Iguazu Falls, Argentina / Brazil
Trip Start Aug 25, 2008
49Trip End Dec 16, 2008
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I was a little less eloquent. I think I said "Holy Crap!!!" the first time I came in sight of the Devil's Throat - where the river shoots over a horseshoe cliff.
Iguazu falls is the widest waterfall system in the world, stretching 1.7 miles and separates Brazil from Argentina.
Iquazu is actually 275 individual falls between 200 and 280 feet high.
Either way, it is extremely impressive.
Compared to Niagara, I'd say that the Devil's throat (the main cataract of Iguazu) is about the same size and magnitude - however the Devil's throat is just one of the falls. Iguazu has 274 more! And these falls are in a rain forest, so between the falls are dense vegetation loaded with toucans, orchids, and crazy raccoon-like critters who beg for oreos.
At the tops, you can look down between your feet to see the water tumble into nothingness below. In the middle and bottom points you can get properly soaked by the spray. And the walkways are almost invisible and blend into the scenery except the tourists in the brightly colored rain jackets.
If you want to get even closer, they have 500hp(!) zodiacs that take you right under the falls to get soaked- and helicopters stand by to give you the full view.
On the second day, I wanted to try and see the other half of the falls from Brazil. My guide book said the border agents will allow US citizens visit for the day without paying for the $145 visa fee as long as they promise to come back that afternoon and don't have any luggage or backpacks - but the people at the travel agency where I stayed said security tightened last year. So I took a local bus to the border to see for myself.
"If you need a visa for Brazil, you need to get off the bus here" the bus driver announced.
"I'm only going to Iguazu for the day" I said.
"Oh - you're fine. You can stay on the bus."
The only remaining challenge was getting back out of Brazil after spending the day at the falls. The bus dropped me off near the boarder and I walked up to the immigration station.
"Where does the bus to Argentina pick up?" I asked one of the border patrol officers.
"Thank you!" I said and started walking to the big yellow line that marked the border.
"Wait!" the border patrol shouted.
My heart skipped a beat as I turned around. "Si?" I asked with a big smile on my face
"No - I just went to Iguazu for the day." I said sheepishly.
"Oh. Ok. Next time, make sure you get one of these."
"Sorry - next time I will definitely get one of those. Have a nice day!" I said over my shoulder as I crossed the border out of Brazil.
Next up: Spending a day by the pool at my resort, then heading to Buenos Aires, the NYC of South America.
Where I stayed