Breathtaking Iguazu

Iguassu FallsFor some reason I had never heard of Iguazu (also known as Iguassu) Falls till I started doing some research for a trip to Brazil a few years back. As I read and saw the images, I knew that we would tailor our itinerary in any way possible, just to have a chance to see them.

These falls on the river Iguazu actually consist of 275 individual waterfalls and cascades (or more, depending on the season). Elanor Roosevelt is said to have exclaimed “Poor Niagara!” on seeing Iguassu. I can understand why… it is a magnificent sight!

The spray of water rises high up, catching the sunlight and forming rainbows wherever you look. I had never seen soooo many rainbows at one time.

Rainbow

Waterfalls

The falls are on the border of Brazil and Argentina. We visited from the Brazilian side (Foz du Iguacu), which only has 20% of the falls. Unfortunately we couldn’t get to see the Argentinean side because of visa requirements (However there are different rules for different nationalities).

Some recommendations:

– While a fairly expensive option, Hotel das Cataratas by Orient Express is a great place to stay when visiting the falls. It is located inside the national park and you can get to enjoy the falls much ahead of (and after) the crowds of tourist. Good service to compliment the stunning location too. We stayed for 2 nights, which was just the right length of time, since there is not much else to do around the area.

das Cataratas

– Helicopter rides provide fantastic panoramic views, and you can also get to see the Triple Frontier (the tri-border area of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay where the Iguazu and Parana rivers converge). These operators are located outside the park entrance in Foz du Iguacu. Apparently Argentina doesn’t allow helicopter operations for environmental reasons.

Panoraic view of Iguassu Falls

P.S. I’ve heard that the Victoria Falls in Zambia & Zimbabwe can give Iguassu a run for its money. What do you think? Have you seen either of these?