Jacques et Caro.