Absolutely Spectacular

On Sunday and Monday we took an overnight overland trip from Buenos Aires to Iguazu Falls. When we got the details of the trip a few days earlier, we learned that we would spend about four hours at the falls on the first day and would spend the entire second day getting back to the ship in Montevideo, Uruguay by plane, ferry, and bus. I said at the time that if I had known that it would be so much travel time for so little falls time, I would not have booked the trip. Thank goodness I didn’t know as missing this trip would have been a huge mistake

The first thing I learned is that I have been mispronouncing Iguazu all my life. I had always pronounced it I gua zoo’ but the correct pronunciation is Ig wah’ sue. During normal water levels, there are 275 distinct waterfalls. Since the water levels are higher right now, there are fewer falls but more volume of water flowing over them. The falls are about 269 feet high and 1.67 miles wide. Wikipedia calls them the largest waterfalls in the world. The falls are on the Iguazu River on the boundary of Argentina and Brazil. We were only on the Argentina side.

The falls are in the third national park in the Americas. The first was Yellowstone and the second was another national park in Argentina. We expected that we would be walking a trail along the top of the falls and another trail along the bottom of the falls. When we arrived, we were given the option to skip the walk at the bottom and to ride a boat along the base of the falls. This required walking down and back up 254 steps and going underneath the falls so everything you were wearing would be soaked. A our first thought was this would be too much, but we went with our second thought that this sounded like a lot of fun and would give us some of the panoramic view we would not get from the Argentina side. It was a good decision.

My pictures and my words cannot begin to show the majesty and beauty of the falls. At every new view point I would say, “This is absolutely spectacular!” And that is not a phrase I use very often. You really need to experience them to fully appreciate them. There are waterfalls all around you which is hard to convey in pictures. You also need to hear the noise and feel the power of them. The falls hitting the water below results in ever changing clouds of mist. We were very fortunate with the weather. It rained all morning and was raining when we landed at the airport at noon. By the time we finished lunch and started to the falls, the sky was beginning to clear. By later in the day, the sun was shining and creating rainbows in the mist.

Our first activity was to take the boat ride. The falls are located in the middle of a subtropical jungle. We rode in a flat bed truck outfitted with chairs for a 20 minute drive through the jungle to reach the stairs down to the river. We rode the boat up river to the falls. Things started slowly with cliffs…
…and the occasional waterfall.
In a short time we reach the first section of the main falls.
We had to wear life jackets throughout the trip. We were also given a yellow waterproof bag like the one behind me to hold our cameras, shoes, and anything else we didn’t want to get wet.
Another section of the falls
Finally the boat went deep into the mist of the waterfalls such as the boat in this picture is doing. We were soaked to the bone and could not keep our eyes open due to the force of the water. I had to look down to protect my face. Fortunately all my clothes were synthetics as I would be walking in wet clothes the rest of the day.
After the boat ride we climbed the 254 steps for another ride through the jungle back to the hotel area near the top of the falls.
After a brief rest in the shade of this fig tree, we left on our walk around the top of the falls.
The walk was almost entirely on a raised walkway such as this. It wound around the top of the falls with overlook platforms at the top of some of the falls. The trail had frequent overlooks at the top of some of the falls. Each view seemed to exceed the last.
This picture gives you some idea of the scope of the falls. In the bottom right corner you can see that we are standing at the top of a waterfall. In the upper left corner you can see a whole other set of falls in the distance.
This is a picture of the river above the falls.
As if the falls are not enough, we saw some animals on the way back to the hotel. In the first shot, the monkey is on the railing of the walkway, so it is about two feet from me. There was also a mother monkey with a baby on her back, but I couldn’t get a good picture of her.
A toucan.
A coati. Thanks to our friend Don for the last two pictures and the picture of us in the boat.
We stayed at this hotel on the grounds of the park. There was the occasional monkey on the balconies so we had to keep our patio doors closed.
The view from our hotel room of the infinity pool with the falls in the background.
Sunrise at the hotel.

I apologize for the length of this blog. This site was so special to me that I just didn’t know where to stop.

6 thoughts on “Absolutely Spectacular”

  1. Absolutely spectacular. Bruce, I was also mispronouncing Iguazzo Falls. Your trip looks incredible

  2. Absolutely spectacular. Bruce, I was also mispronouncing Iguazzo Falls. Your trip looks incredible

  3. Absolutely amazing that you got to see Iguazu Falls. Loved seeing just how large and spectacular they really are! The power of Niagra Falls always gets to me–can only imagine what these falls must have been like. Thank you for sharing! Our love to you and Susan. Kay & Bob

  4. Such a shame youu didn’t have time to go to the Brazilian side to look at the Falls… (and their incredible semi precious stones… ). Rather like looking at Niagra from the US side. Glad you took the trip despite ethe travel… You did a good job capturing it in the photos!
    Thanks again for inviting me along to vicariouosly enjoy “the world”… as you can see I am back tracking to the stsart!

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