Latin America Travel & Tour Information
Puerto Iguaz˙ Travel Information
Plunging crystalline water, red earth, and the deep green of the jungle, covered by gigantic trees and teeming with abundant fauna, are the features that define the Iguaz˙ Waterfalls. Located to the far northern end in Argentina┤s Misiones Province, 17 km away from the town of Puerto Iguaz˙, are stunning landscapes that welcomes thousands of visitors every day. The falls themselves will unfold before your eyes: imposing, dazzling, impossible to describe in any language.
This is a region crisscrossed by large rivers, endowed with a humid subtropical climate and reddish earth. Iguaz˙ stands for "Large Waters" in the local Guarani Tongue. The subtropical vegetation, rough and wild, surround the Waterfalls that emerge 23 km away upriver and reach a height in between 50 and 80 meters. The different waterfalls spring from cracks in the cliffs or from small islets, and from far away the rumbling of the falling waters can be clearly heard.
Iguaz˙ consists of 275 cascading falls that form misty clouds as the water impacts with the river below, thus fogging up the surroundings. One of the most outstanding parts of the falls is the Devil┤s Throat, shared partly with the Brazilian side. This is the highest of all and it spills 3 cubic million liters of water by the minute into watery chaos which stems from three sides. Adventure fans may choose to go into the waterfall itself, on board special boats designed for this purpose.
Several interesting walks can be taken into the Iguaz˙ National Park and Waterfalls. These offer a unique experience born from the vastness of nature in this area, and reflected by the lush vegetation. Safe and modern catwalks run along the several waterfalls and allow for exploring each corner of this magnificent spot. All the accesses are safe enough to explore on your own. The walk is a bit exhausting as a result of the humidity, but the memories of this journey are simply everlasting. Whoever is not up for the walk, may take the ecologic train that tours through the beauty of the local flora that carpets the landscape.
Iguaz˙ National Park Trails
There are two main choices of trails for exploring the Iguaz˙ Waterfalls: the lower trail allows the observation of the majestic waterfalls while bathing in the misty clouds emanating from the clash between rock and water. This itinerary goes further into the jungle and offers the possibility to get closer to other known waterfalls such as Dos Hermanas, Alvar Nu˝ez and Lanusse.
Dos Hermanas Waterfall is the most remarkable and its name does justice to the beautiful parallel torrents of water that spring from high up the rocky face. The Alvar N˙˝ez Waterfall abounds with local birds sitting on rocks in the mornings, similar to the swallows but typical of the waterfalls area.
Following the catwalks along the lower trail leads to the main lookout, a large flat area dotted with wooden benches to take a break and breathe in the marvelous surroundings that depict the Island of San MartÝn, several of the waterfalls and the Devil┤s Throat. Bossetti Waterfall comes into view further along the way, where the catwalk practically goes down to the foot of the waterfall. This is everyone┤s ideal photo spot.
The Island of San MartÝn sits amid the lower Iguaz˙ River and can be accessed by a free motorboat service. Numerous catwalks snake their way throughout the island and offer the greatest views in the park.
The upper trail allows for more panoramic views and more pleasant and quite walks along the lookouts over the most visited waterfalls. The lookout over the Bossetti Waterfall stands out for the stunning sights. At the end of the catwalk, the greatness of the scenery unfolds in full glamour.
The Yacaratia Trail goes for about 30 km and combines driving (4x4) with rides along the Iguaz˙ River on special boats that can reach the Island of San MartÝn and the Devil┤s Throat. The colorful surroundings, the sounds and noises of the jungle will leave a deep imprint in your mind. Going on a tour is the only way to explore this place.
The excursion along Macuco Trail is among everyone┤s favorite. It is barely 3 km long which makes it ideal for walks or biking, easily guided by the signs along the way.
For those who would like to go deeper into Iguaz˙ National Park and feel embraced by dense nature, teeming with over 700 tree species and the colorful local fauna, the 23 km long Vehicular Trail is no doubt the one to take. The connection between the National Road 12 and 101 is the best way to get there. All of a sudden, you will find yourself surrounded by huge trees of up to 40 meters in height.
There are other interesting things to do near the Iguaz˙ Waterfalls. If you wish for adventure and the full enjoyment of nature, the Nautical Adventure is highly recommended, a boat ride along the lower shore of the Iguaz˙ River to reach the waterfalls and then penetrating the waterfalls at full speed. This can also be done from the upper basin in Puerto Canoas, from where they do a 4km ride for about 20 minutes on the calm waters up to Puerto Tres MarÝas.
But for really deep impressions, there is the Great Adventure. This one starts on a boat built by experts to go into the Devil┤s Throat. It explores many waterfalls and the 9km ride down on the Iguaz˙ River takes you deeper into the jungle up to Puerto Machuco. An 8km, 4x4 drive sets off from this point through the forest. The whole tour last 1 and a half hours.
From the lookout point called "Hito Argentino", there is an impressive view of the Brazilian landscape over the Iguaz˙ River, plus one as good of Paraguay through the scenery of Alto Paranß.
Iguaz˙ International Hotel is a rather good choice to observe the falls with a sweeping panoramic view. Besides, it is the headquarters for tour and car rental offices. First-rate camping sites, hostels and other hotels are also available for a wider choice of places to stay.
Puerto Iguaz˙ Attractions & Activities
It is possible to do some interesting excursions from Puerto Iguaz˙: beginning at the Tancredo Neves International Bridge that links Puerto Iguaz˙ with the settlement at Foz do Iguaz˙ in Brazil; it extends for 489 meters and rises another 72 from the water level.
"Victoria Aguirre" Avenue in the direction of the Iguaz˙ River leads abruptly into Puerto Viejo (Old Pier). This used to be the starting point for the barges and boats that took people and cars across the river, abandoned after the construction of the bridge.
Huge trees and a jungle climate characterize "Luis Rolˇn" Municipal Natural Park. Threatened and injured birds from the Parana jungle are nursed back to health in GŘira Oga. It also serves as an educational reserve to be accessed by the National Road (Ruta Nacional).
There is a chance to see the elaboration process and/or buy some of the regional carvings and local crafts at the GuaranÝ MbororÚ aboriginal community. This is also an excellent opportunity to go deeper into these primitive peoples┤ cultures by trekking along an open trail through the jungle leading to this settlement.
At 66 Victoria Aguirre Ave., at the Headquarters for Iguaz˙ National Park, lies a museum that explains in detail all about the region┤s animal life and offers the opportunity to watch some of the representative species.
A wide choice of local restaurants offer both, a diverse regional cuisine and an international menu, plus you will find great night life; the hotel network rangers from the higher to the lower scales, even tents for camping are available.