by Matt McMillan
I’ve spent the last week in Argentina attending a trade show, and managed to arrange a side trip to visit Iguazu Falls. I have to admit after working for so many years with South America I occasionally get a little blasé when sending clients to the iconic destinations which our customers plan their trip around. There is, however, a clear reason we all want to go to these destinations, and today’s visit helped refresh this fact for me. Iguazu is amazing, spectacular, mesmerising – in fact pick any superlative and it fits. I’ve been lucky enough to visit some of the world’s most famous waterfalls and I truly believe Iguazu stands head and shoulders above the rest.
Iguazu is made up of over 275 falls although due to the current volume of water many of these combined together to create mega falls. It was something completely different to what I experienced last time I visited 6 years ago. Unfortunately due to the June floods ‘Devils Throat’ walkway was washed away, but I didn’t feel this adversely affected my visit. If the water subsides they now expect to be able to complete the construction of the new walkway in around 2 months (however, being South America it will probably take until at least the end of the year). but don’t despair, as Iguazu offers so much more than just the Devils Throat, and the walkways on both the Argentinean and Brazilian side will keep you occupied for the most part of 2 days.
It’s not just the falls either as the National Park is also a wildlife destination containing ( according to my guide); 42 species of snakes, 100 species of butterfly, over 200 species of birds, along with jaguars, deer, coatis, capybara, puma and caiman. Whilst some of these are easy to see I do have some suggestions on how to improve your Iguazu experience as follows;
1. Consider a stay within the National Park – the hotels are much more expensive but do give you the opportunity to avoid the crowds and heat in the morning or evening which are also the best times for wildlife watching.
2. A nice and less expensive alternative to staying within the park is to consider paying a little extra for a private tour. Same reasons as above.
3. Take a boat ride under the falls. Not for the faint of heart but an incredible experience which will leave you breathless and completely soaked, so take a change of clothes. I’ve done the Macuco Safari on the Brazilian side before however the Gran Aventura trip on the Argentinean side surpasses it in my opinion as it travels to both sides of the falls whereas the Macuco Safari trip can only access one side.
I’m now off to explore some lesser known destinations in Argentina so will look forward to updating you on these soon.