Colossal and deadly Iguazú Falls

Obrovské a smrtiace Iguazú Falls

10 facts about Iguazú Falls

1. Iguazú Falls are the most spectacular falls in the world. It’s not my opinion, it’s a fact. I just agree.
2. Garganta del Diablo or Devil’s Throat is the most famous portion of waterfall.
3. Iguazú Falls with its 2,700 metres is the widest waterfall in the world.
4. Waterfalls create natural border between Paraná state in Brazil, and Misiones province in Argentina.
5. Iguazú Falls are split into 275 distinct falls. More or less.
6. Approximately 80% of the jumps of these falls belong to Argentina. Poor Brazil.
7. Argentinean side of national park is bigger and just better.
8. When First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt saw Iguazú Falls, she said: “Poor Niagara.” “Poor Niagara.” (Úbohé Niagáry).
9. There is a “permanent” rainbow formed on waterfalls. Of course, when’s not drought.
10. Mean annual flow rate is about 1,700 m3/s (tonnes per second). This is what I most likely saw in January 2020. Plus minus.

And now 2 extremes

1. Three months later, the water flow dropped to less than one fifth. 289 m3/s. Extremely low.
2. The highest recorded flow was 45,700 m3/s. See that enormous difference? This blog shows waterfalls in various years and stages.

I consider myself quite adventurous person, but you would not get me there under these circumstances.

National Park Iguazú Falls

Río Uruguay is bus company operating to national park every 20 minutes and the price of one-way ticket was 200 pesos. One-day entrance ticket was 800 pesos. If you are lucky to have more time, two-day ticket gives you 50% off of the second day.

After doing simple maths, this day cost me 200+800+200=1200 pesos. In January 2020 it was approx. 18€, today around 12.50€.

"Do not forget to bring repellent and use it at least every hour."

Trails

national park iguazu falls map
Source: www.iguazufalls.com
GREENSendero Verde (Green Trail)650 m15 min
YELLOWCircuito Inferior (Lower Circuit)1,700 m90 min
BLUECircuito Superior (Upper Trail)1,750 m120 min
ORANGEGarganta del Diablo (Devil's Throat)2,200 m (return)120 min
REDIsla San Martín (San Martín Island)700 m120 min
BROWNSendero Macuco (Macuco Trail)7,000 m (return)180 min

National Park Iguazú Falls has 6 trails. If you come early morning and walk briskly, you can do all of them in one day. But I don’t recommend it. Enjoy the nature. Since I arrived to Puerto Iguazú with the morning bus, I got to entrance at 11 AM which is quite late for me. I went to first information kiosk and asked the girl in which order do the trails make sense. I skipped Sendero Macuco which is the longest trail and quite out of waterfall area. Isla San Martín was closed. It made everything much easier. I had only 4 trails left and doable in couple of hours.

The girl said: "Go with green trail to Cataratas station. Start with yellow Circuito inferior, then go on blue Circuito Superior, and then take the eco-train to Garganta station and walk to Garganta del Diablo. The last train goes at 4 PM."
iguazu falls view

Circuito Inferior was stunning and had the best views. This circuit is a bit farther from the main attraction, but you can see waterfalls from many viewpoints. You will definitely spend the most time here.

Iguazu falls parana river

Circuito Superior was a bit different. While in previous you are looking at the water pouring down and crashing on the rocks, here you walk above the waterfalls, quietly enjoying river, fish, birds, spiders, and all the wildlife.

Iguazu falls parana river
From above looks Iguazú like calm river...
Iguazu falls from above
...until it reaches the falls.
Iguazu falls garganta del diablo

Garganta del Diablo is crème de la crème. Leave this at the end to make the most of the experience.

It’s a 1,100-metre walk over calm river ending with the non-stop showers and amazing rainbow over the massive amount of water which would easily kill you. If you didn’t get it yet, now you’ll understand the strength of one of the four elements.

Iguazu falls parana river
The footpath above the Iguazú river leading to Devil's Throat.
Garganta del Diablo in its full beauty.
Iguazu falls garganta del diablo
Devil's Throat from above.

Cheeky coatís

Coatís are racoons living in the national park. They might seem cute in the first moment. Even second. But once they get you, your relationship becomes very cold. They bother people on both sides – Argentinean and Brazilian. Everywhere in the national park are signs telling people not to feed them. What do you think they do?

At one station were even cages for people, where they can peacefully eat their food. I wasn’t so lucky, but unaware of how far these creatures can go, I opened my snack on a table. Spread with crackers. Not even minute, and I see claws trying to reach my crackers underneath the table. I took an action but it was too late. Another one jumped on the bench, the third on the table and grabbed my crackers. I didn’t want to give up so easily, so I fought with coatí a few seconds over my food. But at that point there was an army of them.

My lunch was gone.
How inconspicuous and cheeky can these little animals be.

Puerto Iguazú

If you plan to visit National park Iguazú Falls, you’ll most likely stay in Puerto Iguazú in Argentina, Foz do Iguaçu in Brazil, or Ciudad de Este in Paraguay.

Puerto Iguazú is lovely jungle-looking city. The soil is almost red, air is hot and humid, trees and bushes are vividly green, and spiders on the street are 10-times bigger than we are used to. Oh, and mosquitoes. You are screwed without repellent.

Not only spiders, but ants were enormous in size, too.
Hairy buddy.

Except waterfalls (or Cataratas in local language), the area is known for another curiosity. The point where Iguazú river flows into Paraná river is called Tres fronteras, which means Three borders. Borders of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. Yes, this is the place, where you can see these three countries.

tres fronteras argentina
Paraguay on the left, Brazil on the right, and Argentina on my side.
tres fronteras argentina
Iguazú river flows to Paraná river.
bridge connecting argentina and brazil
Friendship Bridge connecting Argentina and Brazil.
fishermen on parana river
Fishermen on Iguazú river.

Soňa.

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