Iguassu Falls was the first stop on our tour, and it was perhaps one of the main reasons I decided to go on this tour. Iguassu Falls is one of the largest and widest waterfalls in the world. If you are planning on going there, you absolutely have to account two days – one to see it from the Brazilian side and one to see it from the Argentinian side.
The Brazilian side is the ‘smaller’ side and takes about 2-3 hours at max, depending on your pace and how long you want to spend there. There is also the option to see it from a helicopter on this side. This cost me roughly NZD$170, but this may vary depending on the exchange rate on the day. I highly recommend doing this tour. If you happen to be travelling alone or with friends, there’s a hotel in the park, and is a 5-star hotel from what I hear, I would consider splurging and staying there. I mean, will you really go back to see the same waterfalls again? I mean probably, yes, but hey YOLO.
Getting an aerial view of the falls, was absolutely breath taking. There’s nothing like it. In fact, just visiting the falls is an amazing experience. I’ve been to the Niagara Falls and I can tell you, this was nothing like it. After you’ve done the helicopter tour (if you decide to), head to the park, to experience the Brazilian side of the falls. There is just the one hike on this side and is for the most part relatively flat, and easy to walk regardless of your fitness level.
You start off with a view looking at the falls, and then walk towards the falls essentially. After walking for about 30-40 minutes, I mean really take your time, as there are a number of lookout points along the way, but watch out for the natives i.e. the animals that nest in the areas. Look up to see the Toucans either sitting on the trees or just flying over the falls.
Continue walking, and you’ll know you’re coming close to the end of the walk as soon as you spot a bridge that goes over the river, and you look out to the falls. Yes, you will get wet, you’re at the waterfall. This is a great experience and is an excellent opportunity for your model shots. For example you could ‘look out’ to the falls, or perhaps pretend that you’re thirsty (the thirst is real) and are drinking water. Or you could always do the basic photos too. After this photoshoot, make your way up the stairs, to head to the exit, but wait, there’s more. As you make your way upstairs, you get closer to the falls, and you could take a few more photos, it is (highly) recommended.
The next day head to the Argentinian side of the falls. The park opens at 8 am, and the earlier you can get there the better. There are, from memory 4-5 hikes here and this will take you a full day. It starts right at the top and this hike takes you to the devil’s throat. This is roughly a 15-minute hike to the lookout. There are no words that I can think off, which does justice to what it was like seeing this first hand. The earlier you can get to the falls the better, as it can get crowded quite quickly and you have to try and take photos with a lot of people there. The day I was there it was raining. If this is the case for you too, make sure you hold on to the railing as you walk as it can get very slippery.
You then make your way down to the next track, this one is a bit longer and takes about 40-minutes if I remember right. As the falls are in a rain forest, there are a lot of animals that nest here. You are sharing space with species of animals, that you’ve probably had never even heard off before. Once you’ve done this, you make your way to the cafes. There are about 3 or 4 options, most of them being ‘food court’ style places. One is a buffet, whilst the others err more on the side of a restaurant. Take your pick and grab a bite to eat. Now, after this, you have two options – one is to do the remaining hike(s) or the other is to take a boat which takes you for a shower to devil’s throat. I have written this blog in the order that our tour experienced this park. As I had opted for the boat tour, it was the last thing to do, before we head back to our hotel. This worked for us as, we once we got soaked, we just sat in the van and made our way back, rather than walking around all day in wet clothes. You, of course, should bring a change of clothes and a rain jacket (Kathmandu for the win!). Now, one thing I want to mention is that, when you get picked up for the boat tour, you first go on a safari, which really is a drive from the pick-up point down to the dock and the tour guide talks about the rainforest park and its history and inhabitants. Once you get to the docks, you have to go down about 150 steps (this is the easy part), after the boat ride is done and you’re in wet clothes, you have to climb these steps up again (this is the hard part). If you struggle with your fitness levels or experience shortness of breath, take it easy on your way back up. The boat tour activity – from pick up to getting dropped back at the starting point takes about 2 hours. I definitely recommend this tour.
As I didn’t do the remaining hike(s), I can’t comment on what hikes they are and/or how strenuous they are. To be fair, apart from the walk up the stairs after the boat ride, the hikes at Iguassu Falls weren’t hard at all. The only struggle was with it raining on the day I had gone, I just had to be careful, as it was quite slippery.
I would love to go back to the falls someday.
Until next time,