Trip Start Dec 03, 2012
54Trip End Aug 25, 2013
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Where I stayed
What I did
We decided to fly to Foz Iguacu, the nondescript Brazilian town nearest the falls, to save ourselves a 30 hour bus journey. As we decended the aircraft we were handed an umbrella each... in retrospect that should have warned us about the weather ahead.
I'd chosen the hostel Paudimare Campestre in part becuase it had a swimming pool, and had visions of recovering from the journey with a nice afternoon swimming. Sadly this was not to be - the temperature was about 15 degrees, and the rain hammered down all afternoon
The next day we were told that parts of the falls were closed because of high water, so we decided to go to the Brazilian side which doesn't have the walkways over the falls. Two short bus rides later were were at the very impressive visitor centre, clearly set up to receive thousands of visitors a day. One benefit of the rain and cold was that most them weren't there when we were. We bought our tickets and then took a longish bus ride (included in the ticket price) through the forest reserve that surrounds the falls.
Our first sight of the falls was long-range, but pretty impressive with a loud roar. We took advantage of a photography service to get a rare photo of us all together. The falls didn't look at all like they do in the usual pictures you see - they were a solid wall of brown water, rather than a series of pretty blue waterfalls interspersed with green islands. We couldn't see the famous Devils Throat cataract because of the huge amount of spray and mist.
We made our way along the trail, weaving in and out of a Japanese tourist groupand a group of OAPs who were valiantly making their way through the rain and steep slopes
The next day we went to the Argentinian side of the falls, which is a very different experience. On the Brazillian side you see the view, but on the Argentinian side you are in it. The Argentinian side was much lower key than Brazil, and they provided more chance to walk in the National Park which we enjoyed. When we arrived only one of the four walkways was open, the 'Inferior Cataracts' (enough to give any self-respecting waterfall an inferiority complex). We spent a couple of hours walking the trail and enjoying amazing views of the waterfalls and river. After lunch and gift shopping, we regrouped with the French couples on our tour (organized by the hostel and the simplest way to get through the borders). They had heard that the 'Superior caratact' might open later and luckily they were correct. We spent about 2 hours on the incredible walkways over the water and islands between the falls. The noise and power was frightening, and the views over the very edge of some of the enormous falls were spellbinding.