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Foz de Iguaçu and the Iguaçu Falls

Posted by on March 8, 2012

Here we are. Of the entire tour, there are two main attractions which have me the most excited. The Inca trail trek and these, the Iguaçu (or Iguazu if you’re on the Argentinian side) Falls. As of last year, they have been declared one of the 7 natural world wonders. What it replaced I could not tell you but regardless, they deserve it. But Foz is not all about the falls. There are a lot possible excursions which can keep you busy for 3 or 4 days. From nature walks, waterfalls (duh), a bird park / sanctuary and 2 other countries a stones throw away. Didn’t do all of it but will dedicate just a brief paragraph to each of them anyway. The focus is the falls and the bird park. You will notice I have not used an image of the falls as my main image. That is because we will be visiting the falls again but from the Argentinian side (which apparently is better) so I’m saving that image for that post.

The Iguaçu Falls

The Iguaçu Falls

Here we are. What I have been looking forward to since arriving in Brazil. It’s not everyday you get to visit one of the 7 natural world wonders. It was a sweltering day. Clothing completely moist from all the sweat and this just added to the hype of being cooled down by the falls spray which we were working our way to. The walking route was about 2km long and started off far away from the falls so you could see the massive expanse of falls from high up. Slowly working our way down towards one of the falls, more and more of it became visible as we rounded corners and bends. There are a tonne of sight-seeing platforms and hundreds of photos were taken from all sorts of angles.

Iguaçu is a record holder for the most number of individual waterfalls in one area with a total of 273 independant falls. Unlike Victoria falls which blows your mind with the size of the waterfall, Iguaçu gets you on its length. Even though it was off-season, there were still hundreds of tourists from all corners of the world. Got to see an armadillo up close on the walk. Never seen one in the wild before so that was just the cherry on top. Anyway, back to the falls. After the 2km walk, we got to the main walkway out onto one of the falls. Looking across you could see the Argentinian side and some awesome looking walkways over there. Will let you know what they like after visiting that side. The end of the platform was at the end of one of the waterfalls and peering over left me feeling a little queezy as you look down the cliff face onto the rocks below with water pelting them from above. The cooling mist from a fall nearby was a great relief to the heat that had been melting us all day. Fantastic.

The Bird Park

Next to the entrance to the falls was a bird park / sanctuary which houses thousands of birds from all walks of life. Apparently a lot of the ‘inmates’ were rescued from places like nightclubs which illegally capture / import them as ‘decoration’ for their clubs. There was everything from you common pink Flamingo to the more exotic Toucans and Macaws. Without a doubt, my favorite part was walking through the Toucan enclosure which houses about 6 different species of Toucan including the iconic species, large black and white birds with an even larger orange-yellow-black beak. The multicolored parrots and macaws where next on the list of favorite sightings. The trail through the bird park (which included a snake section and butterfly enclosure) took us about 2 hours to go through. At the end of the trail was a restaurant (which was very cheap) and two areas giving you the opportunity to get a photo holding either a boa constrictor or macaw. At R$28 it seemed more than reasonable and it was well worth it.

The Dam

There is what used to be the largest dam in the world (until China recently broke that record) just around then corner and blocks the river separating Brazil and Paraguay. Obviously this means you can access it from either side. For a fee, you can get a walking tour of the dam giving you the opportunity to appreciate the engineering behind these massive and impressive structures.

The River Junction

A taxi ride away, you will arrive at a place divided by 3 rivers. These rivers are the natural borders for Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. There is not much else there gut if you appreciate nature and the idea that you are looking at 3 different countries at the same time then this should be a cool little stop.

Argentina and Paraguay

Obviously having the borders of both countries right here, you can pop across the border into one of the countries (if you have your passport at hand) and check out some of the activities and excursions each country has to offer. Since we are on our way into Argentina soon, my next post may have some of said optional tours.

Reflections

Probably one of the most amazing days I’ve had on this trip so far. The Iguaçu falls were absolutely amazing and I thoroughly look forward to experiencing them from the Argentinian side which is reportedly better than the Brazilian side. Got a great photo which will become my next Facebook profile pic as soon as I get it onto the computer. All in all, Brazil has been amazing in so many ways and I would like to make my way back here sometime in the future. Possibly do some of the adventures I could not this time (such as the Abysmo in Bonito) and maybe have a little explore up country.  But for now, Obregado Brazil and I hope to see you again sometime.

 

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