Ride a Boat to the Base of Iguazu Falls
There is something about falling water that can turn any mood into a happy one. If you are in need of a little waterfall therapy, Iguazu Falls in Argentina is the place to get it!
Excerpt from Soul Searching in South America, part of the Teresa the Traveler series
First thing the following morning I took the city bus to Iguazu National Park to chase some waterfalls. Located on the boarder of Brazil and Argentina, the falls divide the river into the upper and lower Iguazu. Consisting of 275 falls along a stretch of 2.7 kilometres, two thirds of the falls are within Argentine territory. The majority of the individual falls are about 64 meters in height with some reaching up to 82 meters high. The most impressive fall is the U-shaped Devil’s Throat at 82 meters high, 150 meters wide and 700 meters long.
I had booked the grand tour from a travel agent in the city but if I could do it all over again I would simply buy my tour directly from the booth at the park. I had to go there anyway to redeem my voucher and had I lost it, I would be hooped. Unbeknownst to me, I could have bought just the boating under the falls part of the tour for much cheaper but instead I got the full meal deal.
It started with a short jeep tour through the jungle where we saw one spider and a bunch of trees, then we went on a boat ride up the river where I saw no spiders but plenty of trees and then we arrived at the falls where we took one pass for pictures, then stowed our cameras in the waterproof bags provided and drove right up to the falls for a very wet close up. The entire trip cost about $56 while the last part, which was the most fun, cost only $25. Oh well, live and learn. At least I was kind enough to warn some other tourists, the backpacker’s equivalent to flashing your lights to alert other speeders of a cop. You’ve got to look out for each other.
After getting good and soaked from the boat ride, which was quite refreshing with the extreme heat, I spent the rest of the day on the catwalk; yeah on the catwalk I watched the waterfalls from the catwalk. Gotta like one hit wonders like Right SaidFred.
I was absolutely blown away by the beauty of the falls and completely amazed that I had never heard of them– did I live under a rock? I thought Niagara Falls in Canada was amazing but this place made Niagara look like tap water. By 4 pm I was burned to a crisp and exhausted so when I discovered I could return to the falls the following day for half the price, I did just that. I arrived at the park when it opened at 8 am and was first in line at the ticket office. I was determined to spend some time alone at the base of the falls so Icould film myself doing a happy dance.
Yes, you read that right…I performed an Iguazu Falls happy dance. Inspired by Where the Hell is Matt of YouTube fame, I decided to do a little bad dancing of my own at my favorite sites. My first dance took place at Machu Picchu and by the time I reached Iguazu Falls I couldn’t wait to perfect my moves. Thankfully I was able to beat the crowds and find a place to perform without a huge audience. I have some pretty funky moves and I didn’t want anyone to steal them…but mostly I didn’t want to explain to a plethora of tourists what the heck I was doing.
While standing at the foot of the falls performing such moves as the sprinkler, stirring the pot, the Macarena, the spank, staying alive and running on the spot, an older couple from the United States witnessed my crazy antics. Determined to get the footage I needed for my music video, I continued to dance as though I was displaying completely normal behavior. When I was done, I stuffed my camera into my backpack, wished the couple a good day then went on my merry little way.
Wikipedia - Iguazu Falls are waterfalls of the Iguazu River on the border of Brazilian state Paraná and Argentine province Misiones. The falls divide the river into the upper and lower Iguazu. The Iguazu River rises near the city of Curitiba. It flows through Brazil for most of its course. Below its confluence with the San Antonio River, the Iguazu River forms the boundary between Argentina and Brazil.
The name "Iguazu" comes from the Guarani or Tupi words "y", meaning "water", and "ûasú " meaning "big". Legend has it that a god planned to marry a beautiful woman named Naipí, who fled with her mortal lover Tarobá in a canoe. In rage, the god sliced the river, creating the waterfalls and condemning the lovers to an eternal fall. The first European to find the falls was the Spanish conquistador Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca in 1541.
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Where I stayed...
For Lonely Planet review
How to Get There: Fly into Buenos Aires (the country's capital) and then take a connecting flight (typically 90 minutes) from there to the town of Puerto Iguazú.