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Travel Notes | Iguazú Falls, Argentina

Updated: Jun 27, 2020

Iguazú Falls, or Iguaçu Falls, depending what side of the border you're on, are waterfalls of the Iguazu River which make up the largest waterfall in the world. Having taken the bus from Rosario, Argentina, birthplace of Lionel Messi, the 20-hour bus journey was an arduous one but the scenery certainly helped this time. Arriving at the entrance to the Iguazú National Park at Puerto Iguazú ($40 USD), the jungle gives way to the tourist traps familiar with any world heritage site the world over. Ticket touts, helicopter rides, hotels, tours, all readily available to help lighten your wallet.

Opting for the boat ride up the river towards the Devil's Throat, a 300ft (90m) wide and 260ft (80m) deep canyon culminating in the highest and deepest of the falls. The sound of the water cascading into the misty abyss drifts upstream, the jungle sounds and the low rum of the engine are soon drowned out. Watching the approaching falls edge ever closer, you can't help but think what would happen if the engine cuts out at this point, surely no amount of paddling would get us to safety before the inevitable drop. But we were fine, the boat pulling into the jetty where we disembarked.

Following the trail through the jungle, flanked by the gargantuan Iguazu River, platforms jut out overlooking the numerous falls. Staring down into the 260ft (80m) drop, the spray from the falls creates a cloud of immense spray that shrouds the entire river, hiding the impact zone completely from view.

There is an ongoing debate as to whether the falls are better viewed from the Argentinian or the Brazilian side. But as with most things when it comes to the competitiveness of these neighbouring countries, neither would concede to the other. So that's where I come in, it's better in Argentina, just be mindful who you say this to. The views from the top looking down, the proximity of the falls up close at the impact zone, not to mention the stance on not allowing helicopter rides in order to protect the flora and fauna of the park tips the balance away from Brazil. The one view from Brazil that is worth it is the panoramic view of the main falls, a pretty spectacular view at that.

The scale and magnitude of Iguazú Falls is mind blowing, it is only until you see an aerial view of the entire falls can you see just how vast it is. Passing through the Brazilian side of the falls to continue the journey through South America and the first thing I was asked when hailing a taxi was which side was better; Brazil obviously.

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