Planes, buses, taxis, jeeps, and jet boats

Trip Start Sep 22, 2010
Trip End Oct 06, 2010

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Flag of Argentina  ,
Saturday, October 2, 2010

We started out on 10/1 with a quick 2 hour flight to Buenos Aires from Comodoro Rvidavia. We checked our larger bags into storage at the airport and then went downtown to explore and eat. We decided to walk from downtown to the bus station which we knew was dangerous. We knew exactly where we were going and how to behave (e.g.-where to hold our bags, where to put our money, keep your mouth shut, no eye contact, etc). It did get pretty dangerous as we got closer to the bus station but we did absolutely fine. We were on a mission and nobody could stop us.

There were close to 100 platforms at the massive bus station but we found ours with no issues and our bus left on time at 7:45pm (or 19:45 as it is denoted here). We bought the "first class" seats (tutto letto) which were very comfortable and folded completely flat to make a single bed.

We were served a hot meal for dinner and even whiskey as a night cap! We were also served breakfast the next morning. It was surprisingly comfortable which was great considering we didn't arrive in Puerto Iguazu until 12:00pm the next day.

We checked into our amazing boutique hotel and dropped our stuff off in our little cabana. It came with a nice living room, patio, hammock, the works. The grounds are absolutely beautiful. Like a little rain forest getaway in the middle of a rural town. In typical fashion, we turned around and jumped right on the city bus for the 40 minute ride to the Iguazu National Park (only 5 pesos!). We were exhausted but it was an absolutely gorgeous day that we couldn't pass up. 77 degrees and sunny!

We booked the grand tour package which included a jeep safari through the jungle, jet boat ride up to the two largest falls, and eco rafting trip down the Iguazu River. Since we didn't arrive to the park until around 2pm, we had just enough time to do the jeep and jet boat portion on this first day.

The park is laid out so the falls are at the back of the park and you can't see them until you are close to them. This worked out to be in our favor to the grandest scale. Our jeep safari was through the jungled to spot various plants and animals. It finished 30 minutes later at the shore of the lower Iguazu River, 6km downstream of the falls.

This is where our jet boat portion began. We began by literally flying through and against the rapids to go upstream towards the falls. Our captain was slicing through the rapids like a snake, giving everyone amazing views of both the Class VI rapids and the massive canyon that was cut out by the powerful river.

After a few km, the captain cut around a sharp corner and the beautiful San Martin falls came into view. If this was a movie, it could not have been shot any better than this.

 He cut the next corner and the Garganta Del Diablo falls jumped into view. It truly took our collective breath away. We had a little time to take some pics and video as he moved closer and closer to the falls. It was at this point when he instructed us in Spanish to put our cameras in the dry bags and hold on for dear life! He put the boat in full gear and raced toward the San Martin falls. Within seconds were completely drenched, could barely see or hear anything, and were looking straight up at these massive 200+ foot tall falls. He took us back out of the falls, gave us a few seconds to compose ourselves as he raced toward the monster, Garganta Del Diablo (Devils' throat). He plunged even quicker into this bad boy and it sounded like it must sound to take a nap inside a jet engine while running at full throttle while riding on a freight train. Simply deafening and a once in a lifetime experience.

We then had a little time before the park closed to view some of the falls up close:

That was one hell of a way to start our park experience. We took video with the underwater camera up close to the falls but won't be able to share it until we return to the states since we don't have the upload cable for that camera.

We came back to the hotel, had our first real shower (not including the falls) in almost 2 days, and went to dinner at our hotel. Our hotel is a new boutique hotel with only 8 cabanas, that is it. The service here feels like it is directed only at you. They know exactly who you are and aim to please you, whatever it takes. The owners moved here from Italy 4 years ago. The husband is a trained chef so we knew we should eat here. Harmony had sphagetti with garlic, oil, and picante seasonings. Mike had ricotta and fresh pumpkin ravioli,. Thow in a fullt bottle of Malbec wine and we still couldn't get the bill over 200 pesos (~$50)!

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