Iguazu ..traveller’s notes -May 2017

The largest waterfall system on the planet stretching over two kilometres with more than 250 waterfalls varying in height from 65 to 85 metres with over half the water tipping into the Devil’s Throat…Garganta del Diablo, regardless of what effort is required to get here, Iguazu is absolutely worth it. 

There are a couple of things to know before you go, bearing in mind the date of this blog.

All of the following information relates to Iguazu Falls National Park Argentina. Eighty percent of the falls is in Argentina.  We decided that paying $400 for two visas to take a photo from the Brazilian side was just silly. Unless you stay at the Sheraton which is actually in the park, it is about fifteen kilometres to the nearest town Puerto Iguazu. We stayed at the Hotel St George which was very good and located across the road from the bus depot.

Firstly it will cost ARP500 per person entry. There are ATMs at the park entrance and the withdrawal limit is ARP2000 per transaction which will cost you ARP98. You are allowed to do multiple transactions of course. We gagged at the ATM fee so limited those to the absolute minimum. We were working on ARP100 equal to A$10. All additional tours are cash transactions. No credit cards. Credit cards are accepted in the souvenir shops.

We bought a combination truck and boat trip at the bus station. That cost us ARP 1900 including the return bus trip of ARP 300 for two. We didn’t need to but I think in high season the seats would sell out quickly. The truck trip through the jungle was a huge disappointment. None of that wonderful experience of the temperature dropping, the giant buttressing trees closing in and the visitor plummeting into the dark recesses of earth’s mystical place which is the rainforest. Nah….this was all secondary growth filled with light and miserable examples of how terrible it is to loose a primary forest. The Argentinians are doing everything they can to preserve what they have left and so that particular area is a no go zone. Understandable. They have also disallowed helicopters screeching over their space. Any helicopter you might see comes from the Brazilian side where apparently they have no primary forest left.

The boat trip down the river was interesting but the ride under the falls was just so much fun. Nothing more. Useless. Pointless. Just fun.

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The advice from the hotel concierge was to go early and make one good day of it. It was good advice. We could have gone even earlier.  A map is available, in English, upon entry. There are two major walks – a red and a blue. We did bits of both. Towards the end of the day, we were tired and decided it was time to sit on the train. It takes visitors six kilometres into the forest and then there is a suspended wheelchair accessible boardwalk for 1100m to a couple of platforms which literally hang over the Devil’s Throat. Here you can experience more than a thousand cubic metres of water per second tumble almost 80m into an immense cavern creating a thunder and soft spray that envelops us all in its magic. We each try desperately to capture a moment to hang on to, to take home, to share, to wonder at, risking our precious technology in the face of Mother Nature’s grandeur.

 

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