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12 July 2013 / leggypeggy

Iguazu Falls from the Argentine side

Iguazu Falls

Iguazu Falls viewed from Argentina

The people who have been on our overland truck for awhile have talked a lot about their visits to Iguazu Falls, on both the Argentinian and Brazilian sides. We won’t get there this trip, so I could be jealous, but it’s not necessary. We went last year and it was amazing.

Iguazu Falls

A rainbow with no rain

In fact, Poor John and I were lucky enough to see these spectacular falls from both the Argentine and Brazilian sides. I even got to see them from the air—on a brief helicopter ride.

These falls are incredible—even overwhelming. So much so that in 2011, Iguazu was included in the New Seven Wonders of Nature.

It’s a well-deserved accolade. Iguazu is three times higher than Niagara Falls in North America and about a kilometre wider than Victoria Falls in Africa. At 2.7 kilometres in length, Iguazu is the longest waterfall in the world.

It doesn’t have the largest single drop of water (that title goes to Victoria Falls) because the many islands on the Iguazu River create from 150 to 300 individual waterfalls, depending on water levels. The highest and deepest drop is the Devil’s Throat, which is part of the border between Argentina and Brazil, and has water rushing over the edge from three sides.

A legend says that a god planned to marry a beautiful woman named Naipi. But she and her lover, Tarobá, ran away in a canoe. In rage, the god sliced the river, creating the waterfalls and condemning the pair to an eternal fall.

We first saw the falls from the Argentine side, which meant we were looking at Brazil’s 20 per cent of the flow.

Train, Iguazu Falls

Catching the train to the falls

Argentina has an eco-friendly train that takes you to the falls. We left the train early so we could walk the kilometre-long trail—Paseo Garganta del Diablo—that would take us to the famous Devil’s Throat.

The walk treated us to incredible views of the many waterfalls on both sides, and much more. At one point, we could stand and see 260 dgerees of waterfall.

A sign near the falls asks viewers to note the colour of the water. It says that four decades ago, the water ran crystal clear, but that forest clearance has allowed soil to run into the river and turn the flow to reddish brown. It says the turbidity affects wildlife. It prevents fish from courting and spawning, and makes it hard for fish-eating birds and mammals to find prey.

Coati

A coati looks innocent enough, but don’t be fooled—they want your lunch

The turbidity doesn’t seem to have any effect on the aggressive coatis, also known as Brazilian aardvarks. They’re members of the raccoon family, and about the size of a large house cat. There are warnings posted everywhere, to remind tourists that coatis will steal your lunch and bite and scratch an outstretched hand that does—or doesn’t—feed them. Too many tourists have ‘befriended’ them, so now they expect handouts. We stayed well away, and saw several tourists robbed of their lunches.

We also saw lots of reptiles, butterflies and birds. In fact, I’m going to do separate entries on the wildlife, the view from the Brazilian side and the helicopter ride.

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9 Comments

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  1. Anne Brown / Jul 12 2013 3:07 pm

    what amazing water falls

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    • leggypeggy / Jul 13 2013 9:14 pm

      Anne, they really are overwhelming. Stay tuned for more pictures of them.

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  2. skippersy / Jul 13 2013 11:29 pm

    Peggy, I lived in the Niagara Falls/Buffalo area for 1 1/2 years. It get extremely cold up north (Northwestern New York State) and gets a “ton” of snow every winter. Which makes Niagara Falls very interesting for the winter season for viewing. They also have multi-colorful lights shining of the falls in the evenings. Are the Iguaza Falls lighted up when it gets dark in the evening? In any event, a very impressive series of waterfalls to see and photograph.

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    • leggypeggy / Jul 14 2013 2:14 am

      I would love to see Niagara Falls in winter. I’m not sure whether Iquazu is lit at night. We were there during daytime and I seem to recall that the park gates close at night. Maybe someday.

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  3. Uncle Tree / Jul 22 2014 11:07 am

    WoWzer! 🙂 What a cool-looking place! This stick in the mud doesn’t get around much,
    so I really appreciate the photographs I see. Nice to meet you, Peggy! Peace and luvz, UT

    Like

    • leggypeggy / Jul 22 2014 11:56 am

      Thanks so much for stopping by Uncle Tree. Glad you like the pics. Iguazu is an amazing place. I need to post some pics of the falls taken from the Brazilian side.

      Like

  4. David / Feb 3 2015 3:33 pm

    I love this entry, Peggy! Just awesomely beautiful! I’ve looked at it several times enjoying each visit as much as the others.
    Thank you!

    Like

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