Kung-fu Panda once said: “(they) would go blind from over-exposure to pure awesomeness!”. That’s exactly how I felt upon catching sight of the Iguazu Falls.
The bus journey from Puerto Iguazu took 40 minutes and when we got to the park, even though it was still early, it looked like it was going to be a pretty busy day (as expected on a Saturday). The train that takes you to different locations goes every half an hour, so we were happy we caught one just before departing. We had to get off half way and get on another train to Garganta del Diablo, but the waiting time was long enough for us to prefer walking the 30 minutes to the park’s largest falls.
It was a lovely walk, with the last 10 minutes on a bridge surrounded by greenery and birds. We could hear the noises the Devil’s Throat was making from quite a distance away. When we got closer we saw (and felt) the water splashing everywhere and found ourselves mesmerized by the impressiveness of the falling waters. Some people were wearing rain coats and others just wet coats, but all were equally happy.
We took the train back to the main station and then proceeded towards the place we’d start our boat trip. As we were going down on the Lower Trail we came across beauty that can hardly be expressed in words. Fresh lush greenery interrupted by falling waters, and all this crowned by perfect rainbows. We had never seen so many rainbows in the same place, and it surely seemed something of fairy tales.
I thought then that if anyone had asked me to design Paradise, it would have been something like the Iguazu Park. The only little adjustements would have been some strawberry milkshake falls. Boca and I then started an imaginary trip through Chai Tea Latte falls, almond milk falls, chocolate pralinas trees… Yeah, maybe we were pretty hungry:p.
We got to the boat around 1pm and quickly put on our life vests. We were given a waterproof bag for all our belongings and then told it was going to get pretty wet, so we wanna wear as few things as possible. Well, wrong day to wear long pants and not carry spare clothes! We took our shoes off and hoped for the best.
We were first taken to a waterfall that had a rainbow at it’s feet. We took lovely photos and then they advised “All right, now you want to put your cameras in the sealable bags”. Ok, here we go… The captain stepped on the pedal (or whatever he stepped on) and …. what an incredible feeling!! We were drenched in the first 5 seconds and we couldn’t stop laughing and shouting our heart out. The water was coming straight into my face and at the beginning I tried avoiding it by turning my head away… after a while though I ended up just opening my arms towards it and embracing it full on. Even though the speed was high, the water felt very gentle on my face… and it was tasty too!
Just as we came back out and could catch a proper breath, our guide shouted “Una mas, una mas” (One more). So off we went again, for another round of thrill. We did it two more times in another fall, and by this time there was not one dry spot on our entire bodies. We were thrilled, energized, rejuvenated, and simply happy. We definitely felt it worth it, and we strongly recommend it too!
We had no spare clothes so we moved as fast as we could to a place where we could sit under the sun and dry. My long pants were so wet I had to take them off and ended up wearing my scarf as a skirt. We bought a lil something from the cafeteria (the food is very expensive here, so if you’re on a budget it’s better to plan for a nice picnic instead) and apparently it smelled pretty good, because soon enough we were having our lunch together with about 10 raccoons. There were signs everywhere advising not to feed or pet them, and we didn’t, but we could see how so many people were choosing to ignore the advice and were then surprised when the little animals were getting aggressive. I’m all for ‘some rules are meant to be broken’, but I like to use my common sense and judgement first, as some rules are really there for a purpose:).
We wanted to do two more things for the day: take a boat to a small island in the middle of the park (the ride is included in the entrance price) and then do the Upper Trail. Unfortunately for us the boat was not running that day as the water level was not proper, so we were left with the trail. We headed towards there and on the way passed by this small patch of the greenest grass. “Come, lay on me”, it whispered. We could not resist so ended up having quite a long nap there. At some point about 15 raccoons came out of the forest and dared to come close enough to sniff us; we again didn’t entertain them, so they went … away.
It was after 4pm when we headed to the Upper Trail and were again not prepared for what we saw. We all agreed it was probably the most beautiful scenery we had seen in the past 4 months… and we had seen A LOT of incredible places. By the time we were up there the sun had already moved to other side, so we saw the falls in the shade. Do your best to get there as early as possible, even if it means a late lunch or skipping the nap on the grass. You’ll be happy you did it!
The falls can be seen from both the Argentinian and Brazilian side, and we knew the Argentinian one offered a more intimate interaction with the falls. We felt so satisfied with our day that we didn’t feel the need to do the Brazil side at all. So we didn’t, and during our conversations with other travelers later it seemed we took the right decision. If you have the opportunity to do both, go for it, as they offer a totally different perspective, but if you’re limited to one for whatever reason you definitely want to be doing to Argentinian side!
We ended that antastic day walking back to the entrance on what they call the Green Trail. It was a most lovely walk and we reflected on the special day we had been given to experience. We then also understood better why on her first visit to the Iguazu Falls, Eleanor Roosevelt exclaimed: “Poor Niagara!”
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