World Wonder Iguazu Falls

Before we started planning our around-the-world honeymoon, we had barely heard of Iguazu Falls. When we found out it was listed as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, we looked into it and with one glimpse at their lush location and countless falls, we had to go hear the roar and feel the mist ourselves.

 

Straddling the border of Brazil and Argentina, Iguazu Falls should definitely be seen from both sides, starting with Brazil. It looks at the Argentine-based falls from a distance and gives you a sense of just how massive and magnificent this endless series of waterfalls really is. (Though ironically, the photo directly above shows approx 40% of the waterfalls that make up Iguazu.) The Brazilian side is made of a series of walkways, zigzagging along the shores of the river and jutting out into the falls, it takes about 2-4 hours to complete, depending how snap-happy you get (happily, it took us four.).

 

Swapping the role of photographer with other traveling couples has been an amazing ice breaker so far on our trip. We met this great European couple, Sophie and Christian, on the Brazilian side and immediately hit it off. After a venerable photo shoot, they offered to take us across the border in their hired car (we later heard about a $140 visa when you enter Argentina, that we apparently slipped past in the back seat–score!).

 

Falls as far as the eye can see with enough beauty to create a lifetime of memories. Just amazing.

 

One of our favorite parts of Iguazu is the complexity. It isn’t just one large fall that impresses with its height (think Victoria Falls), or one massive wall of water (think Niagara Falls), but many levels and channels powerfully carving their way through lush rainforest.

 

As you walk along the endless trail system on the Argentine side of the falls (which is hands down the side to spend the most time at…we recommend two full days on this side so you can really soak it in), you notice remnants of old walkways and platforms that were ravaged by a huge flood in recent decades.

 

About 50% of the water volume at Iguazu plummets from this section they call the Devil’s Throat causing a roar that can not be imagined, and a wall of mist so dense and towering you can’t see the river for a ¼ mile down stream. (Check out this video for a taste of the thunder!)

 

Then just when you think this place couldn’t get any more amazing, the animals appear. Iguazu is practically a zoo, from these adorable coatis, to dozens of butterfly species, toucans, catfish, caimans, turtles, and
who knows what else.

 

The “88” butterflies followed us everywhere, sporting their beautiful zebra stripes and uncanny numbers.

 

The fine mist, which placards aptly called “Pulverized Water,” causes perpetual rainbows from nearly every vantage point in the park. While we didn’t have quite this reaction to the double rainbow, it was quite spiritual.

 

The late day sunset over the falls left some magical rays for the water to dance in. And with birds chirping and palm trees swaying…the falls put on quite an afternoon number.

 

To top off the day the four of us took this six-person rowboat directly into the falls! (okay, it wasn’t really a rowboat, it was a 30-person monster zodiac, but when the falls are this size, and the plumes of water exploding off the surface are over 100-feet tall, it might as well be a row boat.)

 

What is the most amazing waterfall you have visited? Even if it was a five-meter waterfall on a beautiful hike in Vermont 🙂

 

28 comments on “World Wonder Iguazu Falls

  • April 14, 2012 at 6:17 am
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    I’ve heard it is just spectacular … very nice write-up and pictures, such interesting wildlife.  Well as far as waterfalls … we enjoyed the falls at the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone; upper & lower falls as I recall … just beautiful. Only problem was that we left the marked trail, disregarding the warning signs me and my friend attempted to traverse as close to the falls as possible … unfortunately we got into trouble on the break away shale and kept sliding closer into the chasm … the rangers had to throw rope down to us .. they were really unhappy with us … no fine or ticket but a real old fashioned “talking to” if you know what i mean! hahahahaha 

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    • April 24, 2012 at 7:18 pm
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      glad you liked the write up Jim, Iguazu was definitely one of (if not “the”) the most breathtaking things we have seen on our 90 days so far.

      so funny to hear about your experience. well funny in hindsight, i am sure at the time you guys were a bit nervous 🙂 sometimes you have to push the limits right?

      Reply
  • April 14, 2012 at 6:18 am
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    I’ve heard it is just spectacular … very nice write-up and pictures, such interesting wildlife. Well as far as waterfalls … we enjoyed the falls at the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone; upper & lower falls as I recall … just beautiful. Only problem was that we left the marked trail, disregarding the warning signs me and my friend attempted to traverse as close to the falls as possible … unfortunately we got into trouble on the break away shale and kept sliding closer into the chasm … the rangers had to throw rope down to us .. they were really unhappy with us … no fine or ticket but a real old fashioned “talking to” if you know what i mean! hahahahaha

    Reply
  • April 14, 2012 at 10:12 am
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    Aye que linda las cascadas! Me encantalas!

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  • April 14, 2012 at 6:25 pm
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    That boat looks like it’s sailing to its death, lol.

    Awesome butterfly. Can’t believe I’ve never seen that one before, seeing as numbers on an insect aren’t something all that common.

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  • April 14, 2012 at 6:30 pm
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    Forgot to add, best waterfall I have visited is probably Upper Whitewater Falls on the NC/SC border. One of the largest east of the Mississippi and especially nice in autumn, but relatively small next to Iguazu.

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    • April 22, 2012 at 7:15 pm
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      #1. that boat ride was sick. the power was like nothing you could imagine. #2. thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment Joe, it means a lot, and we love replying to friends and know they are reading along 🙂

      Reply
  • April 15, 2012 at 11:14 am
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    I went to both sides a few years ago and it was so nice to relive the memories looking at your post. Glad you two enjoyed it!

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  • April 15, 2012 at 1:12 pm
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    So nice to see these photos and get a chance to relive our experience.  Your advice about the little island on the Argentina side was great; it had one of the best views and it had a little beach!  This is definitely the most special waterfall I’ve ever see.  I’ll have to get back someday!!

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    • April 22, 2012 at 7:14 pm
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      marla, that is awesome. so glad you guys got to the small island. that is  definitely one of the hidden gems of Iguazu Falls. we agree on the return…prob with the kids 🙂

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  • April 16, 2012 at 7:15 am
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    Absolutely amazing!  I can only imagine how awe-inspiring it must have been (and the pictures/video do indeed help the imagination).

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    • April 22, 2012 at 7:13 pm
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      glad you liked the video Kim, we felt the photos wouldnt let you feel the power (although that boat one i think shows it). and thanks for the comment. it was the most amazing thing we have ever seen. truly!

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  • April 17, 2012 at 2:41 am
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    Wow,guys. This looks incredible!!! I love waterfalls. In fact I wrote a short blog post announcing that I was obsessed with them pointing to a set on Flickr with all my waterfall photos :-). http://wp.me/p2cbma-71
    Great following you!!!

    Reply
      • April 23, 2012 at 1:39 am
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        Not yet 😉 But after your blog post, I’m very tempted!!!!!

        Reply

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