Our last stop in Brazil ended up being one of the trip’s highlights, so far: we arrived in Iguassu on Sunday night, and stayed in a hotel on the Brazilian side of the famous Falls. (We were sure we’d asked the travel agent to book a hotel on the Argentinian side, but then it’s our fault we didn’t check the itinerary.) We only had one day to visit the Falls – many people take 2 days to visit both Brazilian and Argentinian sides, for comparison – and as the Argentinian side is more extensive and varied, we decided to head across there for the day.
By the way: you’ll see different spellings of Iguassu, depending on the language. Iguaçu in Portuguese and Iguazú in Spanish… I’m opting for Iguassu, which seems more anglicised (and therefore neutral ;-).
This meant an early start: a 6:30am wake-up to be on a bus to Argentina by 8am… we had to get off the bus to do Brazilian immigration and customs (no need for Argentina, thankfully) and then change to another bus to get to the Falls. For this last leg we opted for a taxi, instead, which ended up being lucky (I think), as we needed Argentinian Pesos (cool hard cash) to buy tickets for the park, which in turn meant a detour to the airport to find a working ATM. Which led to a more expensive taxi ride and a 30 minute delay getting into the park, but hey.
To get around the park you need to queue for various trains. There’s one from the main station near the park’s entrance to the main stop for the falls, but we took another train from there to the Devil’s Throat stop, to see that first.
There were lots of people, here, many of whom spent more time looking away from the Falls to take selfies. (I actually think the day cellphones have higher-resolution front- (rather than back-)facing cameras is the day human society has reached rock bottom… judging from our experiences at these places I have to believe we’ll soon be there.)
From here we headed back to the “cataractes” station, where there are a choice of trails. We decided to skip the upper trail – lots of people were heading that way, and it actually seemed the less interesting option for us – and focus on the lower one. This afforded some amazing views of the Falls:
It also allowed us to take a boat across to the San Martin island, that gives you the most incredible views. (The kids wanted to take a special “adventure” boat that takes you to the foot of the Falls and gets people drenched… we were up for it but found out the minimum age of 12 years old meant the ones in our family who were most motivated were the least eligible.)
We had hoped to get through the Argentinian park quickly enough to shoot back via the Brazilian side – which is both smaller and more expensive to visit, although at least they take credit cards – but the reality is that you really can’t do justice to the Argentinian side of the park and visit the Brazilian side, too, in a single day. But we were tired and happy by the time we took the bus back towards Brazil (waking the kids to do customs and immigration on the way back, of course). A fantastic experience, all round.
We had a quick stop at the hotel before eating our last Brazilian dinner of the trip.
Then we had a really short night’s sleep – our second in a row – with a wake-up of 5:30am to head back to Argentina to fly onwards to Córdoba.
That was our last flight for a month (!), as from here we’re heading across land to fly out of Santiago on September 29th to Easter Island. But we’ll have lots to talk about here, in the meantime, of course.
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