There’s a good reason why it’s ‘falls’ – in the plural. Apart from the obvious fact that this is for sure a collection of waterfalls all together – some to the east, some to the left, others to the north and south – you can also split the falls in two geographically-politically: some of them fall (pun unintended) in Brazil; the others – Argentina. You can see how on the map: the border between the two countries runs down the middle of the Iguazu River. Anyway – the views from each country are totally different. From Brazil it’s all about panoramic views and water cascading down. From the Argentine side: a spectacle of the almighty power of the waterfalls. There’s also cascading water – only you view it from up top. But enough words; enter the pics!..
So, here we go: first up – Brazil:
When it’s high water here (like it was when we were there) the waterfalls understandably give off a mist that fills the air all around. And when the falls are really gushing aplenty the mist – or is it ‘fog’? – gets denser and denser. Thankfully they give out disposable raincoats. Regrettably they don’t give out swimming goggles, though they really would come in handy. Oh, and make sure your photographic kit is waterproof: forget it if not and buy some picture postcards instead :).
You can go right up to the edge and peer down…
All around the falls roam cute little nasua raccoons with striped tails. They’re not afraid of humans; just the opposite: they’re always pestering them for scraps of food! However, since their paws are strong and claws sharp, there are signs everywhere warning tourists not to feed them – with photos showing deep cuts in hands. Ouch! Cute. But not nice ).
On the Brazilian side at the very top of the waterfalls there’s a tourist center with restaurants. If you’re lucky you can dine right next to the water as it makes its way to the edge.
They also have a boat here for ferrying tourists across the water at the top. Not sure about that. What would happen if the motor failed half-way across the water?
Aha – of course. The answer turned out to be simple: there’s a back-up motor ).
The main fun activity here is a boat ride… – under the waterfalls!
A unique experience, apparently. Nowhere else in the world do they ferry tourists under waterfalls…
No words necessary!
Of course they don’t take the boats under the main stream; that would simply break up the boats. But they do steer them underneath – right up to the cliff face. Wow, what an experience!
Before approaching the falls they ask the tourists if they want a ‘light shower’ or ‘the real thing’. You can guess my answer!…
I mentioned goggles are a good idea here. No, they’re mandatory! There’s that much splashing water and mist/fog that right under the falls you can’t see hardly anything; or hear anything besides a deafening shhhshhshshhhhhhh. And should you open your mouth – you get a mouthful of water!
As you can see, absent from the pics are any taken when right under the falls. Alas, I forgot my waterproof GoPro. Shame. Still, that gives me a reason to come back!…
Btw, it’s best taking a boat on the Argentinian side. Brazilian boats aren’t allowed into the Argentinian part – to these waterfalls:
One other thing: these falls have to be seen from up above in a helicopter. But more on that in tomorrow’s post.