- Location: On Iguazu River at the border of Argentina and Brazil
- Attraction Type: A Natural heritage
- Significance: A UNESCO Heritage site; a waterfall twice the height and four times the width of Niagara Falls
- Best Time to Visit: November — May (December to February is the rainy season and the Falls is in its might)
- Visiting Hours: Daytime
- How to reach: From Puerto Iguazu in Argentina by road; alternatively from Foz do Iguacu in Brazil by road
- Nearest International Airport: Puerto Iguazu Airport in Argentina. Foz do Iguacu Airport in Brazil
Iguazu Falls with twice the height of Niagara Falls and four times its width with 275 cascades is a majestic horseshoe-shaped fall extending nearly two miles across Iguazu River flowing through Argentina and Brazil. Born out of a fault because of a volcanic eruption the fall is of nearly 270 feet. Water tumbling at 550 cubic feet per second in the dry season increases to 450,000 cubic feet per second in the rainy season. The mammoth water curtain falling with a thunderous roar has aptly been termed ‘Iguazu’ meaning ‘great waters’ in the Guarani language. Discovered by Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca in 1541, Iguazu Fall in Argentina was declared a UNESCO Natural World Heritage site in 1984.
According to popular legend, once upon a time a huge and ferocious snake, Boi, used to live in River Iguazu. Every year a woman was sacrificed to keep Boi calm. One year a brave aborigine saved a woman from being sacrificed and escaped along the waters of Iguazu. This enraged Boi to such an extent that it split the river forming innumerable cataracts between the man and woman.
South America Iguazu Falls comprises about 270 cascades interspersed with islets and cliffs scattered in the shape of a half-moon. Called ‘Cataratas del Iguazu’ in Spanish and ‘Foz do Iguacu’ in Brazilian, the Iguazu Falls is accessible by an upper path and a lower path. The upper path leads to a footbridge from where you get an awesome view of this fall, while the lower path takes you to the foot of the falls from where you enjoy its spray. Watching the ‘Devil’s Throat’ or ‘Gargantua del Diablo’ from the footbridge is an incredible lifetime experience. The spray at the ‘Devil’s Throat’ can be felt up to one hundred feet.
Together with the Iguazu Falls, you could visit the subtropical forests of National Iguacu Park. More than 80 species of mammals, 500 species of jungle fowls, and an extensive variety of reptiles, insects, butterflies and fishes, the park is a naturalist’s heaven.
There are certain safe cascades fit for swimming which a local guide can point out. A two-hour trek along three kilometers of jungle path is certainly very inspiring for forest lovers. Alternatively drive in a 4 x 4 vehicle through 8 km of jungle trail, which also is thrilling. You could explore the jungles along the upper Iguazu River in boats. The greenery and density of the forest would certainly baffle you.
Accommodation and Dining in Iguazu
Your staying in Iguazu would be pleasant and hospitable in Sheraton Internacional Iguazu Resort, Cataratas Hotel Iguazu Falls, and the Grand Hotel Resort and Casino Iguazu Falls on the Argentinean side. If approached from Brazil, Hotel Das Cataratas, San Martin Hotel and Resort, Bourbon Iguassu Golf Club and Resort, and Mabu Thermas and Resort can be chosen from for putting up. Each of these hotels and resorts serves delicious recipes to satisfy your culinary demands.
Related Links :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6L8845utZI4: Check out the exquisite beauty of the Iguazu Falls in this fantastic travel video!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcpO45VpAl0&feature=related: For spectacular views of the Iguazu Falls on the Brazilian side of the border, watch this video!