Argentine Falls - Lost for Superlatives

Trip Start May 12, 2013
Trip End Jul 30, 2013

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Flag of Argentina  , State of Parana,
Friday, June 7, 2013

Took a cab to the falls at 740am, arriving there just as the park opened at 8am. There was already a group of Japanese tourist there. Entry was 130 pesos ($20), and we bought the gran adventura pass, which included the boat ride and an Ecotour for 350 pesos ($50).

We then proceeded to take the park train towards the first viewpoint trail, and the most famous of all, gargantua del diablo (devil's tongue). There are a total of 3 stations in the park and took us 50 minutes to get to the final stop. We walked along the trail for about 20 minutes until we found the viewpoints. It was spectacular but the view was obscured by the mist of the waterfall. We got wet fast, and with backlight from the sun, we decided to come back at the end of the day for photos instead.

We then did the ecological tour, which was a boat ride that was manually rowed. We didn't see much wildlife along the way except one or two birds, so the tour is pretty much a fad.

The boat took us all the way to the middle of the falls, and we walked to circuito superior (upper circuit) for views from the top of the falls. Had several good shots there, and we walked along board walks across the first few rapids to viewpoints along the circuit.

Had lunch thereafter at the cafe, before going on our great adventure boat ride. The tour started on a all terrain truck which transported us through the jungle to the boat launch point. The guide was boring, speaking about trees and plants along the way.

The boat ride, though, turned out to be the best experience yet. Dry bags were provided, and we got had a chance to take photos of the falls before we were gonna get wet. Rainbows appeared at the falls and was perfectly visible on the boat. The boat then proceeded to enter the falls, which left us completely drenched. That got everyone excited and all were happy with our ride, cheering on as we docked at the lower circuit. The views from the lower circuit were the best to get a good view of the falls. The skies cleared up and we could see double rainbows appearing in front of us. There were several viewpoints and I couldn't help but run into one of the falls to take obligatory shirtless shots. Completely drenched, and satisfied.

Went back to the gargantua del diablo on the last train to get some sunsetting shots there. By now, the water was a little calmer, and the sunlight provided good natural lighting for photos. We took the last train back to the entrance at 5.30pm. And our driver sent us back to our hostel at 6.

Went out for dinner at a local joint thereafter, where I had a lomo completo, full loin topped with ham, eggs, and vegetables. Tasted great.

Made a grave mistake earlier by leaving my arcteryx rain jacket on top of a wall lamp to dry it as we left for dinner. I accidentally touched the switch before I left while trying to charge my camera. When we returned from dinner, I found a 50-cent burn mark on the top of my hoodie. Heartbreaking for a brand new jacket. Lesson learnt: never place flammable materials near electrical appliances... And turn switches off before leaving the room. How careless of me. Thank god it was a goretex jacket which was self extinguishable material, or god knows what would happen to the whole house. Took out a waterproof bandage from my first aid kit and taped over the hole, to serve as a lesson for time to come.

A brilliant day ended with a careless mistake, but the falls were great nevertheless. Looking forward to the Brazilian falls tomorrow!

Puerto Iguazu, Argentina
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