Iguazu falls has around 275 individual cascades, the highest with a drop of over 80m. The falls continue along the rim of a horseshoe shaped cliff 2.7km long. Iguazu stands for 'great water' in the Guarani language, with many people believing that these are the most spectacular falls in the world. Only the Victorian falls I'm Africa compare I'm terms of size. The natural fault shape of the falls allows you to stand so close to the falls with the water crashing around you.
The Argentinian side of the falls
When boarding the plane to Iguazu we ran into our friend Tariq from our hostel in BA. Stoked to figure out that we were all heading in the same direction and staying at the same hostel we boarded the plane and shared a taxi to our hostel at the other end. While checking in we saw more friends from BA, Our Aussie girls Gina and Stella. Tariq, Evelyn, Sal and I planned to go to the Argentinian side of the falls the following day. At breakfast the next day, we got talking to a couple of Aussie guys about Richmond FC being eliminated from the finals– it turned out the guys were also going to check out the Argentinian side so the 6 of us got on a bus to the falls.
Our friend Marty who had been to the falls said we must do a boat ride under the falls. And with the weather being super hot that morning we put our bathers on ready to go.
Walking through the park we spotted Coatis (striped possums), we thought they were pretty cute until one attacked our lunch bag! Evelyn was carrying a plastic bag with our packed lunch, and lining up for the train I here a lot of noise and carry on from behind us- I turned around to see evelyn trying to shake off a Coati that was hanging off the side of the bag. Everybody was laughing in the line, but we weren't impressed that a side of our sandwich, and our Doritos had been attacked.
Down half a sandwich, we hopped on the free mini train within the park to see the part of the falls called 'The Devils Throat'- you then have to walk along a board walk for about 10 mins to get to the lookout. We spotted some wildlife along the way.
The Garganta del Diablo (The Devils Throat) is the heart of the falls, offering a powerhouse display of 1800 cubic metres of water per second crashing over a semi circle shape of rocks, and into the river below and creating an upward mist of over 30m high.
With the devils throat in site, I now understand the term 'breathtaking'. I really cannot explain what I felt when I first saw the falls. It was incredible to witness something so amazing and natural. Never have I seen SO much water!
After spending some time taking in devils throat, we made or way to get tickets for a safari tour and then the boat ride through the falls. Whilst it had been over 30 degrees that morning, the weather changed and not only was it cold but it started to rain. What seemed a good idea at the time, turned into a safari ride from hell where we were all drenched from head to toe and shivering, not even caring about what the guide was saying but all focusing on dry warm thoughts. Luckily for me Tariq had lent me his waterproof jacket just before getting on the bus, and there was no way I was giving it back!
At the end of the safari ride we hopped off the bus and made our way down to the boat. Thinking things surely couldn't get any worse, we put our life jackets on and boarded the speed boat. Apparently when u mix heavy rain and lightning speeds the rain feels like shards of glass are hitting your skin and you get bloody cold! As if that wasn't enough, thunder and lightning started, and here we were in the middle of a shit load of water!
Half laughing/half crying we sped through the rapids and under the falls. After the fear for my life subsided and Evelyn and Tariq got there circulation back in their arms, I actually enjoyed the warmer spray from the falls,but still wasn't 100% confident in our boat drivers ability to steer the rapids. After about 15 minutes of going through rapids and under the falls we headed back, drenched from head to toe.
We all celebrated our last night in Iguazu by going out for Mexican food. With about 15 people on the table, an enthusiastic owner with his tambourine, and great food.
Next stop- a 24 hour bus ride to Salta