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Iguazu Falls

Iguazu Falls

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Iguazu Falls (or more accurately Iguazú Falls) is the spanish name (Argentina) for this mammoth waterfall. You might also see it referred to as Iguassu Falls or Iguaçu Falls if you prefer Portugese. Moreover, you might also see it referred to as Yguazú Falls in Paraguay or if you're a native Guaraní. The meaning of the name (originally Guaraní) roughly translates to "big water."

But no matter how you spell or say its name, it is indeed a crazy waterfall.

How crazy, you might ask?

Consider a network of 275 different waterfalls spanning an area 3km wide (2km of which is the upper rim of the waterfall) during its normal flow of around 1000 cubic meters per second. It is such a natural wonder that UNESCO designated the falls as a World Heritage Area in 1986.

Sitting on the Iguazú River, it is shared by Argentina and Brazil as both countries are separated by the river. Catwalks are built on both sides providing closer (often times mistier and wetter) views of the great waterfall.

Looking right into Devil's Throat from the Brazilian catwalkDuring normal flow, Iguazu Falls is actually split into two main parts by the San Martin Island (La Isla San Martín). The part with the largest volume of water is the narrow horseshoe of the Devil's Throat (La Garganta del Diablo). This is the portion of the falls that is split between Argentina and Brazil.

On the other side of San Martin Island is another series of waterfalls and cascades (many of which have names) with the main one being Salto San Martín. This side is exclusively Argentinean. Among the names of the waterfalls on this side are Salto Eva, Salto Adán, Salto Bossetti (very impressive), Salto Dos Hermanas, Salto Alvar Nuñez, Salto Guardaparque Bernabé Mendez, Salto Mbigua, Salto Chico, and Salto Lanusse. There are also several waterfalls going through San Martín Island (e.g. Salto Rivadavía and Salto Escondido; also on the Argentina side) as well.

Wall of water as seen from the catwalk on San Martin IslandAs far as we were concerned, what made this mega waterfall so special was that it felt like it was in Nature where it belonged. Sure the catwalks and jet boat tours (along with Brazilian helicopters) could take away from the Nature, but it was certainly more natural than one of the rival waterfalls like say Niagara Falls.

Speaking of which, numerous catwalks afforded us various ways to view and experience Iguazu Falls. Argentina had most of the catwalks while Brazil's walks mostly focused on panoramas of the Argentinean side as well as closeups of the thunderous Devil's Throat. Regarding the Argentinean catwalks, Paseo Superior took us around the upper rim of the waterfalls Salto Bossetti and closer views of Salto San Martín while Paseo Inferior took us to the bottom of parts of the falls while providing boat access to San Martín Island.

San Martín Island got us as close to the gushing Salto San Martín as we could safely get on land as well as other falls and pools on its lee side. We even saw some wildlife on these catwalks (in addition to those on San Martin Island) such as the banded-tailed coaties (they seemed to have become accustomed to being fed or digging for trash), birds like various species of parrot and toucans, and butterflies of many different colors. There were even predatory cats like the Jaguar as well as the Puma and Ocelot though we weren't lucky enough to see any of the big cats.

The gushing Salto San MartinWe even managed to experience the falls in other ways such as a thrilling boat ride, which you can read more about here.

Indeed there are many ways to experience the falls. Heck, if the timing's right, you could even do special tours of the falls by moonlight (something I wish we could've done)! But in any case, what's mentioned on this page merely scratches the surface of how you can spend your time here. Check out the photos below to see the mighty Iguazu Falls


Iguazu Falls -the most beautiful waterfalls of the world

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