Puerto Iguaz˙, Argentina; Iguaz˙ Falls

Latitude 25.59923°S Longitude 54.57028°W

Sunday, March 30, 2003

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If you journey to the north east corner of Argentina, to its borders with Brazil and Paraguay, you will encounter one of the natural wonders of the world: the Iguaz˙ Falls. With over 275 separate waterfalls cascading down the Rio Iguaz˙ along the border of Argentina and Brazil, these cataracts are the largest in the world and have been said to make Niagara look "like a dripping tap". When you are standing on the steel catwalk directly over the edge of the most fearful section - the semicircular Garganta del Diablo (Devil's Throat) - it is impossible not to be overcome by the sheer power and spectacle of millions of gallons of water frozen for a split second in time before falling away in a deafening roar into the misty and murky depths far below. For a moment it is like you are standing at the edge of a mythical flat world watching the oceans plunge away into space all around you.

The falls straddle Brazil and Argentina and both sides have declared a national park around the area. We spent a day in the Brazilian Iguašu National Park, which gave us a fantastic overview of the huge extent of the falls, and a second day visiting the falls from the Argentina side, where the park was more developed. In the Argentine national park, many kilometers of steel walkways have been constructed around and over the falls, in some cases only a few meters above the waters rushing underneath. Walking along the pathways you can appreciate the falls from every conceivable angle, spot the occasional colourful toucan flying overhead, and even take a jet boat ride to be "baptized" under them.

Puerto Iguaz˙ was our last destination in Argentina, and looking back over all the marvelous experiences we had enjoyed over the 6 weeks we had toured around this country, the falls were a spectacular crowning finale. Argentina had it all, and we would no doubt return one day.

Photos: (click on images to see full size)

The Iguaz˙ Falls, from the Brazil sideThe Devil's ThroatThe Iguaz˙ FallsThe Iguaz˙ FallsThe Iguaz˙ Falls

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