08 November 2012
Iguazú Falls, Argentina
Sandro and I went to Iguazú Falls for a few days this week. The National Park borders Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. The bulk of it is located in the province of Misiones in Argentina, about a two hour flight from Buenos Aires. We got a sweet flight/hotel/tour package online and ended up staying in the Esturión Hotel within Puerto Iguazú city. It was insanely luxurious and just a short drive from the falls.
A word about booking a tour: DON'T!
Our tour guide arrived at our hotel at 7:30am, an hour early, and then left without us! Even though we had pre-booked and paid for the tour, we decided to hop in a cab and forget meeting up with the group. And we are glad we did. Rather than get caught up with one hundred teenagers or oldies, pointing and eating and generally lagging, we were able to see everything on our own time. The tours generally last 9 hours, but you can see everything there is to see at Iguazú in about four or five.
As with the tour, many people will try to sell you many unnecessary things. You do not need a rain coat. You will get misty if you get up closest to the falls, but you'll want to in the heat, and you'll dry in two minutes.
You do not need to pay $120 ARS for a taxi to and from the park. The Rio Uruguay bus makes pick ups throughout the city every morning and return trips throughout the day straight to your accommodations. Bus tickets are $25 ARS per person per trip.
Also, get there early! The park opens at 8am and the sun and heat are generally pleasant this time of year, until about 12 noon when it starts to get brutal. We stayed from 8am to 12:30pm and it was perfect.
Some things you will need:
o $130 ARS entrance fee per person if you are from outside South America. If you are from this continent, you'll get a significant break.
o Hiking/running shoes. The paths are generally level and well maintained, but you'll be on your feet for a few hours.
o Sunscreen, a hat or sunglasses, bug spray. The sun is close and hardcore. The bugs are not awful, but you'll want to keep them at bay.
o Lunch. There are kioskos throughout the park that offer expensive, crappy snacks. I suggest packing something decent to get you through the morning. Also, there are water fountains (cold and hot for mate!) so bring a water bottle.
But most importantly, be prepared for a lovely experience! The falls really are unlike anything else (sorry, Niagara!). The park is rainforest-like and we saw a toucan, coatis, iguanas, and about one billion butterflies! And rainbows! If it sounds like a dreamy paradise, that's because it is.
More photos here.
Posted by Amber Reeves at 15:14