Amazing Waterfalls!!!

Trip Start Oct 15, 2012
Trip End May 17, 2013

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Iguazu falls hostel

Flag of Argentina  , Misiones Province,
Friday, April 26, 2013

Well this should be one of the easiest posts to date! Puerto Iguazu is home to the famous Iguazu falls which interestingly enough are partly in Brazil and partly in Argentina. Its great planning that we have probably left one of the most amazing places in Argentina until very last!

Just before I go further let me just point out that unlike most falls where there is a single fall at Iguazu there are numerous. While the main one is Devils Throat there are probably at least 10 others around the park.

Arrival and Brazil:
We arrived fresh from our 16 hour bus journey to find thankfully our hostel is only a block away from the bus station (and it has a pool - great, given it is actually very warm here at around 30 degrees). After our normal process of sorting ourselves out we decide that rather than wasting the rest of the day we might as well use it to visit the Brazilian side of the falls which you can easily do in an afternoon.

We head of in the way of the bus station to catch the 12:20 bus which thankfully takes you right up to the entrance to the falls, passing through the respective border controls on the way (yay more stamps!) and takes us just over an hour.

After getting our tickets and entering we are on another bus which takes you right up to the main falls (devils throat) or a couple of other view points along the way. We decide to go right to the main attraction. Its a nice drive and as you approach the end you get varying glimpse of the falls and the terribly wonderful and lushly green surroundings.

We get off and walk our way down to the falls. It is hard for me to explain just how completely impressive the first sight of the falls and particularly devils throat is. When you think falls you think one (and indeed the devils through being the main one I guess is extremely impressive in its on right) but there are many impressive ones here. From the Brazil side though the main focus is really on the devils throat as while you can get some better views of the others they are a little far away.

Its a wet experience but a worthwhile one as you get up and close to the falls just to the side of devils throat. The lookout right in front of devils through is really amazing as you really appreciate just how much water is coming through that part of the falls.

After appreciating the falls for a while getting a bit wet and taking a number of photos we decide to do one of the walks. It is nice and gives you a nice appreciation of the wider area but lacks the wow of seeing the devils throat.

We catch the bus back to the main entrance and make our way back to Argentina

Argentina Side:
The next day we are doing the larger Argentina side and are off early in the morning at just before 9 and make our way to the park. There a couple of different walks you can do as well as some activities such as going down the river or taking a jet boat ride fall under the falls (no not devils throat that would probably kill everyone).

We decide to do the walk that takes you out over devils throat as it probably the most popular and is also the one that is furthest away from the entrance / exit. You can catch a train up to the start of the walk and we duly hop on but at the next station it stops and we have to change and looking at the line we will be waiting a while so just decide to walk i stead, it only takes about 20 minutes. We start the walk out to Devils Throat which takes you over a gangplank over the river which is quite impressive in itself but completely blown away on arriving at the lookout over the Devils Throat. Just the mass of water, the sound the spray going everywhere it was awesome.

After a good amount of time being wowed by devils throat we decide to head of and explore a bit more of the park. There are a couple of other walks including one on a small island which has fantastic views of all the falls (there are a few) except devils throat and also we are keen to do the boat ride under the falls. There are two other main walks more or less in the same area but one is up higher and one is lower (effectively with the higher one you generally look over the falls while on the lower your are standing underneath the falls.

We decide to take the lowest one first as from this trail you can go to the island and also do the boat trip. The trail is a good one and there are a few good lookout points and we make our way down to the boats. We are disappointed to find out that we cant do the island as e water is too high but glad to find out we can still do the boat underneath the falls.

The boat ride is good fun as you can get up and close to the falls before putting your cameras in a dry bag and the boat zips around drenching you underneath the falls themselves. We didn't get quite as underneath as normal due to the high volume if water but still ended up soaked.

After wards we finished the rest of the lower path drying in the process before we carried on the upper trail which looked over the main falls. After taking a number of photos, getting wet and feeling completely awestruck by our day we decide we have had enough as it is already getting on to four or five in the afternoon and we decide to head home.

We do briefly stop at the entrance to see if there are any spaces free on the full moon tour that they do here when there is a full moon that we had not been able to make up our mind about in the morning but turns out no places left, so that solves that decision!

The next day we spend more or less all the day hanging out at the hostel by the pool as our bus does not leave until 4 in the afternoon. It is a nice way to spend our last day in Argentina.

The Nitty Gritty:
Accommodation: Iguazu Falls Hostel:
a good hostel that is about 50m away from the bus station. Good sized rooms (dorm) and a nice outdoor space (not sure what they do if it rains....) and an ok kitchen. Its about a ten minute walk to the small grocery store.
Cost: 60 pesos pp for a 8 bed dorm

Sights and Activities:
Brazil Side of the Falls:
you can do this side in 4 hours if you need to. There are buses leaving (i think) around 8,10,12(definite) from the main bus terminal and 4 doing the return trip around an hour later. The main attraction of the Brazil side is getting up close and more underneath Devils Throat however also gives some nice panoramas of the other falls.
Cost: bus cost 60 pesos return (pp), entrance is 42 reales (they accept USD, reales, pesos and credit cards)

Argentina Side: require a whole day, or a good part of it. There are three main walking tracks, one taking you up and looking over Devils Throat and the other two around the other falls (one below one above). There are numerous other activities you can do and I highly recommend the speed boats that go under the falls - lots of fun. The buses go around every 20-30 minutes and takes about 15-20 minutes. Heard lots of good things about the full moon tour if you find yourself there at the right time of the month.
Cost: bus cost 60 pesos (pp) return. Entrance costs 170 pesos (pp) and the boat ride 150 pesos (pp)

Getting There and Away:
From Buenos Aires it takes around 20 hours and there are around 5 different companies doing this trip. We took Tigre Iguazu (which we booked via Via Bariloche) and found they were comfortable, although maybe not quite as good as other buses we have taken in Argentina.
Cost: 525 pesos pp, but we got a special, normally 600-650 pesos.
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