Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Grand Iguazú

~20 extra hours on a bus.............$150
2 nights in an overpriced hostel.....$100
Park fees, lunch and boat ride.......$120

Seeing one of the natural wonders of the world....
Pricey. But still totally worth it!

The Iguazú Falls are hailed as the must-see of South America - a series of waterfalls standing at 72 meters at it's highest point (~20 higher than Niagara Falls), and surrounded by an immense jungle with a lot of unique flora and fauna. The Falls split the Argentina and Brazil border, and so Pete and I planned 2 days in nearby Puerto Iguaz
ú in order to spend one day in each country and see the Falls from the different vantage points.

There are only two countries in South America where Canadians need to pre-obtain visas in order to enter: Brazil and Paraguay. However, research told us that Brazil would "unofficially" allow us to enter for a day without it, just to see the Falls. And, unfortunately, our research was dated and wrong. No longer does anyone get a free order to get in, we would have to purchase a 4 hour visa for $120! Ridiculous!

Other research also told us that if there is only one side to see the Falls from, it's in Argentina. The national park surrounding the falls is well laid out with several kilometers of walking paths allowing many vantage points.

The Falls are, simply stunning. The loud rush of water, the rainbows over the mist, the hundreds of different colorful butterflies, the cool spray over the walkways. The whole experience of our day in the park is something that Pete and I could never forget. Few words can describe it...hopefully pictures help...

And as if just viewing the Falls wasn't enough, we boarded a boat that took us right under the streaming water! It was quite a rush to be taken over the churning water and stop right beneath the Falls - I was amazed that they actually took us all the way in.

For more pictures, click here.

We came a long way to see this spectacular sight, which did not disappoint. Today we are on another long distance bus - 17 hours to Buenos Aires. Only a couple of days there before we get our fourth passport stamp in Uruguay - time to hit the beach!

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