Having 6500 cubic meters per second of water flowing in front of me may sound amazing but seeing it with my own eyes was astonishing. This Iguazu Falls experience should not be missed when visiting South America. When Eleanor Roosevelt visited Iguazu Falls years ago she couldn’t help but exclaim “Poor Niagra”. This is probably because Iguazu Falls is 30 meters taller and three times wider than Niagra Falls. Iguazu Falls is now named the “New 7 Wonders of Nature”.
Iguazu Falls is the world’s wide’s waterfall being 2,700 meters wide, but it is made out of 270 water falls with a small island named San Martin Island separating these falls. The true widest waterfall is actually Victoria Falls in Africa.
Iguazu Falls is situated in the middle of Argentina and Brazil. 80% of the Iguazu Falls belongs to Argentina and 20% is in Brazil. To have the Iguazu Falls experience from both side is highly recommended as the scenery is different. Since the majority of Iguazu Falls is in Argentina, when visiting the Argentina side of Iguazu Falls, the feeling is like being in and amongst the waterfall. When viewing the Iguazu Falls from the Brazil side, you will be looking at the beautiful waterfalls on the Argentinian side.
Argentinean Iguazu Falls Experience: Iguazú National Park
Iguazu National Park is 18km from the border town Puerto Iguazu. There is a bus company call Rio Uruguay that goes from the town to Iguazu Falls every 20 minutes. The bus ticket is currently priced 130ARS when we visited on 06/2016. The ticket to go into Iguazu falls is currently 330ARS. If you have your entrance ticket stamped before you leave, you could purchase the entrance ticket at half price on the next day. Alternatively you can purchase the tickets in advance online (official site).
To have a good Iguazu Falls experience on the Argentina side, you have to strategically plan your day, because the park is quite large. For the best lighting to view the Iguazu falls, it is best to do the lower circuit first, then the upper circuit and finish at the Devil’s Throat. A free boat trip to Isla San Martin is included in the entrance ticket. This boat tour finishes at 3pm but may finish as early as 11am as the boat only take the first 1000 passengers. This boat could be taken on the lower circuit.
Unfortunately we found out from the Information Centre on the day that the boat ride to Isla San Martin is suspended due to high tide waters that day. But that does mean we do have plenty of water in the waterfalls!
Iguazú National Park- Inferior Circuit
Knowing that we won’t be able to reach Isla San Martin, we did the Inferior Circuit on a slower pace. The total length of this Circuit is only 1400 meters. Although this area is a rainforest, the temperature is a lot different to the Amazon forest which we visited a few months ago. Iguazu Falls experience in May is a chilly one.
After walking for a short while, we started seeing water particles in the air coming from the main falls and we can hear the rumbling of water falling. We first past by the main river, Inferior Rio Iguazu and two smaller waterfalls called “Salta Lanusse” and “Salta Alvar Nunez”. These two waterfalls are easily larger than any waterfalls I have seen before but are puny compared to the main falls.
After a few turns, the massive full view of the Iguazu Falls could be seen at a distance and it was already stunning. From the Inferior Circuit, we could see a huge rainbow spanning across the waterfalls. The morning light is the best to capture the beauty of the Iguazu Falls from the Inferior Circuit angle.
Winny visited Iguazu falls 7 years ago on a cloudy day and this part of South America was having a drought. She said that the view at that time was nowhere near as spectacular. Luckily we were able to pick a sunny day to visit the Iguazu falls this time.
From the lookouts we could also see Isla San Martin. The landing site did seem quite flooded and the look out on San Martin is almost not visible with the amount of water spraying on top of it. No wonder they wanted to close off that island today.
At the end of Inferior Circuit, there is a path that leads extremely close to the Iguazu falls. This allow people to have a up close Iguazu Falls experience and see massive amount of water flowing. Watching the Iguazu falls so up close was extremely mesmerizing. Massive amount of water sprays gushes into the air around these waterfalls so we had to put on our full rain gear. It was extremely hard to take photos of this massive flow with so much water particles in the air.
After leaving the main waterfall and Iguazu River, the path leads us into the rainforest again. On our way, we walked past two more waterfalls called Salto Dos Hermanas in the forest area. Relatively, they are not huge waterfalls but are beautiful to see in the forest.
Iguazú National Park- Superior Circuit
Our next walk was the Superior Circuit which reaches the top of the world’s widest waterfall. The climb wasn’t difficult considering the total climb is only 80 meters and the stairs are made quite well.
When we reached the superior Rio Iguazu, we could see the water rushing past us like a gushing river on one side and falls away to nothing on the other side. It was a spectacular view and was mesmerizing to stare at. These water have chipped away at the cliff’s surface for millions of years, forming huge steps of different heights at different areas, making an extremely beautiful landscape.
On the Superior Circuit, we could see the huge superior Rio Iguazu splitting into many smaller streams which all forms into countless waterfalls. The Superior Circuit is a path that crosses all the waterfalls and has many beautiful lookouts. On one of the lookouts we could see the path of the Lower Circuit where we could walk close to the waterfalls. From there we could still see many people getting very wet next to this huge waterfall; it’s a wonderful Iguazu Falls experience.
The Iguazu Falls experience on the Superior Circuit is truly unique to Argentina’s side. The Brazilian side Iguazu Falls experience is quite similar to the Inferior Circuit because you admire the waterfalls from a distance but just on different angles. Of course we could take better pictures of Iguazu Falls at a distance but on the Superior Circuit, we can truly feel that we were amongst the falls. That feeling cannot be expressed in any photos.
There were many wild butterfly here in the rainforest and there were many on the top part of the Iguazu River. Many of them would also land on our clothes and I had a few seconds of fame because all the tourist wanted to take a photo of this large butterfly which landed on my jeans. This was quite an unique experience seeing so many wild butterflies.
Train ride to the Devil’s Throat
Since we have been to almost 40 countries, the amount of sceneries that could make us say “Wow” isn’t that many anymore. But the Devi’s Throat is definitely a scene that will make anyone say wow.
Your Iguazu Falls experience will not be complete if you didn’t see the Devil’s throat. Devil’s Throat is the most spectacular group of waterfalls in the Iguazu Falls that could be seen on both the Argentina side and the Brazilian side. On the Brazil side we see it from the bottom and on the Argentina side we see it from the top. The water falls off a massive U-shape concaved set of cliffs and there are an impressive amount of water falling off this part of the Iguazu falls.
There is a small train built to take passengers to the Devil’s throat every thirty minute. After the train ride, there is a 1 km path that leads to the Devil’s throat. It was quite an easy walk and we get to watch the Superior Iguazu River flow pass us.
On our way we even saw a few raccoon like native animals called Coati. They are extremely cute but can be vicious so we had to be extremely careful around them.
When we finally saw the Devil’s throat, we utterly amazed. The amount of water constantly gushing down the valley was phenomenal. Tons and tons of water falling and splashing caused huge mist of water to be dispersed into the air. This mist is constant and thus the bottom of the valley was impossible to see. The grandness and mystical moment of this place is beyond my words.
Devil’s Throat (Video)
We stayed in the Iguazu falls on the Argentinian side from 9am to 3pm. We had such a great time and there were so many beautiful sceneries to see on such a beautiful day. For anyone who are keen on hiking, there is a 7km round trip track that you could walk in this National Park. On this trail you may encounter some amazon wild animals. Don’t worry, they are not the vicious ones.
Brazilian Iguazu Falls Experience: Iguaçu National Park
Iguaçu Falls on the Brazilian side is 20km away from their border town of Foz do Iguaçu. They have a very convenient public bus service that goes to the Iguazu Falls from 5:30am to midnight every day. The bus ticket is significantly cheaper than the Argentina side being only BRL$3.25.
The entrance ticket on the Brazil Iguazu falls is also cheaper than the Argentinian side. The Ticket cost on 06/2016 is BRL$57.30 (Official website). However, to have a full Argentinian side Iguazu Falls experience you could easily spend over 4 hours in the Argentinian side National Park and on the Brazilian side, you can be done in less than 2 hours. Although the ticket price is cheaper on the Brazilian side, we thought we had a better Iguazu Falls experience on the Argentinian side.
Once we entered the National Park on the Brazilian side, there is a bus service that is included in the ticket price that takes you on a 20 minute bus ride to the Waterfalls. The bus service arrives quite frequently and also stops in multiple areas along the park. There are also many activities that you could do here in the Brazilian side Iguazu Falls National Park such as helicopter rides, jungle trails and water activities. You simply get off at the right bus station for your activities.
We were quite lucky with the weather on the Brazilian side Iguazu Falls as well. With the sun shining brightly, we could see rainbows forming on all angles. The Brazilian Iguazu Falls have one main path that goes along the cliff to see these beautiful waterfalls on the Argentinian side. The walk was significantly shorter than the Argentinian side and there were only around 3-4 main lookouts. These Lookouts were also crowded with people taking photos.
Overall the path wasn’t overly exciting until the main attraction at the very end, which is the Devil’s Throat. On the Brazilian side, we view the Devil’s Throat from the bottom of the waterfall and it is an extremely wet and windy experience. There is a jetty that crosses over the top of a lower waterfalls and lead us very close to the mouth of the Devil’s throat. Luckily we brought some raincoats which we bought in the Amazon Jungle (Further reading) which we didn’t ended using there.
Tons of water was water was pounding down from the Devil’s throat and there were tremendous amount of water spraying out into the air. As soon as we stepped onto the jetty we were getting extremely wet like we were in heavy rain. The scenery of the gushing water made us want to keep taking photos, but our lens was covered with water droplets in seconds so we had to keep whipping it.
On the Argentina side we watched the Devil’s throat from on top of the falls so it was a relatively dry experience. On the Brazil side, we felt like we were in and amongst this huge waterfall. This was the most impressive and fun side of the Iguazu Falls experience on the Brazil side. A few of the people we met did say they preferred the Brazil side Iguazu falls experience but we personally liked the Argentina side better.
We stayed on this jetty for quite some time because it seemed to be the only main attraction and it was fun. However weather in June was getting quite chilly so we left before we caught a cold. There was an elevator that took us up to the higher lookout to see the waterfalls again from a higher angle. With so much rainfall lately, the Iguazu Falls was full of water and looks extremely impressive.
There were many shops and restaurants with tables facing the Superior Iguazu River but the price was expectedly expensive. Luckily we made some sandwiches and waited for the bus to take us out to the main gate.
In total we spent only two ours on the Brazil side Iguazu Falls National Park. Of course there are many paid activities here to do such as speed boating under the waterfalls. Winny did it 7 years ago and said it’s a worthwhile experience.
Iguazu Falls Experience in Brazil (Video)
Iguazu Falls Experience in Argentina (Video)
Coati – Iguazu Fall’s Cute and Vicious Wild Animal
The Iguazu Falls is located in the rainforest so as expected we could see many wild animals. There is one extremely cute animal called the Coati which looks like a skinny and long nose version of a raccoon. We could see it everywhere ranging from walking along the handlebars of walkways to flipping for food in the bins.
We could see that these Coati have extremely long nails and we were told that they can cause deep cuts if they scratch you. Some can also transfer rabies upon biting so it’s important to keep our distance from these extremely cute but dangerous animals.
Parque das Aves- Surprisingly fun bird park
I’m sure many of you would have seen the children movie Rio and know that in Brazil there are many extremely beautiful and colorful bird life. Located only 100 meters away from the main entrance of Iguazu Falls on the Brazilian side, there is an amazing bird park called Parque das Aves (Official Website) where you can see many of these Brazilian birds.
At first we weren’t overly excited about this bird park after reading about it online and in the broachers. However, it was highly recommendations by many friends, so we decided to go to the Parque das Aves after our visit to the Brazilian side Iguazu Falls National Park. 講說跟恐龍腳印一樣
This private bird park is around 16 hectares and many of these birds are rescued from illegal bird trades. Winny said that before coming to the bird park, she didn’t know why people illegally traffic birds, but after seeing these extremely beautiful birds she finally understood. She even said that she wanted a Toucan for herself… I said to her that’s how illegal bird trafficking started!
In this bird park they do many researches and reproduce many of these endangered birds. Around 43% of the birds in the park are born here. In the Bird Park there are many extremely large bird cages called Aviaries where we could walk in and have direct interactions with these exotic birds. I must say that we had more fun than we did on the Brazil side Iguazu National Park.
Across the whole park, they have English, Spanish and Portuguese explanation boards and they all contain fascinating fun facts about each birds. In two of the Aviaries, they have an extremely exotic and beautiful bird called the Toucan. Toucans have extremely large yellow beaks with cute blue circles around their eyes. It’s a bird that will make you go WOW. They were extremely tamed and allows you to take selfies and photos with it at close distance.
The Bird Park also have a butterfly and humming bird house, however the butterfly colors weren’t as colorful as the wild ones we saw in Argentina falls. There were also reptiles, turtles and large eagles. We were at the Parque das Aves for over two hours and we felt like the time flew by because we had so much fun. We highly recommend this bird park for anyone that is visiting the Brazilian side Iguazu Falls!
Parque das Aves (Video)
Note: At Foz do Iguazu, we also visited the world’s largest electricity generating dam, Itaipu Dam. Now known to be one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. We will write about this place when we have time. =)